My Life as the Top Cat
Picture of Dusty the "Top Cat"
Lizards to chase!
How I Became the Top Cat...
Once upon a time when I was a little one, my name was Shadow.
I liked the little girl that I used to follow. She picked me up and played with me a lot. In fact, I guess that is why they started to call me Shadow. Their house had some big people in it and some other kids, but I liked the girl the best.
The only problem was that they had so many other cats that I just couldn't get my rest. If my girl was not playing with me, the other cats kept pestering me.
My people used to let all of us go in and out of the house. Being outside was fun!
There were little bugs to chase and lizards to try and catch. I was learning all kinds of new words every day listening to my people and the other cats.
Things called Birds
What my people called birds were kind of noisy beings and they seemed always to be just out of my reach. Oh how I would have loved to catch one of them and teach them not to bother me so much as they swooped up and down in the air right above me. I wondered why they could go through the air like that and I could not? Didn't seem fair!
Some of the birds seemed to sing nice songs and others just made loud noises that bothered my ears. I couldn't make the same kind of noises, but I made good ones of my own.
The noise my people liked best was when I would let my throat rumble. They called it purring. Funny name.......purring. Oh well, I purred when I was happy. I purred most when my girl was rubbing my tummy..........but only when I felt like it. If I did not want to be bothered, I would try and find a quiet spot to hide.
Trouble was, there were no good spots that were not already taken. As I told you, there were a lot of other cats in that house. So many times I would go outside to get away for a while.
Things called squirrels...
Outside there were these noisy and bushy creatures that my people called squirrels. They could climb trees like I was learning how to do, but they were much faster than I was. Sometimes a couple of those squirrels would go round and round the tree trunk chasing each other.
It looked like so much fun.
But when I would start to join them they always looked at me with those little black and shiny eyes and jump into higher branches and then leap into other trees and get far away from me. I only wanted to play with them, but they would never let me get close enough to try.
I heard my people talking about some not very nice neighbors on our street that would make cats disappear. That kind of scared me. Disappear.....what did that mean? I didn't know. But one day one of the other cats who was called Tom went outside and never came back that night. So I learned what disappear meant. And then my people got very angry. It frightened me.
So one day when I was being pestered beyond belief in the house, I wanted to get away for a while but I did not want to disappear like Tom had. I knew that our street was a little dangerous so I kept walking.
I jumped some fences and got across some streets and discovered a great place where a nice lady kept some food and water outside. I liked the food and decided to stay a while. Three moons passed and I was having the time of my life!
Each day and night was so much fun exploring the new neighborhood that after a while I no longer thought about my girl and the other people. Those bothersome cats were not there to tease me and I liked my new lady who really seemed to like me.
Only trouble was, she never let me in to explore the inside of her house. But things seemed OK otherwise. I had great big bushes next to the house to sleep under and I could nap quietly anytime that I wanted without being disturbed.
The lady that fed me and petted me and talked nicely to me called me Sweetie. I rather liked that name and I appreciated the food she kept giving me. I also liked the fact that I was getting bigger and stronger and learning more each day.
I was really getting to know what was in each fenced yard on that cul-de-sac street. Some backyards had big furry animals called dogs. I didn't like them much! They would bark at me and chase me. But I always had the last laugh. I could jump higher or scramble to the top of the fence and look down on them as they kept jumping around and barking nasty words to me. I would give them one final swish of my tail and jump down into a quieter yard knowing that I had more freedom than did they who had to remain behind that fence. Yipee for me! I was enjoying my new life of freedom and had no cares. I pretty well did exactly as I wanted to do each and every day.
One night as I was walking along one of my fences, I heard a loud noise and something hit me. Wow.......did it ever hurt! I looked around and couldn't see anything except a little hole that I licked and licked until it finally started to feel better. I decided that I would not go back and visit that yard again. Maybe those were other bad people trying to make me disappear?
One day a big moving van came and took all of my lady's things out of her house and then left. She left too in her car! I kept thinking that she would probably come back because she had forgotten to feed me and fill my water dish! I kept waiting and waiting...
