FROM THE BY SARAH NIGBOR The cat who never left When you become a parent, nothing belongs to you anymore, and I’m not just talking about your time. That’s also true with our cat, Snuggles. He is …
BY SARAH NIGBOR
The cat who never left
When you become a parent, nothing belongs to you anymore, and I’m not just talking about your time. That’s also true with our cat, Snuggles. He is a tiny fur child with fuzzy pants. He rules the roost and has everyone wrapped around his furry paw.
My husband and oldest stepson never wanted to get a cat. They had never had a cat; Ethan was adamant that cats are stand-offish, hoity toity and no fun. My husband felt much the same way. I couldn’t change their minds. The three other kids wanted to get a cat, but I didn’t push. After all, we had our beloved Ramona, a Lab/Beagle mix, who was already a handful.
However, fate had different ideas. Almost a year ago, Shane and Ethan had just gotten home from hunting and had the four-wheeler out. I was not home. As they tell it, a small, scruffy, long-haired cat walked directly up the driveway, no fear, hopped up on the fourwheeler, curled up and started purring. The cat was thin and obviously malnourished with matted fur. But he walked right up to them like he owned the place and never left.
We made a small house for him outside, because I didn’t know what diseases he might be carrying. We fed him and played with him outside. It didn’t take long for him to win over everyone, even the two cat skeptics. I came home one day and Shane had sneaked the cat into the house; they were both asleep in the recliner.
We took the cat to the vet and got him the required shots and neutered him. At Christmas, Snuggles Nigbor officially moved into the house and immediately took over. We think he is part Ragamuffin or Rag Doll cat, because he has many of their characteristics.
He follows me everywhere. No matter what I’m doing or what room I’m in, he follows me, chirping and trilling the whole time, and lays down in that room. He reminds me of a toddler. When I go into the bathroom and shut the door, I usually see a fuzzy paw batting underneath the door. I’m not sure if he’s waving at me to remind me to let him in, or if he thinks he can break down the door. If the door isn’t latched, he uses his head and one paw to push it open and trots in with an accusing look, like ‘Hey, you forgot me,’ before promptly curling up on the rug or inspecting the shower.
He also likes to scare me. One morning, I was brushing my teeth, minding my own business. I heard the shower curtain rustle. No one else was home. I silently berated myself for not checking the shower for an axe murderer when I went into the bathroom. You just never know. I slowly turned around and seeing nothing, resumed my dutiful brushing. Suddenly, the cat leaps out with a squall, bats at my feet and runs out the door. I thought cats didn’t like water, but curiosity got the cat stuck in the shower curtain. I thought my heart was going to stop.
He also knows when it’s bedtime. He runs ahead of me, leaps onto the bed and situates himself on my pillow. I move him politely, but when I wake up, he’s literally curled around my head. Sometimes I wake up because he’s licking my eyelids and face. Gross, but cute. When my husband won’t wake up to his alarm, the cat bats his face with his little paws. I can’t even make this stuff up.
Once he’s woken us up for the morning, he trots out to his food dish, which is placed conveniently near the coffee pot (on the floor, of course). He meows at me until I fill his water bowl with fresh, cold water. He waits while I blearily get the coffee pot ready, then trots next to me as I wake up the four kids, who love getting up for school (ha!) However, when they see him chirping near their beds, they get up much easier than when I’m sans kitty.
When I work from home, Snuggles usually curls up at my feet. When he decides I need a break, he climbs on the desk (although he’s not supposed to) and lays on my computer. Once I give him the appropriate attention, he resumes napping at my feet or terrorizing the birds outside. He is a mighty warrior against the enemy Blue Jays perched on the feeder.
When we return home from work or school, he’s waiting at the window that looks out over our driveway. Once he’s sure we’re getting out of the car, he disappears and greets us at the front door with a string of chirps and meows. I wish I knew what he was saying.
All I know is, I’m grateful that this little cat chose us for his home. As I type this, he is curled up with Shane watching football, who has changed his mind about this very special feline friend.