Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Words Trigger Memories

I posed a question last week on a post. It was about a word that triggered a memory. The word was "south".

Many years ago when my children were small and in grade school we were searching for a home to buy. Seems like we looked at thousands, but it was only a few. At one such home there was a kitten in need of a home. We didn't find a home that day, but the kitten did.

A tiny Siamese female we named Misty. Misty never grew to be very big. Could be due to the fact that my overbearing child, Adrienne, forced her to wear doll clothes and walk upright. Adrienne was about 4 and yes, even at four years old she was a force to be reckoned with. Still is, but that is another story for another day.

Fortunately Misty was very docile and didn't use her teeth and claws to discourage Adrienne. When the rest of the children were in school, Adrienne would dress Misty for the day and subject her to being many things. She played school with her, she played house with her and Misty would succomb to whatever Adrienne wanted to do on any particular day.

Misty aged without growing big and, as cats will do, produced a litter of her own kittens. Several times before we managed to have her spayed. By the time she had her last litter, we had found a house to buy. Not a dream home, but one with "potential". So many pets came through that house, but once again that is not the story here.

Out of one litter, Adrienne chose a male kitten with tiger stripes. She named him "Southy". She never explained why she chose the name and no one argued with her about her choice. Southy did not possess Misty's calm demeanor. He was a fiesty one and Adrienne met her match. 

Southy objected to wearing clothes and walking upright. He was as determined as Adrienne was and let her know with bites and scratches. This went on until he was an adolescent cat. Rarely did Adrienne get through the day without crying and bleeding from scratches on her arms. No amount of counseling her about the nature of cats could convince her not to try to bend this cat's will to hers.

The day arrived when Southy  was nowhere to be found. My little girl searched and searched for days. Finally she accepted the fact that her cat was gone to parts unknown. Did she mourn the cat leaving her? No, she did not. She was mad, lamenting that Southy would be sorry about running away. Who was going to play with him and dress him and teach him how to walk?

I suppose Southy went south, in search of a home with an old lady fond of cats who would feed him and let him be a cat. Just one word can trigger a precious memory. So many words over so many years.



Val said...

I love this story! I can picture the doll-dressed and upright-walking Misty, and your daughter's determination to "enjoy" the same activities with Southy. Your words have brought that memory to life. It makes me think of my boys getting their first (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th) kittens.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Bloody great story

Dianne said...

This story reminds me of my kittens over the years. Now I want another one....just one more....

River said...

I've heard about, and seen, online, cats being dressed and played with. I never did that with our cat Ginger, and don't think I would have even been allowed to. My parents would have been horrified. I did have a doll that I was supposed to dress up and play with, but I didn't do that either. she lived in her pram in the corner of the bedroom.

Joanne Noragon said...

My brothers and I tried that and more with our several kittens. I do not recall any great success.

Linda O'Connell said...

My daughter used ot dress our dog. Adrienne was and is a handful. LOL. I have a girl like that and not a cat.