Monday, March 24, 2008
The thundering herd of elephants that courses through the halls and up and down the stairs every night is a 7lb streak of lightning named Winkie. She is occasionally chased by Tonka, who is double her weight and not as light on his feet. But she asks for it. I have seen her innocently stroll by, then just as she is past him, reach out a paw, smack him, and then run. You can almost hear her laughter. It is a game they both enjoy. She is so full of energy that she sometimes runs just to run.
She is now a very different kitty from when she came to me. Living in an empty house with her owner packed off to a nursing home, she became fearful and skittish. The neighbors came in to feed her and Bourka once a day. No one scooped their litter. The whole house smelled. The day I went to visit, I only saw a black streak dash past to disappear into the basement. When we went to look for her in the dim unlit nether regions she bolted for a Stygian hole in the cinder block that led to a crawl space. In the end they had to trap her to get her out of the house.
When they came in with the cat carrier and opened the door she was huddled in the back. We left the carrier in the kitchen and went into the family room. When we came back to check on her the carrier was empty and she was not to be found. Later I discovered her in the basement squeezed under the landing box. A few days later, she migrated upstairs under the guest bed in the blue room. She stayed there for weeks, coming out only to eat and make the long trek down to the basement to use the box. At that time I had 3 cats that no one ever saw, including me.
Eventually they all came around. Now Winkie sleeps on my hip, riding the wave when I turn over in the night. She insists on sitting on my lap or will perch on one knee if that is the only thing available. She will visit with company if they are well-mannered adults, allowing them to pet her--shoulder to tail (she does not like having her head touched). She is a joy. It has taken 5 years for her to gain confidence. Now she is a terror, that strikes fear in the heart of guests sleeping in the blue room when she thunders past in the wee hours.