Finky, Binky, Stinky and Martin
It sounds like a law firm but it's actually the names of the cats we've owned over the last twenty-five years. They each had very different personalities and little quirks. Martin was a loving and affectionate cat, Stinky was clumsy and often hit his little head running around under tables and chairs. Binky was a little scaredy cat that wouldn't come near me, but had been my wife's little reading buddy for several years.
The quirkiest of them all was our last cat Finky. Originally he was named Buddy, since as a little Tabby kitten he took to scrambling up my pants leg and sitting on my shoulder like a Pirate's little hairy parrot. Buddy liked that view from up there and he picked me as his master. He came from the shelter with a bad case of Stink eye or some kind of weeping cat eye problem. We would roll him up in a towel and I'd squirt ointment in his eye, an operation he just hated.
It was obvious to everyone right from the start that he was a wild and feral cat. He was very energetic and would swipe at anything that moved which is why our grand daughter had picked him out at the shelter. It became apparent one day that he was too big to scramble up onto my shoulder anymore since he grew in size so quickly, his razor sharp claws hurt as his ever increasing weight would hang off me as he would ascend to his perch on my shoulder. Soon he was a sixteen pound grey striped Tiger and he would nip the tops of my wife's foot whenever she went into the bed room where he was kept during the day to change the sheets on the bed. I would hear her shout "no, no, bad cat!" and I would run down the hall to grab the cat and rescue my wife. When he would hear the boots stamping down the hall he would quickly run around in circles, not knowing which way to run when he would hear me coming. It soon became apparent also that he favored me over my wife to whom he was often jealous and would suddenly appear near her arm resting on the arm of the chair and bat her and run away.
His named changed to Finky at some point as we began to call him since he was a bit badly behaved. He was careful to sharpen his claws so as not to be heard and would search for some toy among our possessions to sneak back to his room and have to himself to play with. On some occasions late at night I would hear him playing with a super ball he stole from our grand-daughter. It would make a "brrrrr" sound late in the night, but we almost never could find it since he would hide it from us. He liked little bric-a-brac figures. If they had eyes all the better to satisfy his hunting instinct.
He learned to talk, sort of, after a fashion as well. He would learn to mimic my wife's voice to perfection, when we would come home and he would say "hello" back to us with the same inflection and pitch my wife used. He learned that if he could say it well enough we would let him out to roam in the house. Soon he learned to say and express all kinds of things. The more pitiful he could yowl like a child could get him let out. My wife would run to door and tell him he was a poor little cat. He would express happiness as well and say "rup", juts the way my wife would say "yup"! Especially when he got let out of his room or got chicken for dinner instead of Tuna. My wife would ask if he wanted to come out and he would reply in a sad little voice "mout".
Most nights we had a little routine where I would grab him or bend down to let him ride on my shoulder to say goodnight to Carol. Many nights I'd hold him like a child and sing little children's songs to him. My favorite to sing to him was "Come Little Rabbit".
Help me, Help me the Rabbit said.
Or the Hunter will shoot me dead.
So come little Rabbit come with me. (I'd hold out this last syllable and the Cat would sigh with impatience here.)
Happy we will be.
Sometimes I'd make stuff up like the "I'm gunna eat you little Kitty" a song I modified from a characters singing on the British Comedy "Red Dwarf". I'd tell him" it's the Deep Six for you Finky", then I'd grab him by his tail and belly and heave him into his back room for the night.
He often slept on my chest while I read a book, but he only let my wife pet him for just a couple of pets after five years without hissing. When I would come home from work at night I'd tell my wife "I'm home darlin" and both Carol and the Cat would say "Hi" in unison at the same time with the same inflection and pitch. Carol and I would say together, "not you" and he would reply with a sad little "ohhh".
So after eight and a half years he had what the Vet called a little Cat heart attack. We took him in and there didn't seem to be much hope, he passed away that night after we brought him home. He was a wild little spirit and we loved him in spite of the occasional scratch he gave us. I would jokingly tell my wife they have little brains the size of Peach Pits. I must say though that after having had the previous Cat Binky die in my arms. I'm convinced now more than ever that they have little spirits and to the best of their ability think thoughts, and have emotions and in turn deserve compassion and kindness from us.