Mom asked me about my recent retirement. Said I was spending much too much time sleeping, eating and getting fat. She did use the dreaded f* word and though slightly offended I said it was my winter fur that makes me look bigger. Actually, I’m pretty lean underneath all this grey fur, really not my best color, but the yellow eyes offset the grey and what female wouldn’t want yellow cat eyes when getting her point across. As for retirement, I am content to stay out of the freezing cold and let mom wait on me for all my needs.
The pups can be a bother, especially when Maya needs to express her terrier control and dominate everything. She chases me around the room in a sort of bluff fierceness, but I can disappear under the bed or onto the dresser and out of her way. The oddest thing is when I sit on the stairs staring at her she is afraid to climb up past me. Mom has to come down and ask me to move, but do I? Heh, heh, heh, very slowly and with a “gotcha” thrown over my shoulder to Miss “I’m in charge around here.”
If you read my story than you know I spent one freezing winter living under the Stone House before Seamus found me, so sitting out the zero temperature nights is Ok by me. Know what I mean? Homeless in the winter requires heading south to Key West and that’s a long trip for a small kitty to make. Imagine me at the Greyhound ticket booth waiting in line,
“Hey, it’s a cat!.”
“I’ll be damned it wants to buy a ticket.”
“Now that beats all.”
“Where is her owner?”
“How do you know it’s a female?”
“Only a female would have the balls to make this trip alone.”
A regular Far Side cartoon, right? Then I have to ask for a one-way ticket to Miami using stares and a few meows. Guess what? I would be in a local shelter before you could say “All aboard!”
I think it is healthy to enjoy periods of retirement during the year. Not vacations, because those are more work than work sometimes. No, I mean a time to retire to the quiet and solitude of your own thoughts and winter is made to order. When the snow falls on a winters morning the world comes to a slow crawl. The silence is like deep meditation, while the brace of cold and damp counters the oppression of indoor heat and dryness.
I use the time to meditate and strategize new places I can hide to better hunt come spring and summer. The world outside my door will be exploding then with baby rabbits, birds and mice all waking up to new life and me waiting. I, Tessa the terrible, will be fresh and rested, a tad overweight and slower than usual, but that can be remedied. I will provoke Maya to give chase more often and help get me back into shape for coming out of retirement and rejoining our rural community.
By the way, I’ve seen Marco from the window, trotting across the yard from the pond, looking pretty lean and just as mean as a rattle snake. That will motivate me to get back into shape because at some point we will meet again, if not on the frozen lake then in the old bramble patch by the beaver pond. He is my petty tyrant.
I will need all my wits and strength to compete for prey against Marco, “da man”, but I’ll be ready. Tessa “da tiger” they’ll call me, but the black panther is more to my liking; symbol for the dark side of my feminine nature. I embody the life and power of the deep, dark night and face my fear of death each time I venture out.
Pretty cool, huh? So now, if you’ll please excuse me I must retire to my place beneath the bed to sleep and prepare for the coming battles spring will bring.