|Overnight Guests: Art and Story by Sandra Russell|
by Sandra Russell
My daughter while away at college had an old high school friend come to visit. My daughter was long acquainted with cats, dogs, birds in the house as pets, but the friend was not. The friend was a theatre major and studying to become a playwright. Always super polite and somewhat delicate would never think to cause a scene of any sort as a guest. Anyhow, she was never allowed to keep a pet as a child and knew nothing of cats 'making biscuits' (doing that kneading motion while purring and expecting affectionate petting reward). This friend spent the night on my daughters sofa. But lay there frozen with fear as a cat decided to sleep on her chest and proceeded to do the kneading motion on her staring into her eyes in her face and added front and rear views parading up and down the length of her mummified body in a sort of rhythmic dance.
Next morning my daughter asked her if she slept okay. Her answer was "Eventually; but your 'cat' gave quite a performance last night". My daughter broke down in a belly full of giggles at this...and when she told me about it...so did I. If you knew the girl and how polite and discreet she always is, and so physically somewhat less than robust/rustic? Any thinking she would even touch a cat or pet it or shoo it off would be just hilarious to consider.
I am happy to say that some years later she got her own cat and doted over every spoonful of food it might eat, all matters of veterinary needs, etc. Making late night calls to my daughter for answers to questions like "It's doing this now...what does it mean!?"... I'm sure she's mastered the pet cat challenge by now and could teach us all a thing or two about any of their needs or behaviors. Still it’s a memory I cherish of more innocent days.
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