He doesn't sleep in my bed like my first love did. I do wait for a while anticipating his warm body jump in and snuggle next to mine. Sometimes he comes by and we exchange affection in the late hours of the night. When he feels he is satisfied, he leaves – just as he came – unceremoniously, unannounced. I've grown to accept that it's no use waiting, so I close my eyes and try to fall asleep – remembering him.
First loves are special. Even long after they leave us, we betray our present ones with the remembrance of our first touch, first wet kiss, first eye contact. My heart contracts momentarily with the memory of his beautiful face. He was my boy. We were a team – he and I. He never left me alone – when I wrote, when I cooked, when I read. He met me at the door every time I came home, after seeing me off at the bay window when I went away. Like a marble lion at the gate, he stood guard when I took my bath, and then the evenings were ours. But then, he knew me as his only mother since he was barely six months old when I held him in my arms. We weathered the biggest storm of our life together in 2008 – we had a history. He adjusted well to becoming a single-parent cat.
I don’t know about OSman. By the time fate introduced us, he was already two years plus. His history is a mystery to me. No one else knows much either – except that he was found wandering, cold and hungry on Christmas eve, around a convenience store. I'm sure he was frightened too; who wouldn't be? No one claimed him during three weeks he stayed in the shelter, not very sociable.
“Rather quiet and introverted, he prefers hiding under chairs or on top of cabinets,” I was told. So he really needed to get out of there and find a home. And I, to love again. The invisible hand which had led my first love to me, pointed me to OSman this time.
I believe in serendipity. My life is full of serendipitous tales. I am still learning, however, not to project my experiences, and expect similar behavior from OSman. He was a frightened feline who jumped up when I turned on the music, or punched in the alarm code at night – which used to be a cue for ninni time, and I'd always be greeted at the bedroom door.
He was terrified of the pet cage in which he had to travel four times already since entering my life and having to visit a cat doctor. Exposing him to two different antibiotics didn't make me too popular with him either. He is very bright, though, as he knows the exact time to approach me to gain favors, for which he had started leaving surprises around the house. I was assured that he was house trained.
I took that as a sign to consult our cat doctor who suggested that he may have gastrointestinal problems. We tried three special formulas but didn’t care for any. OSman appeared to be more of a McDonald's burgers and chips sort of a fellow, whose bad diet had caused intestinal inflammation and incontinence. I was bemused by the irony of it. . . here I had a preteen in human years, whom I was trying to toilet train all over!
My baby finally accepted one last kind of food available, and he may have to take Prednisone. He has been eating normally for a year now, and sleeping a lot wherever he fancies. He learned his coordinates, memorized sounds and interpreted his new home's history through his little nose. He has picked a corner in the hall outside my room where he prefers to sleep. Not with me but within my vision. He has a comfortable cushion. After he gets his belly rubbed and his ears scratched to his satisfaction, he jumps off my bed and saunters to his own, on his cat paws.
As the little jingle on his collar bids me goodnight, I bid him the same.
"Night, night, OSman. Sleep well my darling. Mommy loves you."
Füsun Atalay ~ Copyright © Will of my Own - 2012