Feb 8

I have a cat. He’s a sixteen pound orange tabby whose name is Sousi. It’s a misspelling of the French word souci, which means a worry or concern. His first vet office spelled it with an “s” so we just went with it. I guess that’s what you get when you’re trying to be clever by choosing a word in a foreign language few Americans speak. Of course, most people hear Susie, figuring its a female cat or, like my mother, have trouble pronouncing it at all and call him Sushi. I usually call him SUESS! or Sousibous or schnooks. Or sometimes it’s damnit cat or stupid cat depending on how precariously I’m about to trip over him.

I found him in an abandoned building on a piece of property I once owned. Actually, the night I spotted him, there were two kittens. My husband at the time said he had seen a cat prowling around, so we left the kittens assuming the momma cat would come back. And she did, but only for one. After a few days, I couldn’t stand it. I was too worried about him left alone in the winter, so I brought him home. (Hence his name.) He was barely bigger than my hand and I had to nurse him with a doll-sized bottle. He was the fluffiest, cutest little kitten. Then he grew. Imagine the most rambunctious two year old toddler you know and put him in cat form. That’s what he was like. He loved to hide in doorways or under footstools and jump out as we passed by, grabbing on to ankles and feet and scaring the crap out of us. He’d run through the house sounding like a little horse, climbing up whatever he could. Yet at night, he’d sneak into my bedroom with only the briefest of sounds and spring onto my bed like a ninja cat, usually directly on top of me. Then he’d chase my moving feet under the covers. It would surprise me every time.

These days, he’s become fat and much lazier. He’s close to 13 years old, so it’s no shock that he’d much rather cuddle than scare us with his antics. He loves to hug and if I put my finger in his paw, I swear he holds it, curling his little toes around as far as he can. I used to sing You are My Sunshine while dancing with him and when he’d gaze at me lovingly, I’d tell him that he was so handsome, if I were a cat, I’d marry him. It makes me laugh to even type that. Funny the things we say and do with our pets. Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty lately of complaining about how needy he is…he insists on being on me every chance he can. He’s not happy simply curled up near me, he wants to be as close to my face as possible. And some nights, I’m just too busy to be that attentive to him. But like most pets, he keeps coming back. Tonight when I got home, he was at the door waiting for me as usual. He followed me every where I went and sat in my lap as soon as I sat. Everyone should have someone or something in their lives that adores them that much. Today I’m thankful for my Sousi and his consistent reminder that I’m loved.

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