Who is this mysterious being who shares my life? She is both affectionate and aloof, pushing her head under my hand to be touched one moment and twitching her tail if I pet her later on. Does she feel frustrated that I am so slow to understand her?
She likes to sit on a low glass table and tease the dogs, ears back, slapping her paw at the nearest canine as the innocent dog walks by. Only Border Collie Tommie does not approve of the game and runs from the table in a huff. I laugh at the interaction between the thirteen pound cat and the forty pound dogs and appreciate their level of trust.
Now Essie follows me around more, less independent, letting me share more of her spirit. She wants to join the pack of dogs too, lying on the floor next to them. Does she have a desire to belong, a need for more companionship as she gets closer to becoming a senior cat? In fact, at times I will remove my zippered jersey and leave it on the counter for her to lie on, surrounded by the warmth of my body and my scent. She will sleep on it for hours, perfectly content.
I wonder why she loves certain foods one week and not the next week? Does she know how that drives me crazy? I wonder why she runs to see some of my friends and puts her ears back when others arrive? It does not matter if the friends are dog people or cat people. She knows instantly who she likes, a wise cat.
Essie is pitiful one moment and confident the next. She is an actress worthy of Hollywood distinction. She is an enigma, wild and indignant one moment and tame and sweet the next, an opportunist but a being that always leaves me with the distinct impression that she is descended from royalty, above the dogs and me. We are lucky to be her minions.
“A harmless necessary cat,” William Shakespeare