Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Boy and His...CAT?!?

We've all heard about the deep connection between a boy and his dog...or a girl and her horse...but a boy and his cat?  Some people may chuckle...but Patrick and Eli definitely have this in common. Patrick had  a very special connection with his cat, Spike, who was reasonably sure he was her overgrown kitten. They shared a bed from the time he was 7 until a few days before her death about 3 years ago. That's 23 years, y'all. She was faithful, loyal, loving, kind, and a wonderful friend. Words that people usually do reserve for dogs...but were not strong enough to describe her loving devotion. She was also an amazing alarm clock, and we never worried about sleeping late (or sleeping in!) when Spike was there...she would gently (and persistently) paw Patrick's face to wake him up if he was more than a few minutes late in the morning.  I was a definite "dog" person...and even a "horse" person...but it was witnessing Spike's undying, unconditional love for Patrick that turned me into a "cat" person, too.

It's no secret in this house that Eli absolutely bonded with our cats LONG before he was ready to accept Patrick and I as his parents.  Sadie followed (and still follows) him everywhere he goes in the house. Woody was Eli's first playmate...Eli used to try desperately to get Woody to play with him, and used to go so far as to stack toys on the poor kitty.  Woody now sleeps with Eli most of the time, and looks to Eli as a protector when he's scared (in other words, he hides behind Eli when we have company!).

But the most amazing bond has begun between Eli and Z. Z is a big boy...a large gray tabby cat. He was a scrawny "free kitten" at a horse show nearly 7 years ago. Spike wasn't overly thrilled when we brought him home, but she tolerated him enough to let him stay. He's had his share of health concerns, and although extremely gentle and loving at home, does a fantastic imitation of a feral cat whenever ANY vet comes near him.

Z seems to see his role as to protect and amuse Eli, and is almost always nearby. When Eli is outside, Z can be found right near him at all times...either observing him or trying to play with him.  Every outside picture or video I make of Eli either has Z next to Eli, rubbing on Eli, or yowling to be let out of the house to join Eli!  If you look at his "Pledge of Allegiance" video, you can see Z winding his body around Eli. Whatever Eli's interested in, Z seems to show interest in. They've played games of "chase/catch the stick" that go on for 45 minutes or more. Even bathtime isn't left alone...Z often wanders into the bathroom and jumps into the bath tub with Eli (Z also jumps into the shower with me on most mornings!).  Earlier tonight, Z discovered a new trick...splashing Eli with water while Eli tries to brush his teeth. I ran to the bathroom to hear what Patrick and Eli were hollering about...and apparently, Z was very deliberately (and effectively) slinging water across the bathroom...and of course, being a cat, he stopped when he realized I was recording him!

Getting a paw full of water to sling at unsuspecting boy.


Innocently pretending to groom so no one would suspect it was a water-slinging scam.
I love watching these two enjoying each other's company...and hope and pray that they have a long loving friendship.

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