Some have suggested that I demean the intelligence of cats by saying they are not as mentally capable as dogs. That’s not quite fair, is it? It’s not that cats aren’t as bright as dogs; it’s just that they are… Special.
At least, MY kitty is special. Let’s get this out in the open: I’m a cat lover. Dogs are great and I’ve been blessed to live with a number of really wonderful dogs, but a kitty owns my heart.
His name is “Felid.” That is, “Felid, Eternal Prince of His Daddy’s Heart, III.” Yes, he is my third cat named Felid, the latest of a long line of delightful kitties who have filled my heart with joy. Some people think I’m strange to keep naming my cats the same thing, but I find comfort knowing that my first two Felids are still in some way with me. Felid III doesn’t mind.
Felid is a purebred Bombay, a very rare breed, whose eyes are the most sublime copper color imaginable. He is jet black and glossy as patent leather (Bombay cats aren’t called “patent leather panthers” for nothing!). Felid is muscular, which is to say, “built like a brick cat box.”
I mourned the death of Felid II (cancer – at 14 - so young!), and then searched the country to find another Bombay. I eventually located a sweet little old lady whose cattery had produced the champion Bombay lines of five continents and flew to Dallas to pick up my new little Felid III. I spent a weekend with three crazed cat ladies at a cat show and saw Felid’s cousins win ribbons for Best Exotic and Best of Breed. It was quite an experience.
Bombay cats are rare and beautiful, but that’s not what enchants me. My Felid is a Party Cat. He loves company and is convinced that guests visit our house only to admire him. He is perfectly at home in a crowd and if locked up will loudly insist on being included in the party. Felid works the crowd, demanding to be greeted and receiving compliments. This is the nature of a Bombay cat, and their outgoing personality has made me a lifelong devotee of the breed, though not enough to breed them myself. My Felids are always neutered, and always at an early age. No accidental litters allowed!
Reading this, you might believe my relationship with my kitty is somehow abstract, but in fact, our friendship is very deep and personal. Felid is my constant companion. He sits next to me on the sofa, shares my desk chair, and sleeps with me at night. We are seldom apart.
Well-loved cats have many names and mine is no exception. He is Felid and Fee-Lee, Feeley-Deeley, Mister Felid, and Mister Boy. He is always my Sweet and Handsome Guy.
Felid is a stinker sometimes. He has a cat sense of humor and thinks nothing is funnier than blasting through an open doorway and into the yard (he’s not allowed outside). The point of the game is for me to drop what I’m doing and chase after him. Ha ha ha. He doesn’t run very far, or very fast, just far and fast enough to keep me following him. Felid also (apparently) thinks I imbibe too much caffeine, and takes it upon himself to bury my morning cup of coffee. Very funny, Felid.
I’ve had some rough times in my life, and Felid has been there for me, bringing light into my life during the darkness. My kitty also taught me something about love: One must love a cat for who and what it is, with no expectation that the cat will ever change or try to please me (just like Barb, my fiancé). How can anyone truly love another person if they cannot love a cat?
Felid is not jealous. He allows Barb to sit with me on the sofa (so long as he is in the middle). He tolerates my habit of leaving him at odd hours to waste time working, and condescends to tolerate my deranged value system when I neglect the fact that he alone is the center of the universe. Felid is wise beyond his kitty years.
My kitty is my friend and comfort, and I cherish our every minute together. We have a special kind of love between us. There is magic in sharing one’s life with a pet.
Happy Valentine’s Day! We’ll talk about cancer next month.