The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Friday, June 8, 2012


Well, we weren’t always cat people.  Au contraire, a neighbor’s cats kept messing with my flower beds and I thought them sinister creatures.  Then we moved to the countryside.  The area where we moved was, at that time, quite peaceful and bucolic, with fields with horses and cows, and then there was our little plot, flanked on three sides by empty fields, and with more empty areas, except for trees and a creek, behind us.  Ah, but unseen were many creatures.  Especially mice.  And mice are tiny and in cold weather can always find a way inside.   We had one hilarious episode, involving being wakened by the scratching of mice whose nest had gotten so heavy with progeny that it fell behind the wall of our linen closet and so of course the mice got anxious to get out.  In the middle of the night, my husband cut out an access, grabbed out the nest, and then chased the one remaining ambulatory creature into our daughter’s bedroom (it ran under her door) with a broom, so that our daughter, quite young then, awakened to see her father screeching like a banshee and flailing a broom at something she could not see.  And yet they, my daughter and her father, are friends to this day.

Well, anyway, shortly thereafter, a neighbor’s Siamese cat unexpectedly had kittens.  The mother was a Siamese, but the father was a visitor, so that the kittens had no sale value, but they had trapping value, as in our daughter’s heart (she was probably about seven at the time), and so she worked on the neighbor to get the promise of a kitten and worked on us to get approval, and the bottom line was that one day when the kittens were old enough, she brought home this gray and white little boy cat who was to be named Twinkle and who was to live with us for twenty years.  So much love there.

When this same daughter grew up and married, she acquired a succession of kitties.  The first was Susie, who was feminine and fluffy and liked to perch on a window sill, where she would then preen and fall off.  Next, I think, was Tigret, who simply walked up to us one day when we were arriving to visit our daughter, and who persuaded all of us she had to stay.  Tigret was the only cat I have met who smelled of flowers, always.  Then there were Gizmo and Leo.  Gizmo was so clever that if he saw a display of a cat running across a television monitor, he would then look behind the monitor for it.  Leo was just a resident gold and white lovebug.  Eventually, when our daughter, husband, and baby came to live with us while building a new home, Giz and Leo came, too.   This didn’t set well with our Twinkle, but eventually the cats came to an understanding. 

In time, life being as it is, our daughter moved a short distance away, sans husband, but with two small children.  Leo was gone by then, and so was our Twinkle, but Gizmo came to live out his time with us, because otherwise we were all afraid he would try to cross to many freeways to get back to home territory.

In their new home, our daughter acquired Zena and Gabby, and later Sabbath, a black foundling, and Norman joined the family.  Zena and Gabby and Norman lived out their lives with love, and now there is still Sabbath and also Charlie, the most mischievous and eccentric of all his predecessors.  And in our home we have our dear Max, eccentric in his own way.  But neither home has mice!

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