This is young Shady
The Teenage Cat
The strange past of my precious cat Shady remains an unsolved mystery. This handsome gray cat has a history and emotional baggage, in fact. This is what I know: Although keeping company with wild cats, Shady was born inside someone’s home, but not mine. How do I know that? Detective work: Shady is not afraid of humans like feral cats, yet he was homeless, a feline vagabond. Different from untamed cats, Shady preferred mooching and panhandling to dumpster diving or serious hunting. Conclusion: Shady was borne in captivity, thrust from his home, perhaps when his owners moved, abandoned to fend for himself, unprepared for the task ahead of him.
This is how Shady became my cat:
Slim Shady saw my son Ray out late one night. Shady, unarmed but boisterous, approached Ray demanding food. Ray felt akin to Shady and raided the refrigerator for his new friend. Shady returned another time during the daylight. This time I was home. Ray introduced me to Shady. I opened a can of roast beef hash for him. Slim Shady devoured it and left without saying a word. Not even “thank mew”.
We didn’t see Shady again for a few months. The next time Shady came around, he truly was SLIM Shady.
Okay, here’s the part you won’t believe. The night before Shady returned, I had a weird dream. In the dream I came home from somewhere to find my cream colored cat with orange fringe (I didn’t have a cat) thirsting, starving, half dead, unable to move! In the dream I knew it was my fault! (Again, I didn’t own a cat, certainly not a cream colored cat with orange fringe!)
When Shady showed up that morning demanding to be fed, the dream was still fresh in my mind. Why would I let a dream sway my thinking? I cannot explain. Shady was blessed with a new home because I ate too much spicy food, or whatever might have caused that dream. Truthfully, I may have decided to keep Shady anyway, but since I had the distressing dream, I will never know for sure.
Emotional baggage: Shady has been very slow to trust people. There must be a reason. Perhaps he was mistreated. We know he was abandoned, but, as a cat, Shady may not possess the reasoning ability to figure that out and be moody about it. We think someone may have been mean to Shady in his early childhood. Shady learned to be polite, but he showed little affection for anyone, not even proper regard for the woman that fed him (me).
This has finally changed. Shady trusts me at last.