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Cheshire Smile

by Kristi Brandenburg, Cottage Grove, MN, USA


Cali had been an "only child" for three years.

Rescued from the Humane Society, she had been afraid of her own shadow. Suspecting she had been abused, my husband and I (plus our extended family) lavished love and attention on her every minute. She hasgrown to be a confident and secure cat.

Life was perfect for her... until he came along.

We had just moved into a bigger house, and we decided we had room in our home and our hearts for another orphan. Contrary to the docile being of his predecessor, Vinnie came bounding into our lives at eight weeks old. Unlike Cali's ride home when she sat meekly in the corner, Vinnie tried to chew a hole through the cardboard carrying case. When this didn't work, he barked.

Vinnie is a cat. Barking?

We knew from that moment we would have our hands full.

Cali tried heartily to adapt to him. She took on the role of mommy, including bathing him. She would curl up around him when he slept and wait for him to eat. Despite this, Vinnie did not conform to her mild demeanor. He had come from a home of five wild and crazy brothers. In his mind, if you are awake, it's time to play. Vinnie would try (unsuccessfully) to convince Cali of this. He even resorted to trying to throw her off the kitty condo or drag her out of their house. He would sneak up behind her and fling himself at her. On most occasions she would duck, and he would fly right over her back.

One day, Vinnie finally caught her off guard.

As usual, Wednesday is bubble bath night in our house. Cali likes to sit on the edge of the tub and play with the bubbles. Vinnie saw this as his opportunity to play. When she wasn't looking, Vinnie ran up from behind. In a move straight out of wrestling, he speared her and sent her flying into the tub with me.

My first thought was, "Oh, no, she's not declawed". Being the little princess that she is, she didn't scratch or scramble. She slowly stood up, climbed back out and waited for my husband to come and wrap her in a towel. Vinnie, in the meantime, was rolling on the ground, quite happy with himself.

A week later, Cali stayed clear of the tub ledge. Instead, she sat in the corner of the bathroom watching. Vinnie took this time to gloat. He walked back and forth along the ledge as if to say "Haha. I got your spot". On one of his little parades, he slipped. You guessed it. Once again, I had a wet cat on my lap. Instead of being dainty like Cali, he howled, hissed, and clawed everything he could get his paws on... namely me. He finally secured his footing and in a wet thump, he landed on the rug.

And what did she do? Cali stood up and walked slowly out of the bathroom with a smile that would rival any Cheshire cat.


Editor's note:

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