Wednesday, December 16, 2020


The Lion in Winter just jumped up on my lap. The thought sruck me as the grizzed old man cautiously planned his way aboard, his eyes dim, his whiskers being his most outstanding characteristic now. All of seventeen, there seems to be little trace of the tiny kitten scurrying under the dog food pallets at Everybody's, which me and the other gal rescued 17 years ago. I say two of us, because I was crippled up needing hip surgery and getting on to being Senior, and she was a young thing whose husband would kill her if she showed up with another kitten. So we teamed up, and even though I had about four or five cats already, I can't remember now how many, I had to save the little guy. He was only about three to four weeks old, starved, cold and hungry. Of course, the only name for a tuxedo kitten with a masked face was Batman, and thus he joined in our journeys. We traveled from Washington stae to Colorado to Utah, 9 cats survivng a trip to Tennessee in Ol' Red, the F250 Ford pick'em'up truck I drove at the time, back to Utah, then on up to Washington State as he was the next to oldest surviving cat. Buddy had showed up at the empty lot next door and the guy who owned it was afraid his dog would kill the cat, so we adopted him into the family, too. Buddy and Batman both claimed the sweetest natures, (for being cats) and were best buddies til the striped tabby got sick with a slow-wasting disease, and I found him still warm one morning, having gone on to glory while attempting to claw the couch. (My animals mean more then the condition of my couch). I am down to four cats now: The patriarch, Batman; the bully, Tramp, a throw-a-way someone discarded in my neighborhood---handsome, huge, white with stripes, a bob of a stump tail, liquid eyes, disarming face, and a pushy manner. Well, Jazzy was before him--Jazzmine a Siamese I bought in the parking lot of Wal Mart in Port Orchard: "A small ear problem," the guy said. (So I'm thinking, ok, ear mites). Not. A fungal condition which vets wanted $1,000 to laser out. Until Doc Dowling, who cut it out the old fashioned way with a knife and only charged me $150. And me at my wits end battling the messy junk, when such a reasonable vet was just down the road. Amen. Finally, there is Tri-Pod Charlie, a three legged cat we I rescued from folks who couldn't care for him properly. He is, as you'd suspect, a rather small cat with a big attitude. He rules. When I first got him, Tramp accidentally bumped him, and poor Tramp has been "responsible" for Charlie's every "ill" since then. So now the Old Man has come to the twilight of his years, though Goblin lived to be 22. Batman wants on my lap; he wants under the covers; he wants near me. And this morning when he slid hardly noticed onto my lap, I did notice him: I noticed his proud head , his white whiskers, his dimmed eyes, and his loud purr that told the world he still had it. It is winter in Tennessee. This wasn't the little cat I rescued so long ago. This wasn't the kid, the buddy, the boycat who was everyone's friend. At this moment he reminded me of the majestic lion, the proud lion, the mighty King of the Jungle......the Lion in Winter.