We have to contend with a strange animal for a year.
Jackson is a crazy cat. He is not my cat, I don’t own cats. Actually, nobody owns a cat. He “resides” with my daughter-in-law’s family who we will be staying with for a year.
When my wife and I were brats in the military and moving around, we both got tired of leaving pets behind so just stopped having them very early on. The last dog that chased us down the street as we left in the station wagon was my last straw. Later in life, we had as many as two dogs at a time to catch up. We never had cats though so we figured it would not be hard on us to live with a cat when we went back to California to help family. After all, they have no personalities and just lay around all day with a blank look on their faces.
Their cat, his name is Jackson, knows the family routine pretty well. In the morning mom is getting the red headed boy off to school. He also gets fed at that time and the boy too. He will lay on the kitchen floor against an out of the way wall and watch all the running back and forth. When they leave, he comes upstairs and waits on a perch he found next to the stairs. He gets a view of both floors there and the front door is in plain sight.
When my wife goes down to get her cup of coffee, he is ready with a paw as she goes down. She is not a real cat fancier, does not hold him or anything and the crazy cat seems to adore her. Every morning he reaches out from his perch next to the stairs and touches her shoulder as she goes down. He was actually petting her! He doesn’t know any better. He’s supposed to be the petee. You see, he’s crazy.
Jackson also waits on his perch for me to come down and then jumps on the stairs behind me. He then cuts around me blocking my way down. Why is he trying to trip me? That is just plain crazy. I’m the one that lets him out onto the back patio every morning.
He had never been let outside before. I go out and feed the fish and often sit at a table with my cup of tea while enjoying a beautiful garden type back yard . It has a safe feeling because the yard is small and well fenced in so Jackson started following me out. He would just lay next to me on the patio taking in the sights. It took only a few days for him to stay out there on his own when I went back into the house. If he was supposed to be an indoor cat, why did he still have his claws? All dogs want to play in the back yard. What’s the difference?
In a very short time, he started looking forward to his mornings in the garden and he labeled me the fun guy to be with. What did I do? He started following me around like a dog from then on. How crazy can that be! He doesn’t even know how to fetch.
He found a rock to perch on in one corner of the yard that gives him the most panoramic view. Birds often come by to scold him. They probably have a nest in the area. He just lays there entertained and bewildered at the same time by their antics. He must have built in hunting instinct but they are buried very deeply behind the sick afliction that affects him. The poor thing just sits there dumbfounded. So sad. Any dog would have known what to do when a bird gave him a bad time.
One common cat trait that was able to get through his mixed up head is curiosity. In time, every bush got its investigation. A few also got tasted. We all learned the hard way he should not taste the lily plant we put on the kitchen island. Fortunately, it was in the kitchen where the floors are tiled. This poor, crazy, cat does not know he is not a vegetarian. Maybe he fell off one too many perches.
The fish in the pond are safe. He has no clue what they are and their flashy colors are seen as warning signs. Cats naturally are not crazy about water anyway. Although Jackson is crazy for a cat, he’s not that crazy. If he were to go by the pond, there is one of those automatic sprinkler gismos with a motion sensor that would blast him away so I don’t worry about that. He is safe from the fish.
He seems to know in which direction the motion detector is pointed because he stays in the yard area behind it. Perhaps he has seen it go off so figures the other side of the yard is haunted, who knows what goes on in that crazy head. He has never come in wet so we are pretty sure he has not set it off. I have a few times. Maybe he saw that.
After his morning respite, Jackson returns to the house. It is starting to warm up and he knows it’s cool inside. Besides, the oldest boy, who works nights, is about to get up. He is also a gentle fellow like his grandmother so Jackson finds him good company. He will lay on the floor near his room and watch him come by to shower and get ready for the day. He always gets some attention from the young man before he goes off to do whatever he does all day.
It is now time to come back upstairs to our room. By then my wife and I are at our computers and desks doing whatever we do which distracts us from him. If he wants attention, he will jump up on my table and lay down between me and the keyboard and purr. I do feel sorry for his affliction so have to show some kindness.
Being time for the late morning knap, Jackson jumps down from my table and lays on the fireplace hearth in our room. It is cool on his tummy so he sprawls out as far as he can. He can relax knowing he is where the most action is at this time and dozes off.
We usually take a late lunch which is fine with Jackson. When we leave to go down to the kitchen, he arises and follows. His bowl of water and food is down there too. He has a little lunch with us and knows it is time to go off on his own. We often leave at this time to do whatever we do when we are`out “there”.
Once or twice a day he gets hit by crazy cat episodes and runs all over the house. He will go upstairs, run around there then shoot back down. Run around the first floor while dodging around then run back upstairs for a minute or two. When whatever demons he is chasing go away, he is ready for another knap—nature’s own Valium. After his recovery, he finds a place he can just look outside. You know, nature’s TV set. Sometimes we find him sitting on our upstairs window ledge when we come back…from doing whatever…
Late in the afternoon it becomes time to go back to the perch on the stairway overlooking the main part of the house. Mom will be coming home from work and the kid from school. When he sees they are all in, he will go down to the kitchen/family room to watch all the action from the sofa. It is the most exciting part of the day. The part he has been resting up for. the noise, the lights, the action are always worth waiting for.
As soon as things get real quiet in the evening it is mom’s time. She is the one of her pride he likes the most. He gets cuddling and kisses before mom goes off to her room. Did I say Jackson was also a garrulous cat?
He does not mind talking at any time something needs to be done—for him. When it is snack time, he is meowing before he even gets to my door, enters with his serenade and sits next to my chair and just looks at me. On the mantle is his can of Whisker Lickin’s and he will stay there, even meow some more if his demands are not met in a timely fashion, till he gets his due daily ration.
After that, it begins…
It is a period of purring, rubbing and kneading and licking we have to contend with. What a mess. Cat people know what this is, we sure don’t.. Dogs don’t do this frou-frou. They just come and lay on your feet and are contented. Their big thing is in the greeting when someone arrives back to their pack and then they settle back down. People say cats are low maintenance. Do they seem to forget about this?
Jackson wants to stay in our room but will not allow us to close the door till he is ready to sleep. He likes to stay with us in the late evening but there may be some action in a room or hallway that will need his supervision so he must have immediate access to the rest of the house while he is still “on call.”
When he is satisfied that there will not possibly be any more activities for the day, he will go to the spot he has preselected for his evening to himself. Sometimes it is at the foot of our bed, sometimes not. Then we are allowed to close our door.
Yes, Jackson is a crazy cat.