My little tiger.
I can’t believe this has happened to me. I may have just found The One.
Actually, it would be more correct to say that he had found me. We were walking in companionable silence when at the corner of my eye, I saw a small black creature, from less than 50 metres away, running towards us. I said running, but to be more accurate, I should say ‘tumbling’. My first reaction was to shriek, because I thought the little creature was a rat. But the sounds that eventually escaped from my mouth was of a gasp and a whispered curse.
It was a kitten, legs unsteady, yet eyes round and determined. He ran past the old folks sitting at the void deck towards us, as if it was the most natural thing to do. It was as if he was waiting in a dark corner for us to walk by, so he could tumble towards us in that heartwrenching manner. I watched as he came, down a pavement step, across a narrow road, then up another pavement step that was even taller than he was. He seduced me with his soft mews and beseeching eyes, and later, as he fell asleep in the inner crook of my elbow, I decided that I could never leave him.
Now I watch him sleep on my lap, paws clasped and ears twitching, I smile as I recall the little frenzy that has possessed my household the moment he stepped into my room. Oh how my heart sang when he learned to use the litter tray, and how proud I was when he knew he had to climb into his bed when he was tired, and how indulgently, I sat beside him in approval as he found his way up onto my bed. How my own mother, with her infamous intolerance for house pets, stood at my doorway watching him play for fifteen minutes, and my heart swelled with pride.
It all came to a climax this morning, when he climbed onto me at 0330hrs and bit me awake. I let him roam all over my bed because like last night, I hoped he would get tired and fall sleep beside me. What he did do however, was pee on my duvet.
Tired and angry, I stripped my duvet of its cover and realised that even my duvet was soaked through. I turned to glare at him, but how could I? He was sitting in the middle of my room, looking so sorry and fragile, that I just had to scoop him up and press him against me and apologize for raising my voice at him. He was only a baby and it was only an accident, no?
For him, I’ll endure the shorter sleeping hours, the earful I’ll get from my mother for the soiled linen, the wonderful job of having to clean up after him and the fact that my life has now forever changed from the moment I laid eyes on him. For him, I will.
Just to hear him purr as he sleeps in my arms.