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Willow will be a year old next month. She and I have a bond that I treasure. Each of our pets is unique and loved for special qualities, as is true for most pet owners. But some come along that spark something deep inside and a soul connection is made that weakens only a little when they die.
Willow, for those of you who have been following her at Writerquake, still has her little beard (can be detected in final scene) and she continues to sleep on my pillow. Not all night long like a little baby in my arms as she did for months, but I always wake up in the morning with her right there. If we have to get up earlier than usual, as I did most mornings this week because I scheduled my physical with lab work at the hospital and my eye exam over the past days, Willow comes to me in early afternoon with a cranky sort of little cry. She then runs to the bedroom and jumps up on the bed trying to entice me to fold down the covers for us both to cuddle into together. Friday I actually gave in and had an hour nap with her sleeping next to my cheek.
Where she is a soft comfort to me she is hell for bugs. No matter if they are crawling across the floor or coasting in flight, she finds their destination nanoseconds before they arrive .....and the bell tolls. She may be the quickest hunter who ever lived with me. I'm already full of pity for these delicate lazy flies that are around this area come Fall. They seem almost baby-like in their search for warmth inside as the days and nights turn cold and rainy. You'll think me peculiar, but each year there are one or two that we've allowed to hang around until they leave through an open door or die either by cat or other peril. They don't fly around much, don't buzz, and don't challenge us at the dinner table. Actually, these little flies seem to have the best of manners and what they care most about is sleeping lazily on a wall all the live long day. Amazingly, they know when they are being greeted and stay put for a cheery word sent in their direction. It's just been an honor to know some of them for a short time in years past. With Willow around, I'll make every attempt to move them along outside where they may be cold but will also be safer to live another flyday.
Being an inside cat, Willow takes exercise seriously. Our cats indoors have a carpeted cat climbing set and stairs to chase one another up and down. I play with them nearly daily, providing an interactive workout with the world's simplest and cats' favorite toy, Cat Dancer. A former hair stylist of mine, who used to cut my hair in the sassiest bob after coloring it what I'd describe as mocha-burgundy, recommended the Cat Dancer and it's been the toy we keep on hand constantly. It's so Zen, this loop of thin spring steel wire and rolled cardboard at the end, and it suits each cat to a tee.
But Willow is a young cat and she creates additional challenges for herself. Such as in this video clip where she scaled the kitchen counter to perch atop the spice cabinet. It's a good thing that Mike installed it to withstand an earthquake. I've noticed that she appreciates both a journey and a goal achieved, usually stopping to meditate on her conquest - be it a large brown spider or a French country wood cabinet with a ceramic cow for silent company.