Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Pretty Cookie

We got our cat Smokey, a black dude with an attitude, a torn ear, and saber toothed tiger fangs in 1997. He was kept primarily as an indoor cat for a very long time. I used to hear him carrying on, vocalizing at least once a day when a big peaches and cream female cat would appear in our yard, on the other side of our window.

Smoke would occasionally slip out of doors and disappear for varying periods of time and God knows where he went or what he did. I would wander the streets at 2 AM looking for him and fear the worst. He had been run over; he had been catnapped and was now going to be used for witchcraft type sacrifices; he was caught by the Animal Police and sent to the pound. By 3 AM, Smokey would be yowling in the space outside our bedroom, annoyed as hell that he had no way back in his home.

The big female cat appeared outside our window about the same time every day. She was a beautiful creature, but so dirty and fearful. I started taking her a bowl of kibble and some water out right before I expected her. I named her Cookie. She ate and drank with gusto every day, while Smokey watched her with equal measures of love and lust. She was something, that Cookie!

We continued this pattern for about a year. One time, during a storm, I tricked her to coming into the garage where I had placed her food, and closed her in. She screamed like she was dying and I didn't have the heart to keep her there. (My idea had been to trap her, take her and get her neutered, and maybe, just maybe make her our cat.) Cookie was not going to be a house cat. I had to let her be free, a beautiful blond warrior princess.

One day she showed up with a bloody eye. Oh I hated to see her hurt! Smokey looked worried as well. She ate her food and rubbed herself languorously against the glass door next to our kitchen. Smoke would yowl and rub himself along that window in a mirror of her movements.

Smokey became more adept at running out of the house when I would open the garage door, or go out after the mail. He would disappear into the cellar at our neighbors house every evening. Cookie began to arrive less frequently for food. Then she stopped coming at all. My next door neighbor found Cookie dead in his cellar and called me. He knew Cookie had been close to Smoke for years. I think she was sick for a long time, and Smokey went to be with her in that cellar until she died. Sad and beautiful, their love affair was over.

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