Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Jun 05, 2014
Riley, a rambunctious domestic shorthair black-and-white kitten, nestled right into my heart from his first night at home, when, at only six weeks old, he caught an uninvited lizard in my bedroom. Strong hunting instincts for sure. That was only the beginning of his ‘trophy’ displays and over the course of four years I have received, with his love, a barely-breathing bird, a few dismembered mice and a once-alive rat. Sigh. It took me a while to get used to his way of showing affection as I once considered myself to be a dog person exclusively, but I have now been well-trained by him, and he has also mellowed with age (and with neutering). Though he still hunts and enjoys the outdoors, he no longer brings his prizes inside - he just leaves them on the steps.
My ‘rapscallion-prince’ is an intelligent, emotionally intuitive and very independent companion who has the affection of the neighborhood children and adults alike. He is often seen perched on the top of someone’s car or on a ledge, surveying his kingdom while idly grooming himself. I enjoy watching his mathematical calculations of height and distance as he prepares for a crazy daredevil leap and feel very blessed when this sometimes stand-offish creature follows me protectively as I leave the apartment for work. I really think he was a dog in a previous life. His sleeping positions are also hilarious and his grooming contortions often have me in stitches. His fascinations with the flushing toilet and the printer are also very endearing. I’ve come to treasure his deep, meaningful stares and the rare face-touch, his purrs and even his ‘comfort-clawing’ of my arm/ belly/ leg. Notwithstanding his ‘complainy’ nature - of the “Where’s my food? Why did you have me outside for so long?” variety - Riley has added richness, humor and depth to my life and has certainly transformed me into a cat (and dog) person.