English: pencil and pastel sketches drawn by B...

About two years or so ago these two scraggly stray cats showed up. Now there are 5 outdoor cats that I call neighbor babies and then there’s Serenity, my inside cat. He is my boy. But these two new ones weren’t a part of the group and one of them in particular, an old long-haired gray cat, was always fighting my neighbor babies. I was always chasing him off, throwing things at him, calling him the old devil cat.

One day my landlord said, about the cats, “Yea, the others start the fights as much as he (the gray cat) does.” And a light came on. He wasn’t being mean. He was just trying to get to the food dish. He was hungry.

A day or so later I was sitting outside, one of the neighbor babies setting next to me washing contentedly, his little tummy stuffed, a full bowl of food nearby. And then the old devil cat walked by. His front legs were bloody raw from a fight with who knew what. We have coyotes and I think he tangled with them. He didn’t even look at the food. He already knew he couldn’t have any. He just looked at me and never even slowed down. So I got up, got the dish full of food, took a step towards him, said, “Its ok, you can have some.” I put the bowl down and gently pushed it towards him with my cane. And he had supper.

Every day I got a little closer before I sat the bowl down. I kept the neighbor babies away so he could eat in peace. They’re smart. Once they saw I was feeding him, and his friend, they stopped bothering both of them. Mostly.

A few days into this he would let me rub his head while he chowed down. One day I reached to pet him and I guess I startled him because a second later I was standing there with blood dripping from my hand and his claws, like razors, embedded in my flesh. I still have the scars. He looked at me. I knew he expected retaliation. I didn’t jerk my hand away, I left it there and said, “It doesn’t matter what you do I won’t me mean to you. I’m your friend.” After that? I told him he could be my cat and he was my cat. He wasn’t a stray anymore. He had a home now.

Greyson loved me and I loved Greyson. He would come running like a dog when I called him. I named him Greyson because, well, he was gray and I like the name. Some of the gray looked like old gray and I think he was an older cat. I would pick him up and set him in the chair next to mine. He’d lay there for as long as I stayed outside.

One night I got up around two to go to the bathroom. I almost always look out the window when I do that just to make sure the world is still there I guess. This night was cold and wet, misty but not exactly rain. When I looked out there was Greyson setting in front of the door in the cold and wet. Looking, waiting for me. The next day I took a large plastic container, like a footlocker with a lid, cut a whole in one end and put an old robe of mine in it so that it would smell like me. I also sprinkled it generously with catnip. I picked Greyson up and set him inside of it. He started to back out, it was strange to him. Then he found the catnip. And he rubbed, and he prissed, and he flipped, and he flopped. He looked at me and I could tell he knew that this was his house. After that, in the mornings when I came out to feed everybody, he’d come stretching out of his house after I’d put everybody else’s food out and he’d wait patiently for his bowel. No more fights. He knew I’d fill it until he was full.

Him and his buddy, Floppy, started catting around. They would go missing for a day or two and then show up all battered and bloody. And then one day Greyson didn’t come back anymore. Ever. I think the coyotes got him.

His house is still in the same spot and I keep it clean. Its been well over a year now, but just in case. And I look at my hand a lot, at the scars. I’m so glad for the scars. They remind me of Greyson and how much I love him and how much I know he loved me. And I wonder how Jesus feels when He looks at the scars on His hands.

Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 8:55 pm  Comments Off on Greyson  
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