Saturday, April 04, 2009

The mystery of emotional attachment to animals

Sevvie is our 6 month old moggy. A cat of no fixed pedigree who came into our lives on a whim one fine November day in 2008.

I had originally called him "4711", that being the date we got him, all wobbly back legs and tiny thing of fluff and innocence. Four legs arriving on the 7th of the 11th. Seven being shortened version of said weird name for a cat and "Sevvie" being the normalised version of "seven" which is apparently only cool for StarTrek beauties so far as names go!

So, anyway... he's been re-named "Severus" by my teenage daughter who deems fantasy stories about wizards far more normal than names derived from logical naming tools such as file date numbering systems! We can still call him "Sevvie" as a result in this twist in the furry tale (sic).

Sevvie is ostensibly an "indoors" cat. I had every passionate intention of keeping Sevvie an indoors cat permanently.

Sadly, young Severus is as dodgy in character as the person in said fantasy literature, and increasingly attempted absconding outdoors as often as practicably possible.

Finally, I relented! I let him outside to "go play", after a long and active session of "Bug the Mama, while she sleeps" session in the early hours of this morning.

I'm currently so tired now on my Saturday off, I've hardly done much at all. I was awoken by naughty kitten at 0430 with screen climbing, curtain hopping, Mama pouncing, computer rampaging, and general episodic attempts to chase naughty kitten from bedroom. Then came three hours of scratching at my bedroom door.

Squirting with the water pistol has had limited success. It basically sucks because I STILL have to get up to sevvie to do the actual squirting for scratching at the door of our rented house! Most annoying at 0530 I can tell you!

So, I let Sevvie outside to a world beyond his control and experience. He enjoys himself and meets another cat who surveils Sevvie with all the caution of an older cat patronising an impertinent young upstart!

Suddenly, an hour slipped by and lo and behold, Sevvie is missing. My mood, already beaten into a pulp by lack of restful sleep and abject general "blue'ness" dived! I felt awful.

I sobbed even!

I had wanted to kill this kitten only two hours previous and now that it was missing I was mortified. Not only did I count the cost in dollars recently spent on surgical bills for Sevvie, I hadn't taken into account the impact such a critter makes in one's life thus far.

Sevvie has literally become a member of my immediate family. It seems like "overnight" and yet it's 6 months. It is literally like having a baby in many ways. I felt so responsible for this animal! So heart-sick guilty for the rashness of my responses to its behaviours.

Thankfully, Sevvie was found. He'd gotten lost in the neighbours back yard and had no idea how to find his way home! Such is the way of kids. They get distracted and take no notice of land marks to find their way home again, they're always lost in the eternal moment of new discoveries and new friends to chase.

Sevvie must have realised not long after finding himself in the wrong backyard that he really wasn't as ready for big outside adventures as he'd assumed. No doubt he'll forget all of this learning curve tomorrow and want to go outside again!

The Mama in the mean time has to figure out how to stay one step ahead of early-rising felines if only to prevent the early morning angst that threatens dire consequences on furry black hides.

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