I was really getting hungry. I knew that I had to do something. I didn't want to go back to my other house, because I might "disappear" and I knew that I couldn't get to sleep as much as I liked to do or be the center of attention.
So.......one day I decided to check out this house over on the next street. Actually I went into their back yard and just looked in their glass patio door. The people inside looked nice and they opened the door and I decided to walk in and check them out.
Yummy Canned Tuna!
By now, I had learned many words and I knew that they were saying how pretty I was and they were also wondering if I was hungry. Wow! How could they tell I was hungry? I was starving!
They did not have what they called cat food, but they opened a can of tuna. It was the best tuna that I had ever tasted! I ate that whole can of tuna. They let me stay in the house for a while and I showed them how much I really liked what they had done. I purred and purred and purred for them. I knew that they would like that.
That night they made me go back outside, but I was waiting at the door looking into the house the next morning. Those good people let me back in and had even found some cat food for me. Wonderful people! I decided that I would stay and do my very best to make them happy.
My cat name is now Dusty
My life gets even better!
I knew that my new people made up signs and posted them in the neighborhood saying that they had found a cat. I don't know why they did that or why they called vet offices and animal shelters saying that they had found me. I had found them! I not only found them, but I had chosen them to share their home with me.
Fortunately no one called them back.
They decided to call me Dusty. That was OK with me. Shadow and Sweetie were good names, but I decided that Dusty was also fine.
After I convinced my new people to let me move in with them and make them happy, they took me to their vet to be checked. That man told them that I had already been neutered and they all seemed to agree that it was a good and responsible thing to do. I really did not know what they were talking about, but if it made them happy, it made me happy too. My new people told that man that they always had all their pets spayed or neutered.
Some new words for me to learn even if I did not totally understand what they meant. All I knew is that I didn't feel any different, so if I was neutered, it was OK with me!
Vet...I call a Bad Man
Bad Man Visit!
I was having a lot of fun with my new people until one day I got sick.
They took me back to their vet, a very bad man who poked and prodded me and shot pictures of me. He told them that he had discovered a bullet in me on one of those photos, but that he would leave it there as it would not harm me. I was not sure what a bullet was, but I did not want to be poked anymore, so I was glad to hear that he would leave it. He said that I had had that bullet in me for some time.
That vet had a big needle and pushed something he called antibiotics into me and told my people that I would start to feel better.
I did not like that vet very much and every so often my people would have that man examine me. I hated that! With the exception of having to see that bad man every so often and when my people tried to cut my toenails (which I also did not like) life was good.
Dusty the cat
Cat photos of Dusty
I REALLY Get Sick!
I don't know what happened, but one time I felt so bad that I crawled under a bush and just wanted to be left alone. I heard my people calling and calling my name, but I just did not care. Their voices seemed to be so far away and faint.
Finally they discovered me under that bush and took me back to that bad man who said that I had to stay with him. I didn't even care as I felt so very sick. He gave me an I.V. with fluid in it and told my people that I almost died. I wondered if that was the same thing as disappearing? He also gave me other medicine and did lots of testing and kept me for several days for observation. I kept an eye on him too when he was in the room, so I really don't know who was doing most of the looking.....him or me.
I heard that my people had to spend a lot of money to get me back and that bad man told them that I had probably gotten into some poison......something like snail bait which can be deadly to cats. He also told them that they should try and keep me inside the house if possible.
But the surprise of all to my people was when that bad man found what he called a microchip in me! He couldn't read it so had my people take me to other places where he thought they could read that microchip.
I did not know what they meant, but I was just happy to be back with my people again.
My people took me to three different vet offices (more bad people!) to be able to read my microchip. Apparently they cannot all read the chips as they are not what they called "standardized."
Guess what happened? By the time someone could read the microchip, they found the people who had called me Shadow! And those people told my people that they wanted me back!
My people who I knew loved me by then as I had been working on them and purring my best over the course of 3 moons, said "OK" but that if it did not work out, they would take me back.
They also told the other people that they had just spent $359 that day to the bad man at the vet's office to get me back, and that they had spent a total of around $1,000 in the last 3 months since they had been taking care of me because I had gotten sick so often.
