Pussycat Bijou at eight months

When my friend Jenni found him in her backyard, he was six inches long and weighed well under a pound. A week later I took him home, not sure if Mojo, who had gone missing two weeks before, would come back and find someone else in his place. I brought the new kitty to the vet, who glanced at him and said, “You found him just in time.”

Bijou had a bruised foreleg, ulcerated gums, terrible conjunctivitis, and ringworm. Not to mention an army of fleas. And so we began a series of treatments that lasted more than six weeks. I worried my 13-year-old girl Loaner would catch his ringworm and a rash sprang up all over my arms which didn’t take the ring cluster shape but itched horribly. The Internet assured me it was merely an allergic reaction to an “allergen.” I looked at my little allergen and helplessly fed him more treats. We were going either down together or triumph together. I learned to cut up his pill and chase each fragment down with a squirt of water, forcing him to swallow. Eyes, mouth, ointment, baths, we were an industry of a clinic.

Today I admire his shiny sleek black coat and panther-like body. This kitty had to be a recognizable breed and I found it on the Internet. He is a Bombay, a blend of Burmese and American black shorthair. He has the copper eyes mentioned in the article. He is unaware of it all, being more intent on turning over my cup of pens and chewing on my notes. He drops up here four or five times of a morning to cuddle and purr and stomp on the keyboard. His licking of my hands become epic while I kiss his little face. He likes the TV show NatGeo Wild (see photo).

The two kitties are a sight to see together. They are my troops and they know precisely what time I do anything in our daily routines. Hoping to keep Bijou longer than Mojo, I microchipped him and lock him down before dark. He knows what time he has to come in and if he is late, my call “Where is this CAT!” will bring him out of the shrubbery. I know he is ranging farther and farther each day but can’t do anything about it. Keeping him indoors all day and night seems to be a cruelty, against the nature of a cat. I will simply have to take my chances.

One evening he didn’t come at my call, and Loaner went to look for him. Together, we went down to the fence while I called and called. By 9 p.m. I was desolate, expecting a repeat of Mojo. Loaner did not go to her bed but settled on the hall rug and kept watch on the pet door. At 9:30 as I was trying to go to sleep, a body flew over my head and up to the window sill behind my headboard. I sighed. This was to be how it would be.



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