Page Forty-nine

Leo. Lion. Was an orange Persian cat with orange eyes. I’m sorry to say that his story has an awful lot of black stuff in it, but that’s how the poor guy’s life went, and since I’m not too much of a lily-gilder, at least some of that horrible luck will appear here.

He moved into the apartment upstairs from us in, I think, early 1996. The human who owned him, truth be told, never gave much outward indication that she loved him, despite her frequent protests to the contrary. She had had another orange cat with orange eyes (short-haired) before Leo, and I hadn’t seen much attachment there, either. This is my opinion, based on repeated observation, and on the fact that most of the time I had to take care of her cats. If she reads this and wants to argue with me, let the argument begin. I have seen this kind of treatment of animals here in turners trolls more times than I can count.

I would call him Leo the lion when I was teasing him. The joke of the teasing was that Leo was a deeply committed coward, nothing lion-brave or bold about him. Animals are all different, and Leo was afraid of a great many things. So what. For fifty-five years I loved the cowardly ones just as much as I loved the brave.

Leo ended up shut out of his own apartment most of the time in late 1996 and early 97. The reason was a new baby, and I was told that he would try to lie on the baby in the bassinet. Naturally he came downstairs to me for comfort. At first I didn’t let him in, knowing how easily scared he was and knowing that some of my bolder cats might take advantage of that meekness. So he had a loveseat on my porch to sleep on, and food and water. I really did assume that, it being winter and all, his owner would soon take him in.

But that didn’t happen. And he got sick. One morning I found him with frozen nasal discharge all over his face, and I brought him inside and gave him a room to himself. He was in my apartment for a week or more before upstairs even began asking if I’d seen him. I told her I had him, and that he was sick, and that he’d been living on my porch. After much discussion it was decided that, because of the new baby, Leo would now be my cat.

Then came the time later that year, in August, when we had to move back with my parents. My mother at that time was in a bizarre mental state that I didn’t yet know about, but one of the signs that came over the phone was that I couldn’t bring Leo with me. Mum already had a Persian cat of her own, and the two would fight, she said. Not knowing how bad my mother was at that time, I was majorly baffled by the fact that a woman who had had cats all her life would get the loopy notion that two Persian cats would maul each other. It made no sense to me that she should think this. But she kept insisting on the idiocy, so it was decided that Leo would stay in turners with my daughter. Mind you, the turners troll upstairs, who had completely abdicated any responsibility for Leo, felt that seven months after she had given him to me, she had a right to take part in the decision of what would happen with him next. Unmitigated arrogance and nerve… these are things I’ve seen plenty of in turners too.


read…   Mental hell…   Mishibone

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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