Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Loving Chango

Chango Biddy Bongo El Cubano. He is our old man cat. He's been with us about 15 years. He had a brother named Bongo Biddy Chango. They were a pair. Scout and Shadow. Geoff and I have been observing Chango, reflecting on his life, his close calls, his slow journey to domesticity, his wild eyes and tender heart. He talks, now. He lectures us, relentlessly imploring for one thing or another. At any time of the day, you are bound to hear one or another of us replying, "What is it Chango? Do you want out? Are you thirsty?" We follow him, and he takes us to the place where his heart's desire is waiting... fresh food, a scratch, out, or in, more water, love.

In his prime, he was a hunter, a survivor, a cunning puss, with an edge. He was fast, fleet. He did not tolerate fools. Now he sleeps the longest hours, he assumes the best spots, accepts affection, endearments, our doting. He asks for boosts, he moves slowly, reluctantly. We love on him, and tell him he's dear, and we sigh wistfully, because we are reminded... he cannot live forever. He should, but there will come a day, and it's terrible to imagine.

I am thankful for this time, when we can observe him, admire him, take note of his endearing qualities, even laugh warmly over his less winning habits. Nothing will stop time, and we cannot know when he will be gone, with this in mind, I am enjoying his company, appreciating his dark nose, listening to his snoring, being patient about his claws, which he struggles to retract {oh, the poor shredded sheets!} I watch him nap. I sit beside him with my yarn, and he mumbles to me for scratches.

Finally found the rest of the yarn for the granny squares I'm making. The rhythm and pattern is mostly fixed in my hands, now. I love the tutorial for this square. I love having this project to bring to dance class, to carry in the car, to enjoy after cleaning the kitchen, a reward, a meditation. Chango, I imagine, loves it, too. A new blanket coming along, and company for him. He seems to want both to be in his own place, and to not be alone.

In the morning light, I laid out the first rose square to see it next to the grays. And when Chango came back to the bed, from drinking water, he was suspicious of this arrangement.

I'd encroached on his space.

He looked at me as if to say, "This will not do."

Consentido gato, mio. Querido misifu. Stay with us, Chango, we love you so.


Mickie said...

This was a little hard to read for me because it hits so close to home, but so poignant. Our 15yr old Tuxedo black cat named Eli is also a retired force of nature. He talks too loud because he is mostly deaf and unable to jump onto his favorite perches, but has mellowed into a sweetness that he never had when he was younger. I find myself coaxing him with soft food and making warm beds for him over the registers for his old bones. Every spring we are surprised that he is still with us and so thankful.

Alicia said...


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

(((hugs))) for you and Eli.
Our dear forces of nature are such a gift.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Four? Cuatro?
Dino lived twenty years... what a good long life.