Bowling with pussycats

The terrible drought is doing strange things to certain fruit trees. My nephew Anthony has a huge crop of peaches but not a single cherry. The wild plums in my yard have grown to twice their normal size and are good to eat for a change. They litter the ground and so Mojo and I find their other use. At 11 months, his energy is inexhaustible, chasing after the plums I pitch along the ground and almost, not quite, mouthing them, having once made that mistake. We do this for 10 minutes and then we go upstairs. Going downstairs for him is awe beholding. I figure he touches one step in five as he plummets headfirst.

Upstairs, I toss his catnip mouse, and he catches in midair. My adult cat, Loaner, watches all this calmly. I begin grooming her. When I move to Mojo with the brush he makes himself looong until suddenly I have twice the cat to work on. Any day now he will begin turning over to get his other side done.

The squirt learns quickly by watching what I do with Loaner. The big cat and I have rituals, one of which involves sharing water. I dip my fingers in my glass and offer them to her. He had to see this only once before lapping up his offering.

At night when I fill their chow bowl I say to her, “Show me the way” and she wheels about and heads for the bedroom where we keep water and chow away from the raccoons. Mojo now joins in and we have a procession.

The kid has promise.


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