Friday, May 31, 2013

On the Completion of Edison's First Trip Around the Sun

Toward the end of last July, the two most awesome cats in the world came into my life.  I adopted two kittens, both of them Siamese/tiger mixes, from the parents of a good friend who needed to place them in a good home.  At only eight and four weeks old, respectively, when they arrived in Ruttville, Edison and Amadeus were so tiny the could share a standard-sized cat carrier with room to spare.

They earned their names immediately: Edison proved to be the thinker, the more inventive of the two, and remains so now.  It's fascinating to watch him as he observes, learns, and figures things out, from how to best position himself for sneak attacks upon his younger brother to how to pry open the cupboard door and find the packet of cat treats hidden within.  Amadeus was from the start the more vocal cat, mewing out melodies as he explored his new digs, and even now chirps and yowls and sings happily on a regular basis.

I call them brothers, even though they are not from the same litter.  In fact, Edison's first year on the planet began very roughly.  You can see in early pictures of him evidence of a nasty wound on the top of his head, which was part of the reason he needed a new home.  Edison was an orphan, and my friend's folks owned the cat who was Amadeus' mother.  Since she had just recently had the litter that included Amadeus, they took Edison in hoping the mother cat would adopt him as part of her new brood.  Unfortunately, in cat development, especially at such an early stage, four weeks of difference in age is apparently an unbridgeable gap.  Not only did the mother reject Edison, but she saw him as a threat to her kittens and attacked him.

I was finally ready for a new pet, having had to put down a wonderful Siamese named Napoleon a few years earlier due to kidney failure.  My friend posted Edison's picture on Facebook and I immediately shot her a message saying I'd be happy to give him a home.  When I spoke with her mother to make the arrangements for cat delivery, her mother asked if I'd be interested in a second kitten as well, and sent me Amadeus' picture.  I was immediately sold - but more on his tale in about four weeks...

Edison is mostly Siamese, but over the past year as he has grown, his coloring has darkened and clear tiger-stripe markings have become evident.  He still has the darker ears, nose, tail, and feet of a Siamese, but as you can see in his then and now pictures, there are times when he appears facially to have the markings of white Bengal tiger.  His Siamese side means his personality is somewhat aloof, but he is also the self-appointed guardian of the household and will immediately come over to greet - and inspect - anyone who comes through the door.  Early on, he taught himself to play fetch, either with a wadded up ball of paper or with a small stuffed mouse which he often carries around with him when it's not carefully hidden out of paw's reach under the sofa; at times I'll be sitting at the computer writing and will feel a paw at my ankle, and there will be Edison, having brought me that mouse or a paper ball he hid somewhere, and look at me as if to say, "OK, it's time to play. What are you waiting for? Throw it!" And lose himself in the joy of chasing and bringing back his prize for as much as an hour.

That tiny ball of fluff who could share a cat carrier with his brother is one year old today.  He's now grown to almost twelve pounds, and is quite the regal feline, but he can sure make me laugh when he momentarily forgets himself and lets the kitten still in him come to the surface.  Is it coincidence that I have not had nearly so many battles with my personal demons which I've discussed on this blog in the past since Edison and Amadeus have been in my world?  I think not.

So, for a kitten who, in his first 8 weeks on the planet had been orphaned, attacked, and had been moved to three different homes, Edison has turned out to be one cool cat.  Happy Birthday, my Friend.  I'm glad your third home turned out to be the charm!