I haven’t written too much about the feline addition to our family. To be honest, I am a bit hard on Mister F.
I know I am being totally unfair. At the beginning I would constantly reference him to my childhood cat… let’s call her ‘Incredible.’ Incredible was a beautiful tabby. She was smart and friendly, with a touch of cheekiness and strong foundations in dependability, and was so obedient. Oh my. She never misbehaved or did anything wrong, and easily became the favourite cat of my parents too.
She was, quite simply, Incredible.
She wouldn’t even meow when she wanted to be let out. You would just notice her gone, and then find her by the back door waiting for someone to come along and see her.
Incredible had a strong sixth sense too. I remember a few times in my late teens when I came home, and she was sitting on the front porch step, waiting for me to walk up even though I had been in Hubbie’s (then boyfriend) car for 10 minutes, having some kind of argument.
She sat and waited patiently.
I remember another time in my early teens, when I came outside to the back step and started to cry. Something had made me very sad. And she just stayed there with me. She didn’t meow for food. She didn’t do anything to suggest she wasn’t aware of my state of being… rather the way she went silent, sitting by my side and just being there, showed to me that she knew.
She was there for me.
It was a very hard day when I realised she wasn’t eating. I immediately knew something was up. A vet visit discovered a tumour, and it had spread inside of her. She was subsequently put to sleep.
My childhood best friend of 11 and a half years was gone.
I can then be forgiven for taking so long to get another cat. 16 years in fact.
I didn’t realise how much of Incredible was still in me. How much of her I still mourned when we got Mister F.
Mister F would jump up on the island bench… repeatedly – “Mister F! How dare you! Incredible never did that!”
Mister F started scratching our couch – “Mister F! Stop it! You’re so stubborn! Incredible always listened to us!”
Mister F would not eat, shock horror, cooked chicken – “If Incredible was here, she would smash your meal! You don’t appreciate good food, pft.”
Chicken was Incredible’s favourite.
But I’ve realised I have to lay off Mister F. I have to give him space to be his own cat.
I have to give him space to be his own kind of Incredible.
Today he showed me something that twigged something deep inside of me. I had come home upset about something, and sat on the couch quite despondent… he reached his paws up to the couch, before jumping up next to me.
He didn’t just stay there though. He went further, placing his paws on my legs, as if to say “hey, I’m here.”
I pet him. Sure this cat wanted attention. But again and again he came back, resting his paws on my leg, and I couldn’t help but think, ‘there’s something here.’
Just like that day on the back step with Incredible, now I could see Mister F’s sixth sense… there was something incredible happening.
Mister F was there for me. And he got in quite close, leaning against me as I sat there, thinking.
We can’t all be Incredible. But in Mister F’s case, I think he is on his way to becoming Mister Fantastic.