Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Like Skimbleshanks, he's the cat who couldn't be ignored

With a nod to e.e. cummings, Nickie is our Skimble. He is definitely the cat we can't ignore!

Nick is the living link to my old farm, the first Calamity Acres, where I lived in bliss with my former pets, dogs, cats, and chickens. This farm went out of my possession, and I married late in life and very unexpectedly, and Nicholas is the link between the two lives.

When I got him, he was a tiny kitten who had been crying under a car for three days. Each day someone told me about him, and on the third day, I asked to get him. He became one of my first pets at the old place. He bonded very well when I got another kitten a few months later, and the two boys grew up side by side. Nick did not like to use the cat box, and always went to the door to go out no matter what the weather outside. Even in the dead of winter, he chose to go outside, and in the morning when I went out to the end of the long drive to get the paper, there would come Nick from a crevice in the bank across the road, ready for breakfast. When I moved into a tiny apartment for a year, I had to make Sophie's Choice, and decide which cat to keep, as I was only allowed one. I chose Nick, and gave my Elmo to a person I didn't know, and have always wondered what has happened to him. Nick went from apartment to Texas when I married, thence to Illinois, and finally back to Kansas. He went through a year in a rental before we bought this sweet place. Then, because of a boisterous dog, he disappeared for three months outside and I thought he was gone, though I kept hearing him in my dreams, and talking to him. I finally asked my husband if he thought I was losing my mind, because I kept hearing my cat.

One day, someone tapped at the window as I sat at the computer, and there was Nick in my husband's arms. I cried out, stunned, and brought him in through the window. It happened a second time, and when we got him back, we kept him in for over a year. Now he is free to go in and out, and loves it. We love to watch him in his beloved outdoors, running around in the pasture, and chasing the red dog across the yard. He often accompanies me on my rounds, and sleeps at my feet in bed. He's the Nickster, the Link.

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