I recently decided to  submit  one of my stories about  Happy Cat one of the BIG pussy cat loves of my life to the Chicken Soup for the Soul  Pet Lovers  book series and today  sat down to the somewhat challenging task of  paring the original story  I had written about my beloved moggie  some years ago  a story of  several thousand words  to  just 1200 words

Cutting back on words is always a challenge for me as a writer.  At Uni as a mature age student  I once threw over a chance for a higher grade in a subject  by making a deliberate  choice to write 3000 words on the essay topic rather than  300. For that act of rebellion  I was downgraded from  High Distinction to a Credit by a word nazi lecturer  or so I thought of her  but  clearly at the time it was more important to me to write the essay I wanted to write than to squeeze my big thoughts into the generic soulless pap I felt my essay would represent once I  had cut out what felt like to me so many essential and indispensible big ideas .

So here today  years later I found myself  having to  edit and write  to meet the  1200 word limit  but with much less soul angst and proud that I manged to keep the essence of the story as one I wanted to tell .   I am feeling pretty happy with it  and the fact that I managed to  bring it together at 1198 words  Yeh !! I share the new shortened version  here with readers

                                                                   Pic courtesy of Sharon Cloward  Pinterest (looks like Happy Cat in his youth)   

                                                                      Happy Cat  

                                                                                    Written by Wendy Buss

There was no doubt  but that Happy Cat  chose to come and  live with me .Must be 20 years ago now  I was living in a very small Blue Mountains township  and this  tiny  very handsome little marmalade kitten  with beautiful golden swirls in his coat seemed to just suddenly appear at my back patio one day  and tentatively  stepped over the threshold and invited himself in  to my home  .I watched startled and amused at he poked around the  house  sniffing  curiously and checking out  every corner as if he was checking the place out to see if he might deem it a suitable abode for himself

I must admit I was smitten from the get go  but at first didn’t consider keeping him and was reluctant to feed him .I knew he must have  come from a house just down the road .It was a house full of teenage boys  .I had never actually seen any  full grown adults going to and from the place .The boys seemed to have a menagerie of  cats and dogs there and  there was often loud music and partying and  I got the impression the kids were smoking a whole lot of weed  .I figured Happy Cat just liked the  peaceful quieter vibe up at my place better

I stuck to my guns about not feeding him  until one wild and stormy  afternoon  I heard a commotion out on the front verandah  and  when I  looked out the window  to see what was happening my heart   melted as  this tiny little creature  was  out there  in the wind and rain mewing piteously  and hurling himself at the front door  demanding to be let in .So that was it .Clearly he’d made up his mind (and mine)  and Happy Cat came to stay for good  .

I never did have a conversation with the boys down the road about it I guess I should have gone and  had a chat with them  to see if they minded me  adopting their kitty   but I was already firmly of the opinion cats decided for themselves where they prefer to be and by then don’t think  could have  born it if they  had said NO I couldn’t adopt him. I did one day however find  an empty cat food can tossed over the fence in to my yard  and imagined it must be them  letting me know  they knew Happy Cat was staying with  me  but thankfully  they never came to contest the matter or try to claim him back.

I felt honoured that such a visual beautiful and striking and sociable creature had chosen me as a buddy . Life in the mountains could be a bit lonely  especially in the cold winters where the grey clouds hung low  obliterating the sun and strong winds  howled around the house sometimes for weeks at a time .I was also  journeying through the grief of a breakup from a man I had really loved so in a way Happy Cat became the man in my life  and  would take to draping himself across my chest with his chin resting on my shoulder  as if to absorb the pain from my heart . We were a regular Darby and Joan  and he brought me great comfort and joy

I have to say though he did have the most presumptuous and atrocious of manners.Whenever I went shopping and set the brown grocery bags down to fish out my key from my purse to let myself in to the house .Happy cat would by way of greeting   pounce into the bags burrowing down through the groceries sending everything flying  to find  tasty treats  he naturally presumed I would have brought for him 

In the freezing cold  weather I used to enjoy a hot water bottle  and when I went to bed  I would find Happy Cat curled up on the covers directly over the hot water bottle hogging it  so that I could barely get my toes on it underneath his weight .

One time a friend came to visit and as I took her on a tour of the house I decided to take a few photos  as we went from room to room  .When I looked back at the pictures later I couldn’t believe it but there was Happy Cat who  must have been following us around  without my realizing it . There he was posing larger than life front and centre  in every single  photo.

One time I read Barbara  Marciniaks Pleiadian  Teachings book called  “Earth”  .Barbara a world famous Pleiadian channeller  expressed a theory that  Cats  are divine creature  really little monitors beaming back information  about the human condition to their home planet which was ruled over by superior catlike beings  .

I loved the  intriguing possibility  of this .”Ah” I said to Happy Cat when I read this  “so thats what you are up to “.Astonishingly   after I said this to him  I noticed it must have gone to his head and Happy Cat always seemed to position himself above me  e.g.  always sitting high up on the backs of chairs or window ledges looking down on me   as if to say “Ah finally you recognise my  Superior  status”

However when I came into the kitchen one day to find him sitting on the breakfast table lapping at  the milk in my bowl of muesli  I  lost my cool  with him   and told him ‘Enough is Enough’  I put him down on the floor and gave him a very stern talking to  pointing out to him that he had crossed the line and his manners were really beyond the pale .In my sternest voice I  pointed out who it was  paying the rent and buying the tucker  and  however it was on his planet  here on planet earth he was living in my home and  he needed to pull his head in and mind his manners

We travelled  on together  for several years and through several house moves .Eventually  Happy Cat got sick though  with kidney problems . He was  no longer the happy sociable audacious creature he had once been . He was getting thinner and thinner and gradually went off his food and  spent much of the time up on the roof out of the reach of human company . I regret to this day that  I was so preoccupied with other stuff going on in my life   didn’t realize earlier how sick my furry friend  actually was. When I finally got him to the vets  the vet checked   him out and told me  he was seriously ill with kidney problems  and  there was little he could do and it was better to let him go . Broken hearted I left my puss cat with the vet to do what he needed to do to end his suffering.

All these years later  I  feel like I can still tune in to Happy cats presence and I  break in to a huge smile and shake my head in disbelief as I recall his audacious and outrageous antics . Happy Cat without a doubt has been one of the BIG  loves of my life .  

 

Wendy Buss

                          

       

       

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