Monday, October 09, 2006

Hobbes

Richard was walking to work one morning in July. It was 5:30, and because it was summer in Alaska, it was light out. Granny can't say the sun was out, because actually the sky was full of clouds and the rain was coming down in bucketfuls. Richard was very glad that he had such good rain gear, and that his boots were waterproof, because the rain was pelting down, and the wind was blowing, and it was altogether a day when you wouldn't want to be caught out without warm, dry clothes. Richard hadn't had breakfast yet, and so he decided he would stop at the store on his way and pick up something to eat. Because he wasn't going directly to work, he was walking down a path that he doesn't usually walk down. He was leaning into the wind, and holding his hands in his pockets, and in general working pretty hard to keep as warm and dry as he could.

Because it was so very early in the morning, Richard didn't see anyone else walking. Only an occasional car passed him as he walked. Because it was raining so hard, Richard didn't even hear any birds singing. And then, he did hear a sound. A small, sad, lonely, frightened sound. "Miu. Miu. Miu." Richard knew that sound. It was the sound of a very young kitten. It was the sound of a very lonely and unhappy kitten. So Richard started looking carefully around -- where was the kitten who was making that tiny little sound? There it was --— huddled against the side of a building, trying to get dry and warm. It was the most bedraggled little cat Richard had ever seen. Wet. Cold. Miserable. Unhappy. Lonely. Scared. Hungry. Tired. All alone. Richard picked up the kitten, and dried it off as best he could, and he could see that this was a very young little cat, all orange stripes, with a very sweet little face. "Well," said Richard, "what are you doing out in the rain all by yourself? Where is your Mama? Where do you belong?" And the little cat said, "Miu." So, Richard knew that the little cat didn't know where its Mama was. It was lost and alone and wet and scared.

"Well," said Richard, "I can't leave you out here. You need to be warm and dry and fed." So Richard tucked the little kitten into his jacket to keep dry and warm. Oh, the kitten loved that! The rain couldn't get on him, and being between Richard's warm chest and jacket made him feel warm as toast, and the sound of Richard's heart beating "lubba, lubba, lubba" was very comforting indeed. The kitten was dry and warm and safe. There was a person holding him. Now, the kitten liked the way things had changed, and he wanted to make sure that Richard knew he liked it, so he purred, and purred, and purred just a loudly as he could. And when the kitten purred, Richard knew that he liked being where he was and Richard also really liked the sound of that purr just for itself.

"So, I hope you know that I can't take you into any stores," said Richard, "I hope you appreciate the fact that I am skipping breakfast in order to rescue you." And the kitten did indeed appreciate it. So, Richard took the kitten to work with him, and when it was late enough that Kathy would be awake, Richard called her and asked her to bring the cat carrier and come and take the kitten home. It was very lucky that Kathy was car sitting for a friend at that time, so she didn't have to take the kitten home in a cab. When Kathy came to get the kitten, she and Richard decided to name it Hobbes, after their very favorite tiger.

Later, Kathy took Hobbes to the vet so he could be fixed and get his shots and to make certain he was healthy. This was very important, because Kathy and Richard already had a cat, Abby, and they didn't want Hobbes to make Abby sick. The vet said that Hobbes might have a disease, and they would have to run another, very expensive test. Until they got the results of that test, Hobbes shouldn't be near Abby. So Richard and Kathy took Hobbes home and kept him in the bathroom with the doors closed. They went into the bathroom often to play with him and love him. When the vet called to say that the test was negative and Hobbes didn't have the disease Kathy let him out of the bathroom and he made friends with Abby. But, to this day, he loves to go into the bathroom whenever Kathy or Richard go in. He thinks it is his special place to be loved.

And today Hobbes is a very big cat indeed. He loves to chase the laser light, and beg for treats, and tease Abby. He likes to sit in the front window and watch the crows on the electric wires. He loves to sit in the side window and watch Kathy work in the garden. He loves to chase string. When Richard is working on his computer, Hobbes loves to sit on his lap and purr and purr and purr. Hobbes wants Richard and Kathy to always know that he is so glad to live with them and be loved by them and he is very grateful not to be out in the rain, all wet and cold and afraid. Oh, it is nice to be dry and warm and loved and safe.

12 comments:

J said...

Ah, Pobbes. He is indeed a wonderful cat. (Anyone reading this that isn't MG, when we went to visit Juneau, and Maya was 3 years old, she pronounced Hobbes "Pobbes") I've never seen a cat that was more dog like, and yet still a cat. He would come running when Maya arrived, he would follow her around, he would let her pile things up on him, and just smile at her and purr. I think Pobbes may have ruined her for all other cats.

Anvilcloud said...

Another nice story.

Cuppa said...

"Oh, it is nice to be dry and warm and loved and safe."

Indeed it is.

Maya's Granny said...

J - and for quite a while after you left, when he would hear me on the stairs he would come running in hopes that Maya was with me, and then be so obviously disappointed that she wasn't. Didn't even hurt my feelings, 'cause I was also disappointed that she wasn't with me.

Cherry said...

Oh how the little "Miu" of a kitten just melts my heart.

My boys also love to come into the bathroom with us. They seem to know we are a captive audience for a few moments and roll about at our feet, asking for thier bellies to be rubbed (they too are very dog-like).

Tracy said...

And now I, a non-cat person, am sitting at my computer with tears welling up in my eyes. It is nice to be warm and dry and loved and safe. Very nice indeed.

Mary Lou said...

What a wonderful story! I sooooo need a kitten! THey are my very favorite things in the whole wide world.

Py Korry said...

Despite his rather snarly exterior, Richard really is a softie.

Jill said...

Animals and people are so lucky to have each other. They give each other so much!!!! To be warm and dry and loved and safe--isn't that what we all crave?

Ginnie said...

Hobbes is a lucky animal, that's for sure. He was in the right place at the right time and it sounds like he's given as much love as he's received.

Ally Bean said...

I took in a little, hungry stray kitten who never tired of showing her appreciation by purring. This story reminds me of her.

I found her by a hospital dumpster where she was living off of scraps. I always thought that someone missed out on a great cat by dumping her there.

Gina Ward said...

Hobbes has touched my heart, and I am forever grateful. Thanks for sharing such a delightful story. Gina