Why, hello there. Settle on in for a spell, if the mood so moves you. My name is Sydney, and I have a story to tell. My full name is Sydney Bristow Taurel, but I don’t like formalities, so Syd will do just fine. You may wonder why I’m lying down to spin my tale. I’m lying down because I’ve been here the longest, and I run this house. I make the decisions. I was here before these smelly kids, and before we lived in this house with its endless, damned stairs. I was here when our back yard was full of palm trees, and there wasn’t a maple in sight. I was here before even the first wedding gift came rolling through the door. You see, I was the very first cat to choose this family.
Also…I’m lying down because I’m really, really fat. It’s easier to breath this way.
I was once a tiny, not so healthy kitten, who taught my big human loveys that cats choose people. People do not choose cats. They didn’t listen to this advice when they adopted my brother, Jack, but I’m grateful they brought him home anyway. As a thank you for their kindness, I never got sick again. Jack wasn’t well enough to choose anyone, and he died. After that, the Momma said no more cats, and no more tears.
Jack, right before his 2nd stint in rehab.
But wouldn’t you know? Max chose us next. He chose Kelly, to be exact. But every day after, he chose all of us. Cuddling, purring, and gently inserting himself into our lives, Max was a winner. I taught him well, which is easy to do when you only bring home the cats who choose you. We’re not malleable animals. We don’t change (except in size).
Oh Crap! Unchoose! I, Maximus Rube Wahlberg, declare an unchoosing of this human!! (Joking, he worshiped this child.)
We thought we were complete as a family, but one sunny summer afternoon, Cyrus Johnson chose Sara. And when he chose her, he chose her big-time. To this day, he lets her carry him around in all kinds of ridiculous positions. You’ll never hear Cy complain. He’s a lover, not a fighter. With all this happiness, the 3 of us were happy too. Life became a big cuddlefest ’round here. But nothing
gold furry can stay.
Max was one unlucky bug, and he died. Momma was certain this time. NO MORE TEARS. No more cats.
But what we didn’t know, was that we were meant to be a pit-stop in the journey of a little guy named Dagny. He was rescued by a loving woman who had no place to keep him. She tried to give him a home in a single room (after accidentally naming him Chloe), but it wasn’t a good fit for a kitten with Cheetah-like qualities. He came to our house for a playdate, and he stayed.
Over time, he became so quick, no one could catch him. In fact, we have almost no pictures of him because of his speed. He rarely slept, and spent most of his time trying to get outside. He was quite good at swerving under legs and around open doors. He was like the Indy 500 of cats. He LOVED the outdoors, and on the days he romped around the yard like a tiny tiger, he came inside far better behaved. One night, he even slept.
Cy and I put some serious time into this kitten. He was NOT our fastest study.
But he didn’t choose the humans in this house. He chose the cats. He chose the yard. He chose every open door to the outside he could dart through. Cuddling wasn’t on his schedule, and being held was against his religion. While inside, he preferred to rest in the sinks. He was an odd duck, this Cheetah-cat we named Dagny Taggart Tatum.
So the Momma took him to the Vet, and asked what she could do to help him adjust. She was saddened to hear he was an “outside cat”. These humans are quite busy and “outside cats” aren’t a good fit in a neighborhood full of dogs and no humans around for the constant in and out he requires. In her heart, she knew what she’d known all along…Dags wasn’t choosing our family. Her no more tears rule was broken, yet again.
In the meantime, Goomommy and Goodaddy came for a visit. They LOVE cats. Many, many cats have chosen them: 10 cats in 40 years, if you like math and pets. They especially love outdoor cats, as their house sits upon a woods and a small creek. A tremendous deck covers the back of their home, with wonderfully handy doors for all-day-long in-and-outs. In fact, between their house and another nearby, they share a clowder of cats. Sartorius, Pepper, and Bella, spend their days running between the 2 homes, taunting the birds and hunting the mice. They spend their evenings indoors, dozing on Goodaddy’s lap as he reads (sometimes dozing himself).
Is this working for you? This is NOT working for me.
As this family sat and chat with their glasses of wine, little Dagny crawled up into Goodaddy’s lap, and fell asleep. And there he remained, curled comfortably and purring for 2 of the most pleasant hours his keepers had ever witnessed. It’s possible Goodaddy fell right asleep with him. And there you have it. Dagny chose his human. It took 5 months and 3 homes, but in the end, he was clear in his choice.
Because Goodaddy and Goomommy have hearts which both expand and radiate into the love around them, they loaded up their suitcases in the early morning hours, along with 1 little kitten. 10 hours of driving was before them, and an entire family held their breath. But as it goes with choosing, the outcome should have been a foregone conclusion:
Dagny crawled onto Goodaddy’s arm and slept as the fields and states rolled by. Tonight he’s doing his Dagny-thing, running around like a wild-man, meeting his new buddies, checking out his new digs. Our house has had a quiet day, with some wagging tails, lots of kisses, and a few tears. There has been some praying in Dag’s direction, hoping his adventure is suiting his taste, and that his new home is his forever home.
These humans and their controlling ways. I hope they’ll someday learn to listen to the lessons I try to teach them. People don’t choose cats. Cats choose people. Even the unhuggiest of cats will hug, when the choosing is done. I hope Dagny remembers to clean his ears, just as I taught him. I hope he behaves like the sweet cat we all knew he could be. Good Lordy, I hope he stops sleeping in sinks.
Godspeed, little Dagny Taggart. You’ve chosen so, so very well.