Those original people who had so many cats, told my people they would try and pay them back but it would take a while. I guess money really means something to people. It did not mean a thing to me.
What mattered most to me was the freedom to do what I wanted; getting enough food and water, playing and sleeping and feeling loved. I really don't know why people care so much about little things called coins and paper.
I was still not feeling well when they put me back in my first home. The girl that I had liked when I was little had so many other cats that she did not play with me as much.....not that I felt like playing! It was amazing how much bigger she had gotten!
All I wanted to do was get out of there and find my people who called me Dusty. I had trained them so well, and I did not want to have to start all over again.......especially with so many other cats around! So as soon as I felt a little better, I started planning my escape.
One day about two weeks later, I once again found my people and my home. They called my first people who said that it appeared I was no longer happy there and it would be OK with them for me to stay with the people I liked best.
Purr and Purr and Purr...........I just couldn't purr enough! I was happy to stay inside with my people and one day when I felt up to my old self, I asked to go outside.
What happened? Had my people become deaf? Was I not making myself clear? They would not let me go back outside!!!
My new pal Peaches
I am now an inside cat!
My people would no longer let me go outside to play so when another cat's people moved and left her behind..........she was getting very hungry also!..........my people brought her inside.
They called her Peaches.
I decided that Peaches could stay and we started having some fun together.
Dusty and Peaches (cats)
I am the Boss...the Top Cat!
I had put some time and effort into training my people and now I had to show Peaches the ropes. She was a fast learner and I got her trained to also do my bidding.
When I walk up to her and put my head down she knows to lick my head.
When I meow to her, she generally knows to come and start chasing me. We do a lot of that at night when our people are trying to sleep.
We had become good buddies and then another major event happened!
My people started putting their things in boxes and moving things out of the house. What was happening?
It was kind of fun with all the boxes and paper lying about and things to explore when all of this was going on, but soon there was less and less in the house. Were they going to leave us behind and would we be hungry again?
Not this time!
Our good people finally put us in a carrying case and put us in the car and drove to another house. There were all of our things........our beds..........our chairs.......our toys........and it was just put into new arrangements in rooms that we had fun exploring.
But there was also something else that was new.
A dog seemed to be living there! An older lady that my female person called "Mother" had brought him over to see us a few times in our older house. They called him Skippy. It looked like we were all going to be living together.
So now my work was really cut out for me!
Dog and cats share home.
My work as Top Cat continues...
It is a responsibility that I take seriously!
Being the boss took a little extra effort when teaching the dog, Skippy, to obey me. I had to arch my back and hiss and look my most ferocious when dealing with him in the beginning. He wanted to chase and play with me and I wanted no part of that.
Skippy does some of that with Peaches and she does not seem to mind. If she gets tired of that game she just hops up on some furniture that is higher than Skippy so she can get away from him and rest.
But since I am the top cat and the boss, I did not want to have to be bothered by doing that. After a few times of some really loud and serious hissing and meowing, Skippy seemed to realize that I was not joking and now he gives me some good amount of space when walking around me.
In fact, I can walk right into Skippy's room and drink out of his water dish, and he just looks at me. If Peaches tries to do that, he chases her out of the room. So you can tell, he knows who is boss around here!
I do so much work around here!
Sometimes I wonder if I get the credit that is due?
I know that my people really do like me because I see them laughing and smiling when I strike certain poses.
My work on their desk is non-stop. I continually try and get them to keep their desk neater when I keep scattering papers. When I think that they have worked long enough, I get right in front of that screen they call a computer and demand that they pet me. I think that petting me is good for them and I do my best to have them do it many times a day.
They still will not let me go outside, but this new house has lots of windows and between all of my jobs (and my many naps) I seem to stay busy.
So you can see that I have come a long way and have gone through a number of name changes to get to where I am today. Being the Top Cat is the life I have chosen for myself and I am proud to be called Dusty by my people who I have trained well enough to do most of my bidding.
It is an endless task, but one that I know I do really well.
Dusty the "Top Cat"
© 2009 Peggy Woods
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