Bobcat’s napping on the bed and I can hear his soft snoring coming from the bedroom. I’ve got KXFM, Laguna’s radio station playing Americana music in the kitchen, but it still seems too quiet; too still. Not that I like loudness or lots of activity around me while I’m writing, but something about having two cats, one in the bedroom, one on my desk, both snoozing while I write brought just the right amount of background reverberations. And their complementing personalities, Lexington, protective and pensive, Bobcat, silly and boyish was the perfect energy mix to fill these four walls—and my heart with harmony, and lots of love.
It’s been over thirty years since I’ve had only one cat in my household. Ever since that day in the late ‘80s, when I let an abandon sweet-faced kitty into my apartment who instantly connected with my one cat, Frankie, I learned that one is not enough, and have had two or three cats ever since (read bios of Frankie, Punkie, Lexington, Topper and Bella under “Meet the Family”).
I’m not the only one adapting to Lexington’s absence. Bobcat outwardly grieved for several weeks, not leaving the bed except to take care of basic needs, but even his appetite waned for several days.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I was making dinner and heard funny thumping noises in the living room, where I found Bobcat whacking Lexington’s green tennis ball across the floor. When he caught me spying on his newfound sports activity, he ran over to me and rubbed up against my legs over and over. I knelt down and gave him long, tight hug. The sound of his purring rivaled the rumble of a Harley Davidson. Bobcat had never even gone near Lexington’s tennis ball before, which made witnessing his first move towards healing extra special.
Bobcat has been in my life for about six years. During this time, I believe he understood my tight connection with Lexington and respectfully, didn’t interfere. But now, in our solitude together, Bobcat and I are bonding. We are building a routine. He now signals to me when he wants to play ball. I toss the tennis ball—he chases it and when that gets boring (after about one minute) then he attacks the toy mice that I’ve scattered around the floor. After I crawl into bed at night, he stands guard at the front door, watching for ominous critters (a giant raccoon recently sauntered up the walkway) and when he feels that all is well in the neighborhood, he hops onto the bed and curls up close to me. When Lexington slept next to me, Bobcat would usually sleep closer to the foot of the bed. I love seeing his personality blossom as his grief lifts, and as he adapts to his new roll in the household as the protector, and I cherish our deepening relationship.
I’m certain that someday, I’ll expand my feline family again.
But for now, Bobcat and I are content to have just each other.