This is my cat called Zebra, but we call her Zebby for short - it's that nickname thing again. She is a sort of minature Bengali Tiger. But why call a cat Zebra ? I hear you ask. Well she is a tabby cat with lots of stripes so Zebra seemed appropriate at the time - although now I think it is a bit silly, sort of like calling a circus elephant 'Mouse' because of a colour similarity - but I am a human being, so what the hell do you expect? common sense?
She likes to sleep a lot. If I sit quietly while she is asleep with her eyes closed and I flick my fingers gently, her ears rotate in a sort of sleepy inquisitiveness to the sound. If I click loudly she opens her eyes. If I call her name she hops up, stretches lazily and pads across the floor to have her favourite therapy - chin and tummy rubbing. She is like a Zen Master, she has mindfulness down to a fine art.
Zebby is about 5 years old. I remember vividly the day we met. It was one of those days when I got chosen. I don't often get chosen. But when I do, it is something that I remember for a long time.
We went to the SPCA (Society for the Protection and Care of Animals) to get a cat. The cages with the cats were set out in a long row. The front of the cages which had the cosy sleeping part fronted one aisle. If you went around to the other side there was another aisle where the backs of the cages had their little play and walking around area.
As we walked along the first aisle we looked at lots of cats. Some were sleeping. Some were walking and miaowing. Many were active in one way or another. At the end of the aisle there was a little tabby kitten looking out through the bars of the cage. It looked a very intelligent little cat with shiny fur and bright eyes. The cat looked straight at me. I looked straight at the cat -
Was it love at first sight? I don't know about that, but I do remember this. When we went around to the back aisle, this was the only kitten in the whole row to run down the ramp to the play area of the cage and engage my eyes again. So I said to the SPCA lady - "let me have a look at that little kitten." - "Ok" she said and went and opened the little wire door. The moment she did that the little kitten leap out of the cage and started to climb up my jeans. It climbed as hard as it could past my jeans and up my jersey until it reached my shoulder.
"I think that cats got your cards marked" said the SPCA lady, "I think IT'S chosen you !
"I think you are right" I said. - and that was the end of that! - or rather a new beginning.
Zebby got a new home. She is still with us. She is an affectionate and very independent cat. (as cats are apt to be).
Sometimes she is Zen like - sometimes she just says "Please rub my tummy right now." But one thing I do know - This is the closest I will ever get to owning a Bengali Tiger!