Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

TB the Cat in my Life

I seem to have fewer the normal words in my head today, so I thought I might feature the cutest cat in my household.

Checking me out while I type … love that little pink tongue showing up!

TB really doesn’t have a middle ground with me. He’s either exceptionally adorable or being a total brat and let me tell you, this cat can move back and forth between those two extremes at the speed of light. It surprises me how quickly I’m supposed to follow his bipolar attitude. Most of the time I’m safe, but as the scars and marks on my hand prove, that’s not always the case.

Aside: Something just made a noise. Don’t you hate hearing things and not being able to identify their source? ARGH. Oh well …

My little kitten-cat came in from the cold one Saturday in October a couple of years ago and it never occurred to me that he would prefer being outside. Those first few days with him were spent with the two of us snuggling and cuddling as he got healthy. All I could think was that this was a perfect opportunity for me to build some good behaviors with him. He was young … very young, and I had time and patience.

I was a naive fool. We suffered through one and half years until he snuck out one day and didn’t run away. I let him out (albeit guardedly) more often and finally he trained me to accept the fact that he might be gone for eight or ten hours at a time. I’m not necessarily happy with that situation, but off he goes and when he returns, no one knows.

I want to go out there. Why am I in here?
I want to go out there. Why am I in here?

Since the weather has gotten cooler (colder, brrr), his jaunts don’t last quite as long and he returns to the warmth of my space heater and blankets. But, he still insists on being allowed to patrol the land, insuring that all is safe for his human. (That’s how I perceive what he’s doing and no one can talk me out of it.)

One afternoon a strange cat showed up. Since I leave the doors open for TB to have full access, the cat walked in and scared the daylights out of me. I yelled, it ran out and I followed, encountering TB on the front porch. He just watched the whole thing happen, but as soon as he saw my reaction, he got mad … at the foreign cat. He stalked that cat and got between it and the door and hissed anytime the cat tried to move. He finally ran the cat off and though it took hours for him to return from that engagement, I’ve never seen that animal again.

It had happened earlier this summer, too and I didn’t realize at the time what I was seeing. A female cat had spent quite a bit of time here. She prowled the outside of the screen porch while I made TB stay inside (this was before he tricked me and got out). They made friendly noises at each other and it was her fault that he initially got outside and scared me to death.

One day, though, I was trying to pick him up and bring him inside when she got between the two of us. It ticked me off and I snapped at her and told her to go home. Well, that was all TB needed from me and he ran her off as well. One day a few weeks later, I saw a cat at the end of the lane and thought it was TB. I yelled for him to come. It wasn’t him, it was the female. He came from behind my Jeep and saw her and took off. She was gone before he got too far. He proudly stopped, turned around and came back to me.

Henri, ever hopeful. TB ignoring her existence.
Henri, ever hopeful. TB ignoring her existence.

When my sister brings her dog up here, I love on that cute little thing and hug it and TB fully understands that Henri has unlimited access to the house. He’s not necessarily happy about it, but he doesn’t threaten the dog. That crazy cat takes his cues from me and then protects me from the animals that might intrude on my peace and quiet. Apparently he is the only one who is allowed to bite me and nip at me when he’s mad at me for doing something awful to him (like a Frontline application).

Little boy isn’t particularly snuggly unless he is cold, but I know that I’m part of his family and he loves me as much as he can. He talks to me all the time, telling me what he expects of me, but he is clean and respectful of his living space. I feel pretty lucky that this little guy showed up, so when he wants to go outside to patrol his territory, even when I think it’s too chilly, I let him go.

That's a fake rat and for some reason TB loves to play with it. Maybe it's like the real mice he brings in ... sigh.
That’s a fake rat and for some reason TB loves to play with it. Maybe it’s like the real mice he brings in … sigh.

Now … the pictures in this post show you that sometimes it is too cold out for me to open the door and he is stuck with pulling out the inside toys and looking with great yearning out the big front window. As soon as the sun comes out, he gets a little freedom, though.

More words than I thought I had. Maybe I should have saved a few of those for the next chapter. Whoops!


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