I found my semi-long haired tortoise-shell cat long ago in the woods behind my house. She was meowing loudly. As is true for any abandoned animal it has taken me years to figure out what her past life was like. She still gives me clues every day.
Essie loves to be on my lap while I whistle. Some people sing or talk to themselves, but I’m a happy whistler, which I discovered this cat loves. How odd that Essie’s past obviously involved living with another whistler. She won’t respond to a whistled command like a dog. After all, a cat has to keep its dignity and spirit of independence. But if I whistle while reading the paper, she will jump into my lap and purr and let me rub my fingers against her whiskers.
She hates to be picked up. Either she had a bad experience as a kitten or simply was never picked up. Hmmm. What could that mean?
Recently I threw out my mom’s sofa from the 1960’s that I inherited (a tale for another day). It was so dirty and falling apart that even the animals wouldn’t sleep on it. I replaced the sofa with an oversized rocker and sat down in the sun room to relax. Essie awoke from her nap, ran over to my lap, purring loudly, and snuggled up for another nap. She is ordinarily the type of kitty that visits for a moment of affection and leaves. That’s why I call her my twenty-five cent cat, because she is so stingy with her lap time. “Time’s up. See ya tomorrow!” Apparently this rocker brought back a comforting memory for her. My guess is she would sit in someone’s lap for a long time and was often combed at the same time, something she that also makes her purr.
Based on Essie’s behaviors so far, her story may be that she was an indoor-only pet for someone who was either in a wheelchair or someone who was a senior citizen, sat for a long time and had difficulty speaking, thus the whistling. There was also a dog in her former house and Essie was the Queen Bee over that dog, as she is at my house.
Unfortunately, though Essie was clearly pampered and loved, her previous owner didn’t microchip her when she was spayed. That would have been the one thing that would have reunited her with her previous owners. Somewhere someone mourned her departure, someone who was a happy person, a whistler, spent hours sitting in a chair stroking Essie’s whiskers, combed her long fur and fed her only canned fish cat food. In my mind I picture firemen/paramedics coming to the home to help this older person and Essie ran out the door. This is only my premonition, which sometimes can be dead on and sometimes is way off. I may never know for sure but one thing I do know. My strange cat still has secrets to tell me about her past.