Gift giving isn’t much a part of our American culture. I’m not really sure why, but generally speaking we don’t give gifts unless it is reciprocal – For instance, at Christmastime, or for a specific reason, such as birthdays. But Anna surprised me the other night by gifting me little Ember, one of her precious cats! It has been probably close to 10 years since I had my own pet, and this cat just tickles me. Part of Anna’s rationale was that the two boy cats, the more gregarious of the fleet, get a lot of attention while little Ember, who is shy and rather flighty, doesn’t get nearly enough. She is afraid of the dogs, so she won’t volunteer to come into our house unless the coast is completely clear, and her mom has disowned her. Ember’s two best friends are her brother and Ginger, the yellow stray we’ve semi-adopted. Anna figured rightly that I would love on little Ember. The mark of a good friend (or sister) is knowing how to give good gifts, and this was possibly the sweetest gift she could have given me. I’ve always had a soft spot for this particular kitten – She was the smallest of the litter of two, and her big brother would often push her off the teat and leave her meowing pitifully. She was very funny looking as a baby, with strange coloring and huge bat-like ears and an oddly-proportioned face, but she has turned into quite the distinctive little tortoiseshell cat. Ironically, she is also the kitten I named!
I came inside this afternoon and found Luna, the big grey boy cat, curled up in the sunlight, living the carefree, delightful life of a very happy cat. He is almost ready to be booted back outside after his ordeal as an invalid, which I think he has enjoyed quite a bit, actually. Someone (who will remain anonymous) slammed his tail in the door and degloved two inches of it or so. After receiving this recommendation from a few people, we did minor surgery at home to remove the exposed bone (some of which fell off on its own before we got to it), eventually got him a cone since he kept re-opening the wound, and kept it clean and covered. Thanks to him chewing it back open once or twice before we got him the cone, it took two whole months for the thing to heal, but it is now completely closed up and the hair is all growing back. He is now pretty much as good as new. Dumb cat.
What bliss. These cats are so manipulative.
This little darling is Coal, Ember’s big brother. He is as rambunctious as she is, but he has a cuddly side, which is awfully endearing.
He isn’t a particularly vocal cat, and at the age of about 2 weeks old, he would roll over on his back to have his fat little belly rubbed. He is still just as roly-poly as can be, his little tummy taut as a drum, and his little round face as perfectly kitten as I’ve ever seen. His crazy uncle, Luna, is what we consider to be “the perfect specimen of a cat.” I would wager you’ve never seen as handsome a cat as Luna. But Coal is going to take after his uncle, we think.
This is Ember, the Kashka-cat’s little girl kitten. She has gotten so big!
Little Ember has a rather spazzy personality. She very passionately dislikes being held and will protest loudly until put down, and she loves to stalk shadows. She and her brother are quite the pair, pitter-pattering all over the Miner’s Cabin, climbing the furniture, wrestling, and tormenting their mother.
Too much cuteness.
People who hate cats just haven’t yet met the right cat. That’s all. My uncle’s cat, Kitty-Q, is one of those perfect cats. “Perfect” in that she is a delightful blend of normal cat and abnormal cat. She has all the grace and poise and haughtiness and independence and self-sufficiency of the average capable feline, but she has a desperately sweet side, the side that manages to knock down all sorts of barriers, even those created by cat allergies. She never gets tired of cuddling. She is quite the beautiful feline, and none of us would be surprised if she had a little bobcat in her.
No one knows where she came from. She adopted my uncle and his family about seven years ago – She wandered in as a stray and stuck around when they started feeding her. But for weeks she wouldn’t allow them to come near her. One day, my uncle was flat on his back underneath one of the tractors, and the cat came and sat on his chest. From then on, she was their cat.
Sarah and I are house-sitting for my uncle while he and his family are fishing in Alaska. Kitty-Q, without fail, greets us on the porch in the evening when we come inside, and greets us on the porch in the morning when we come out. She meows at us, begging for attention, roughly shoving her bony little head under my chin or into my hands, to insist on affection.
I can’t help but wonder if this is how Adam and Eve were able to interact with God’s creatures in Eden.
There’s nothing quite like the company of a cat. Or cats. I understand, some people have very strong negative feelings on this topic. If you are one of those unfortunate individuals, you doubtless just haven’t met the right cat yet. Luna is a bit on the dense side, it is true, but you’ll not find a more beautiful feline specimen. Ever since he was a few months old, he has looked just like “textbook pictures” of a cat. Gorgeous. And there is almost nothing that I find quite as winsome and heart-entangling as Kashka’s attempts at a meow when she wants attention, or as calming and comforting as her rumbling purr.
Not a lot is known about why or how cats purr – There are suggestions, some of which may have some merit, but it tickles my funny bone that purring is one of those things that just has modern science a little bit bewildered. Then I stumbled across this from the Live Science website: “A domestic cat’s purr has a frequency of between 25 and 150 Hertz, which happens to be the frequency at which muscles and bones best grow and repair themselves. It is, therefore, speculated that cats naturally evolved their purr over time as a survival tactic – a biomechanical healing mechanism that ensured speedier recoveries.”
I read that and just kind of scratched my head. That’s pretty amazing! They just naturally evolved their purr to within a specific frequency as a way to equip the species? (My sister Sarah’s response to this was, “Why don’t we purr?”)
Not to create any tidal waves of controversy here, but I have another idea – What if cats were given the ability to purr specifically at the frequency best for muscle and bone repair by Someone who knew what He was doing? And because God wasn’t driven by rigid practicality in His Creation, He created a sound that human beings in general find to be soothing and relaxing and delightful, simply because He could, because His Creation was meant to be a blessing and a joy, something that causes us to thank and glorify Him. What if what we see around us that seems miraculous actually is miraculous, and is a gift from the hand of a good and loving God? Perhaps that sounds silly and childish. But I find that the more deeply convinced I become that these things are gifts from God, the more beautiful His Creation is to me. I find that my love and appreciation the natural world is enhanced and intensified by the evidence I see of God’s fingerprints all over Creation. It humbles me and overwhelms me.
I got home today from work and found Anna out in the corral playing with her kitties – What fun she (and they!) were having, and what fun it was to watch the antics! The little spectacle was, well…the cat’s meow.