That gorgeous creature - all neatly tucked in, fast asleep and impossibly cute - is our cat, Reggie...or, as my dear wife decided to fully name him when we adopted him, Reginald Iolanthe Morrison. (I had nothing - I repeat, nothing - to do with that.) Yesterday, this utter bundle of joy celebrated the fifth anniversary of his birth. Or rather we did, as he was obviously utterly oblivious to the fact, presumably unaware of the concept of time.
Anyway, I digress. Reggie is a fantastic critter, unlike any beastie of his species I've ever owned or encountered. His personality continues to surprise and delight, four years and forty-two weeks since we brought him home as a tiny kitten, all shaking with fear as we took over his full-time care from his foster mother. Since then it's been wonderful companionship all the way, with a great deal of hilarity as, a small piece at a time, his personality has unfolded.
As I type, Reggie is sprawled across the heat register in my office, totally blocking any heat from coming my way, as he warms his belly and bum. It's just one of hundreds of his lovely ways, some of which I will, in no particular order, recount here...
He loves to be brushed, so his coat is silky and immaculate at all times. When we brush him, he'll allow his flanks, bib, legs and back to be done, before throwing himself over so his belly can be brushed. He behaves in a similar way when we return home from work, greeting us at the front door before literally falling over, stretching and exposing his belly for rubs. "Drop, thud and roll," Susan calls that.
Our 'Mini House Lion' plays fetch. Yes, just like a dog. His favourite fetch games involve his two favourite ball toys, the Bonker Ball and the 'Wee Ball,' which started life as a pompom on one of Susan's woollen gloves. We stand in the kitchen and hurl one of these things into the bedroom, above the bed, uttering a loud, shrill "Boooooo" as we do so, whereupon he tears after it, leaping onto the bed, skidding right across it with his back legs splayed, before disappearing over the other side. Seconds later, he'll appear proudly in the kitchen with said Bonker or Wee Ball, and drop it at my or Susan's feet so we can do it again.
He loves to scrap feistily with me in what I trust is a spirited attempt to usurp me as the Alpha Male of the pride. This occurs mainly when on the rug in the lounge, or the runner in the dining room - areas we have consequently designated as Reggie's 'Combat Zones.' With regular occurrence and utter predictability, he'll roll about all cute in these zones, luring me in to rub his belly, then he'll grab hold of my arm and clasp on with his front legs, sink his teeth into my hand (which rarely hurts) and kick away at my arm with his back feet. 'Kangaroo Boy' is what we've called this ultimately futile and unfailingly amusing act of aggression. When he thinks he's got the upper hand, I'll scoop him up and cuddle him, whereupon he looks so guilty and apologetic. I just love that he does all this, as he retains a degree of wildness.
It's easy to directly communicate with Reggie. I'll look at him intently, blinking slowly in an exaggerated manner, and he blinks right back. It should come as no great surprise that we have called this lovely feature of his behaviour 'Blinkies.' (Classic middle-aged, childless cat nuts - that's us!)
He gets 'Full Moon Fever' and can detect storms on the way long before we do. When there's a full moon or inclement weather coming in, he'll run around the house at top speed, a grey blur, howling something like a wolf in cat form, which is just another example of his frequent dog-like personality traits.
He does so many beautiful, side-splitting things, with new tricks on a regular basis, that I could write about our nutty, gorgeous feline companion all day long. At this five-year mark we look back at how he has grown and developed, just as a parent would and does with their children, and we feel so lucky that the little blighter entered our world. He brings us so much happiness, fuzz therapy whenever we need it (which is often), and whatever the feline interpretation of unconditional love is (especially, as a Mama's Boy, for Susan). He's such a little star.
Happy Birthday, Reginald Iolanthe Morrison!