As you may be aware, my first cat was a Maine Coon named Monkeyface. He was my muse, confidant and closest friend. About ten years ago, I wrote this story of his life as he might have told it.
It wasn’t until years later that I decided to write a book called Harry the Wonder Cat. Of course, nothing would do but to have the main feline character based on my wonderful Monkeyface. Now, the book has become a series and Monkeyface still has the starring role.
I’ve heard people say that cats have nine lives. I’m here to tell you about the two of mine. While totally different, they were both equally filled with love and excitement. Of course, both of my moms quickly learned who was the boss.
Let me start from the beginning. It was on a warm spring day in May that I took my first breath in this world. My three siblings and I found ourselves in front of my first mom’s house. We all met Momma Kym, who took us into her big house. Mom then put us in a small portable room, which she called a cooler. It had a soft pad on the floor, which was warm and kept us nice and cozy. The room was a little cramped for the four of us but it would do. Soon Momma Kym moved two of my siblings out of the cooler My sister and I had a lot more room to stretch out comfortably .
Because the room was portable, Momma Kym took us everywhere she went. She fed us every three hours and took care of our every need. This went on for days. We came to think of the cooler as our own little paradise. Mom never tired of fulfilling our demands. She was my first servant and as such, Momma Kym was excellent. She served with such tenderness, love and loyalty; I knew I had chosen well.
One day Mom took us from our sanctuary. Our world now enlarged a hundred-fold and was quite scary at first. We were put in with other kittens and they were huge and some were even bullies. I quickly acquired an attitude of self-importance. This was easy to do. Why, I already had Momma Kym and the rest of the humans around wrapped around my little paw. Soon the others came to fear, respect, and yes, even idolize me. Life was indeed good!
This adoration went on for two years, growing stronger everyday. No one could resist my charm. Everybody who came into my life loved me, especially Momma Kym. She often showed her devotion by picking me up and kissing me all over while telling me that I was her baby. Imagine me a baby! Humph!! This degraded me beyond belief, especially in front of the others, so I would turn my head and push her away. But, I’ll tell you a secret…I really did love it.
My favorite sport was hunting. I especially liked to hunt gophers. I don’t know, there was something about the chase. It was thrilling beyond compare. My comrades said that I was the best hunter, with the exception of one time, when the gopher actually had the audacity to bite me before I had the chance to hunt him down. Talk about embarrassing. I came home to Momma Kym with my tail between my legs. Off to the vet we went. They fixed me up, good as new. Soon, I was out searching for more excitement.
One day, while I was out chasing gophers, I wandered off too far. When I realized that my prey had escaped my grasp, I noticed that I was in a field across the street from home. I sauntered back toward the road and heard a car coming. Well, I wasn’t afraid of a car. After all, I could run faster than any of the other cats. I can surely outrun a car. I took a running start. Faster and faster I went. Catching a glimpse of the car speeding toward me, I picked up the pace, almost making it to the other side in time. Almost. I felt the pain in my hind leg and I realized the huge mechanical monster had hit me. I could not make it home, so I limped to safety under a tree where Momma Kym found me. We made another trip to the vet.
Then one day, a lady came into the office. She called my name and I cuddled up on her lap, purring happily. I heard Mom call her Denise. Mom then asked me if I would like to go home with her. Well, this lady seemed nice enough and knew how to scratch behind my ears. I liked that. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad.
So began my second life. Now this life was different than my first. Momma Denise didn’t let me out to hunt. There were too many cars around my new home. Instead, she bought me toy mice to pounce on and balls to chase. This was almost as fun as the real thing. I learned to love my new life as much as I did my old. I was the only cat in the house, which made me king with no competition. Momma Denise gave me as much love and attention as Momma Kym. In my first life, I was the “Big Cheese”, idolized and adored by all of the other cats, mascot of the office and the love of Momma Kym’s life.
Whereas with Momma Denise, I wormed my way into her heart with my silly antics the very first day. She also picked me up and made over me just like Momma Kym used to do, but the boys weren’t around to make fun of me, so it was okay.
Every morning I woke Momma Denise up by softly trilling (a Maine Coon’s way of meowing) as I jumped on the bed. I would lay on her head and knead her hair. If that didn’t wake her, I would add a nibble on her earlobe. If she wasn’t awake by then, I would go to Plan B, pouncing on her feet usually did the trick. I would act as if they were gophers and get some hunting practice. By the time I was through, Momma Denise was awake and laughing. Then I could expect breakfast.
I loved it when Mom went away for a long time because she would always bring some new toy home to me. Once, after being away for one whole day, she brought three balls and a new mouse to play with. These were all very nice, but my favorite toy was the paper bag that she dropped on the floor especially for me. I loved to explore it, climbing into it and hiding from Mom. Then I would spring out at her feet as she walked by the bag. She laughed and I would rub up against her, showing her that I really loved her.
Momma Denise often called me her muse. I don’t know what that means, but I do know that I inspire her. You see, she is a writer. Mom works all hours on her stories. While she sits pounding away at the keyboard, I would sit in the windowsill, watching her. Every time she hits a hard spot, Mom would stop, lean back and stare at me. Then came the time to do my job. I would jump from my throne and into her lap so that she could pet me. Then she would get going again, telling me that I had inspired her, once again.
In both of my lives, I was lucky. While other cats had people who owned them, I had moms whom served me, and served me well. It’s a cat’s world after all.