Confessions of a Florentine Pet Sitter

Rocky Road

Bag Lady

I put a few groceries in the fridge, then turned back to the Fred Meyer bags to retrieve more and was startled to see only one eye peering out from the dark bag. Bessie had hunkered down in the bag and was waiting to pounce on me. At that moment she captured my heart.

Condo Ecstasy

Bessie loves bags, boxes and both of her cat condos. Many times, thinking she was lost, I finally found her draped over the edge of her tiny a-framed sheepskin-lined condo in front of the atrium window, soaking up the heat of the rare Oregon sun, her head hanging loosely as if detached connected only by a thread of sinew. More often than not I found her sprawled lazily in her outdoor condo, a mesh construction that hung on the wall in her catio and had six levels for the cats to explore. Once inside the condo, she caressed the edge of the round openings with her head and body, leaving her scent. She morphed into a sexpot, a roiling ecstasy of cat love, a melt-down into pliable putty.

Bessie, kicking and rolling with the fuzzy

In my care, her other catnip was the “fuzzy” (a soft velour-type throw blanket) I placed on the bed. She raced down the hall, leapt on the bed, rolled and twirled in circles, working herself to a frenzy until she had the fuzzy bunched into a clump held with all four paws; a clump with ridges and canyons, twists and turns like a human brain which she kicked with her hind legs in cat-like fury. She had been declawed by her previous owners, so I had no worries she was going to shred  my fuzzies.  I wouldn’t have cared; it was way too much fun watching her play.

As I stretched out like a lazy cat on the tan leather sofa watching television one evening, enjoying my ice-cream, suddenly I heard the thunderous beat of paws on the tile floor. Bessie was tearing down the hall from the bedroom. She jumped up on the table at the end of the sofa behind my head, then to the armrest and from there she leapfrogged over my head on to my chest where I was holding a big bowl of Rocky Road ice-cream. Splat! One hind foot landed in my bowl splattering chocolate all over my gold fuzzy.

Bessie continued running at warp speed, shaking her paws free of chocolate and marshmallow as she flew from one surface to another. At first startled, then amused, I worried about the stains on the white carpet and leather sofa, but not enough to stop eating my ice-cream. I continued eating from the bowl Bessie had just stepped in as she continued her speedy get-away on her rocky road through the house. She never touched the ground. She never looked back.

It is possible Bessie had just been using her litter box before she raced down the hall and jumped into my bowl, but I confess, I kept on eating. That’s how badly I wanted that bowl of Rocky Road. It was the last serving and I did not want to waste one bit of it! If Bessie had just come from her box, then so be it!

© 2010 Susan Canavarro. All Rights Reserved, Images and text.

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