Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 12, 2004
Ziggy’s View Of The World
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 12, 2004 – Even if Ziggy wasn’t my cat, or to be politically correct, if he didn’t live with me, and I just met him by accident – I’d still like him. He has no idea how grateful he should be to me, the person who saved him from certain death. Even if he did know, he wouldn’t care. Ziggy lives life on his own terms.
I know that can be said about cats in general, but this ornery little cuss is a breed apart. He alternates between bouts of extravagant affection and outright hostility. He can be sitting quietly on my lap one minute and the next moment he has attached himself to my thigh with all four paws – claws fully engaged. Perhaps he’s schizophrenic or bi-polar. Thoughts of the “Chuckie ” movies- the evil doll who comes to life to play havoc with the lives of those around him come to mind. Maybe Ziggy is possessed. How would I know?
He has obvious charm – he’s handsome and he exhibits a certain haughtiness that is utterly annoying, yet totally engaging. He knows his name, much a like a dog, and comes whenever I call him. He’s full of affection when he arrives and loves to be picked up, or so I think, but after twelve seconds of the mushy stuff, he’s had enough. His eyes glaze over and his evil alter ego emerges – claws extended – mouth open – ears back – hisses at the ready.
He hates to be held and squirms and snarls until I let him down. Then he sits at my feet – tail twitching angrily and tells me all the reasons why he finds me bothersome. With a final swish of his thick, furry tail he marches out of the room, head held high. A reminder to me that he does not need me at all.
He has a basket in my office and a bed in the den, and he alternates between the two during the day. After a nap, his batteries re-charged, it’s time to bedevil his brother Augie. He went and sat beside Augie’s bed and waited for a reaction. When none was forthcoming because Augie was sound asleep, Ziggy leapt on his head, startling the poor dog into a surprised wakefulness. That was fun. Now it was time to leap on the hallway runner.
Soon it was scrunched up into an unattractive heap. Maybe someone will trip over it (he hopes). A few rounds of staircase followed where he tore up and down the steps in a mad frenzy, for reasons known only to him. Then a good claw sharpening session on the staircase carpet was in order. Now a stretch and a bit of tail swishing. Ziggy marched into my office around noon. He figured it must be time for lunch. He meowed loudly and looked at me with such disdain that I laughed out loud. That annoyed him further and he swatted my ankle.
Ziggy jumped up on the side table in my office to look out the window and check up on life in the lane. Everything must have seemed in order because he turned around abruptly and stared at me until I relented and went down to the kitchen to give him his bickies. That brought a couple of happy purrs and a nose nudge against my leg. He pounded his bowl after he finished but I refused to give him any more food, so he sent his dish skittering across the floor to show his displeasure. He then bounded down the hallway and up the stairs to the den. Time for another nap.
I had to meet clients at twelve-thirty and I was gone for the rest of the afternoon. When I got home, I was greeted at the back door as I always am, by my little gray buddy. Prior resentments had melted away and he was ready for a chin scratch and a pat. He followed me up to my office where he sat on my desk and batted pens and papers to the floor. I shooed him away and he flaunted off down the hall, once again off in search of his brother. It was time for supper.
Ziggy’s whole life revolves around Augie, my home and me. He isn’t allowed outside so he makes the best of his indoor surroundings. He is fond of Augie and grudgingly affectionate with me. That’s what I like about Ziggy the best. There is no pretence with him. I always know right where I stand. He speaks his mind, let’s me know what he wants and when he wants it. He takes each day as it comes and finds great enjoyment in small things.
He enjoys his food, loves a treat, understands the value of napping, gets enough exercise, likes his own company, has two good friends, isn’t shy with strangers, never hangs around people he doesn’t like and spends his days exactly as he wants to. He is completely satisfied with his life, isn’t self-conscious about his appearance or worried about his weight.
He never justifies his behaviour, worries about being right or wrong and isn’t familiar with the concept of guilt. Ziggy really has the world by the tail and he has no intention of letting it go. I think I could learn a thing or two about life from my fine, feline friend. Maybe it’s time I paid attention to “Puddy Wisdom”.