His name was Calvin. The first time I set eyes on him was after I shooed away the neighborhood kids who'd chased him under the hood of our truck and I got my brother in law to come open it. A tiny black furball was sitting on top of the engine and my instinct was to reach out and grab him before he could dive back into the bowels of the truck. He reacted predictably, he bit down on my thumb and didn't let go until I let go.
He bolted under another car and luckily stayed there until Greg got home. Using food and a pair of welding gloves, he grabbed up the starving little barely weaned kitten. He was installed in our bathroom for two days and all that was seen of him was his tail as he ducked behind the toilet every time the door was opened.
Until the door was opened and the kittens, roughly a week older than him who'd been raised in my closet, were allowed in to see the new guy. Hobbes, the boldest of the bunch, ran right in. Calvin rushed out and went nose to nose with the tabby kitten. Hiding time was over. And Hobbes' mother, Sadie, took Calvin under her wing ..er paw and nursed him and raised him with her three babies.
He never got over being a scardy cat, but he was a loving sweetheart. He would sit next to you, still as stone, staring, his eyes boring holes into your head, until you noticed him and pet him, then he would fall over on one side like a ton of bricks with no grace whatsoever so you could rub his tummy.
He wanted to share my water all the time. You know I have no problem with my kitties sticking their face in my glass and having a drink. But that wasn't Calvin's method. He dipped his paw in, licked the water off, then shook it, splattering it everywhere, then he'd dip and start over again. Now, I will share their spit in my water, but paws.. no, that was a little more than I cared to share. But he was the master of getting in that water when I was distracted! Luckily the splatter gave it away and warned me not to drink from the litter foot contaminated water!
He never got over his scardy cat ways and would flee from a room if Greg stood up. But he'd be back the second he sat down again or left. I could stand, but not Greg. He didn't like company but got along with all other kitties. He was easy going and sweet, until scared, but quickly calmed back down.
I don't know how, but he seemed to always know the phone was going to ring before it did. Or else he just reacted so fast it seemed like he jumped at the exact microsecond that it rang! One second he'd be on his back, nearly comatose with kitty delight at having his tummy rubbed, the next he was completely gone! Sometimes I wouldn't realize he had jumped up before there was no kitty on my lap.
His rarely used meow was something special. Like a rusty gate. He would open his mouth and it took a moment before you heard the second half of a meow. Well, part of a meow. He went "...eeh" very quietly, which was unexpected from a large heavy black cat. Sometimes you'd get the whole end "...eeow" but mostly, just the squeaky middle.
He lived over 15 years, my big baby. If you're wondering why I'm telling you about him, then you must not know that it's World Cat Day. It's a day to celebrate everything cat, in any way you want. And I wanted to share the life of one of my previous sweet babies.
Happy World Cat Day!