A good friend recently wrote about her cats and their role in the family. It made me think of Yoda (aka Yodie, Dumb cat, Your cat). Karl frequently asks “what good is this cat?” Well, it is hard to say. She accompanied us in the RV this summer, she really was no problem. She sleeps, eats, sheds, and looks out the windows.
Yoda is a Manx and a granddaughter of a mother cat that blessed us with her presence and multiple litters of kittens. Because of Yoda’s total lack of a tail and missing the last vertebra of her spine her gait was unsteady and I was concerned she would have more problems. Despite all this, I decided to keep her. At the same time we were packing up to leave for the summer, I gathered up my 8 oz 6 week old kitten, a box, cat sand, food, and sundries and loaded her into the truck. Did I mention I did not take time to share any of this with Karl, until we were on the road? You see, Karl has never had anything but working animals that earned their keep and lived outside. Cats belong in barns. I knew this was going to be a hard sell. Because we were almost to Wichita Falls when the cat’s presence came up there wasn’t much discussion. I said “Maybe I can find her a home in Meeker, I’ll work it out, don’t worry”. We arrived in Meeker the next afternoon, I fixed her a bed in the bathroom and we unpacked and settled in for the night. The next morning the outside temperatures were in the 30s and it was in the low 50s in the house. Yodie was happy to see us but cold and looking for a warm place. It didn’t take her long to climb up on Karl’s stocking clad feet, curl up into a tight ball, and make herself at home. “Give this *#@+^ thing some warm milk and give me something to wrap her in, she is freezing!” I knew she wouldn’t be going anywhere.
She proved not to be a mouser. Seems that somewhere this summer, we picked up a visitor that took up residence in a storage area in the back of the trailer. I discovered its presence one morning when I picked up my book bag from the corner and behind it was a small mound of cat food. Yoda sleeps on her blanket, on the couch, approximately 12 inches above this area. I would have liked to watch this little guy traipse back and forth transporting its stash. Do you suppose she slept through it? Did she just idly watch him? Did they casually visit during his repeated trips? Where is her natural hunting instinct? I was amazed. I thought she would be a great hunter, I’ve watched her stalk the birds outside and repeatedly bolt into the glass window.
She is not sociable. She likes Karl if his lap is warm and he has long pants on, and first thing in the morning. She likes me if Karl is not around to hold her, when she is hungry, and occasionally first thing in the morning. She finds the male grandchildren intolerable, and the girls can occasionally be semi-tolerated. She does not rub or approach strangers and there will only be Yoda sightings if she is in a deep sleep when they arrive or if they stay and extended time and she is forced out for a visit to her box or a snack.
She seldom entertains us. As she gets older she no longer finds it necessary to chase her ball, play hide and seek, roll in catnip, or respond to calling unless you have her snack ready. Even then it sometimes requires waving it under her nose for her to come eat.
So why is she allowed to stay when she sleeps on our furniture, requires special snacks of pumpkin and mackerel, needs a cat box, is ugly to our guests, and will saunter out the door anytime it doesn’t completely close? How does she earn her keep? She breaks up the monotony of everyday living. We have something to talk about, even if it is how lazy she is. She seems happy to just sit on our warm laps. Her early morning purr is worth getting out of bed for. She is great fun to watch when she does decide she can play. She occasionally needs us (to clean her cat box, fill her dish, and open the closet door). I think we both envy her sometimes, her long naps in the sun, her total disinterest in just about anything, and how she seems completely without guilt. She is just Yodie and that is OK with us.