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  • Writer's pictureGary Gruber

And Then Along Comes Mary (Part Three)

Wherever he is, inside or out, hot or cold, day or night, he is at peace. The only demands he makes on us is that we brush him for 3-4 hours a day.

Bandit, his sister, acquired that moniker for her ability to walk past my sock drawer, leap up, extract a sock, and continue walking as if nothing at all happened. We made the mistake one night of letting her watch ‘The Exorcist’ with us. I think she was a bit young for such a gut wrenching movie, and it took its toll on her.

Macho you have already met. Let me introduce his brother Spot. He had a big dark circle on his forward and under his chin when he was born. Naturally, he became Spot. He is the most talkative of the kittens, and he entertains us all day long with his chatter.

Last year we were having our carpets cleaned; it was quite traumatic for the kittens. We left the bedroom door open so they could move outside when the noise got too loud or too close. Spot freaked. He bolted from the room and over the concrete wall. He disappeared completely for three days.

I plastered LOST KITTEN posters all over the neighborhood. Finally, on the third day he returned, quite shaken up. We spoke to him at length but he would not reveal where he went or what he experienced. All I know is that this kitten’s confidence was traumatized, and he had severe self esteem problems. None of the other kittens would share what he confided in them, so we were at a loss on how to proceed.

To this day he wont go outside after dark, and continuously pleads all day long “Do you love me?” He requires constant chin stroking and face scrunging, during which he breaks out into an instant purr.

Spot’s other sister, Mojo, was the runt of the litter. Her tail used to be longer. In fact, she is the second kitten who has unfortunately lost several inches of tail in our house. The movement of wind throughout the house can cause a powerful vacuum effect to occur when the right combination of doors are opened . If a cat is standing in one particular doorway when this happens, the door can slam shut before the kitty has time to react.

The result is ghoulish but not life threatening. The cat naturally panics, running through the home leaving a trail of blood about 10 inches high on every wall they pass. They will not calm down and permit normal handling under these circumstances, and have to be cornered and calmly subdued, so an emergency visit to the vet can be made for some stitches. Mojo’s tail was sooooo long that the loss of 1.5 inches is not noticeable.

What follows is a gallery of sorts of a variety of photos I have taken over the past five years of this family. ‘Never a dull day’ is a gross understatement. The personalities manifested by this bunch is nothing short of comical, heart warming, and illuminating.

Frisky represents the largest group of photos taken. I probably could produce a book solely of pictures of him taken while he was asleep. He talks very little, but says a lot when he does. He demands to be brushed constantly, and does so with a little squeak of a meow. Fortunately, we do little work during the brushing. We just hold the brush and he rubs the part of his body against it as he so desires.

He had a tussle with Godzilla one afternoon. The winner was obvious.

He is quite curious – always looking for something or nothing, here and there.

As alpha cat of the house, Macho has several distinct characteristics. Not the least of which is a purr so loud that if he is in the same room as us, we must turn on close captioning to follow a story on TV. We have had to resort to placing him in a lined box on a table when we brush him – which drives him into fits of ecstasy. If we do this on the floor, it can, and has, generated seismic alerts throughout the Coachella Valley.

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