Okay, he really has both eyes but one came out badly at the end of a fight he can’t even tell us about. It is squinched into a permanent wink (or is it a stare?), may let a little light in but nothing much else. It makes him look like a rogue or a villain or even a just plain ugly cat.
We had two cats and we were happy. Those two cats, Kramer and Bertha, are very hospitable cats apparently. They must have hung a sign in feline language out at the opening in our reed hedge because often strange cats come to dine at the banquet laid out in our carport. Though they came to eat, they wanted no relationship with us. Approaching the orange cat or the black one or the calico caused an immediate dash to safety, through the hedge or under the bushes.
Then came this cat with a squinched up eye, fur the color of old dishrags. At first he, too, was stand offish, would hide behind a tree if anyone looked at him. But he never really left. He was hungry for belonging even more than he was hungry for food. He had the loudest meow of any cat I’ve known. Maybe he was pleading with us to recognize he wasn’t as ugly as he looked. Our great-grandson, Kaison, got down on his knees with the cat and coaxed him to receive belly rubs. He declared this was his cat and named him Dingy. I’m not sure the name came because of his dingy coat color or just because Kaison liked the sound of Dingy.
Anyway, Dingy stayed. Kaison declared ownership and that was it.
Like all cats who wander into one’s yard through the hedge or past the mailbox, Dingy can’t tell us what his life was like before. He can’t tell us how he got that squinched up eye. He can’t tell us whether someone moved away and left him or whether he never really had a home. But he has learned to trust us in this his new life. And that’s what is important.
He has felt kind hands stroking his dingy fur and found friendship with two other felines. He enjoys visiting on the porch, especially lying on soft cushions. He likes to sun peacefully under the edge of an azalea bush and has an incredibly funny way of rolling over and over like a circus dog. He doesn’t seem to feel dingy in color or in spirit any longer. Rather, I believe he thinks he’s quite beautiful. As he is loved he’s learned how to love. As he has been treated as a beautiful cat, he has become a beautiful cat.
To borrow an idea from Forest Gump with minor changes, I think Dingy lives by the phrase “Beauty is as beauty does.”
2 responses to “Dingy, A One-Eyed Cat”
Wonderful story! Love you.
I already responded, at least I think I did. Please let me know, the ”Original Aunt B!” (Oooo Weee!! I Am In For It Now!!)