A Year of Cat

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Cyrus came to live with us a year ago today. A year ago today, at the local shelter, he stepped into a little plastic carrier, endured the short ride to our home, and started following us around.

Cyrus at home.
Cyrus at home.

Almost exactly a year before that, Leo left us. 17 years old, plus a little, we’d had Leo since just before our first anniversary, since long before we had the kids. And he outlived his sister Xena by less than three months. We brought them home as a pair, inheriting them from a co-worker of my wife’s, when they were just a year old. So they were about the same age as our marriage. And as far as the kids were concerned, Leo and Xena had always been there.

I still miss them both.

Cyrus is been a welcome addition to our family. He did not fill the slowly shrinking hole left by Leo and Xena. That wasn’t his job. It still isn’t his job. He’s not Leo or Xena, and other than being a cat, he’s not all that much like either of them. He is his own completely separate individual, aggressively affectionate, constantly underfoot, slow destroyer of furniture. At least certain pieces of it. Lactose intolerant, dumpster diver, non-explorer, and possessor of more nicknames than Leo and Xena had combined.

Bubbles. Fluffy the Hutt. The House Wookie. The World’s Largest Tribble. Rigel. Cousin Itt. Yes, most of these are geek inspired nicknames and make note of either the volume of hair, or the volume of his stomach.

Cyrus was three when we got him, and had spent at least one, and probably two, of those years as a stray. He at least licks every item potentially classifiable as food that hits the floor, and he’s still not above occasionally checking the garbage to see if someone has throw out something that he thinks is appetizing. I have teenagers, so that happens regularly in garbage cans he can easily access. The kids are slowly being trained.

When the shelter took him in, he weighed 8 pounds. When we got him, he might have reached ten. After we’d had him for three months, it was clearly time to stop free feeding and establish fixed meal times with fixed quantities, because he was almost 15 and a half. Trying to control his food intake since, I think he’s just a little over 14, or was the last time we weighed him. It’s still hard to tell with all of the fur, but I think he probably should be about 11.5 or 12 pounds.

But as long as he’s happy, healthy, and gets around okay (because he’s got some arthritis in at least one hip/back leg, legacy of an accident he suffered as a stray that didn’t heal quite properly, whatever it might have been—and he has a funky toe on the back foot that goes with it), I’m okay with him carrying an extra pound or two. It’s kind of like me carrying an extra 20 or so.

But it was a year ago today that we brought home a bedraggled, pathetic, scrawny little feline. He’s built his own place in our lives and seems quite comfortable there. We’re happy to have him.

Celebrating a year of cat.

Bring me Solo and a cookie.
Bring me Solo and a cookie.
02 Cyrus
See how viciously tired I am?
03 Cyrus
Since I can’t reach the toy, it must be time for a nap.
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Lance
Lance Schonberg is an eclectic genre fiction author with more than two dozen stories published or on the way. 2019 is the year he dives into independent publishing, starting with "Thorvald's Wyrd", "Skip To My Luu", and "Turn the World Around". And he needs a more exciting short bio.

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