Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mornings with Franklin


Franklin is morally apposed to anyone sleeping once the sun has come up.  He watches as the sky brightens, then he shakes himself and gives himself a quick wash.  Morning ritual done, then he walks boldly up the bed and sits on my pillow, chewing my hair.  He knows this will wake me faster then just about anything.

I'm not at all sure that cats can digest the protean found in hair, but that doesn't affect him in the slightest.  His intent is to awaken me, not to dine.  I attempt to persuade him to stop, and sometimes he does.  I consider getting a haircut so the chewed-off hairs won't show.

When Franklin came to live with me, he was a rescued kitty.  His face was scarred and his ear had the tip cut off.  The rescuers told me he was about 8 years old.  I doubt they were correct because that was ten years ago and he still does not act like an old cat.  When they took him out of the carrier, he came out unafraid and confidently began exploring his new home.  There was no hesitancy nor fear.  He was simply matter-of-fact.  When He finished with the first room, he looked at me full in the face and came over to introduce himself.  Later, after the rescuer left, Franklin and I had a long talk, me petting him and he purring.  We were both pretty tired, so I lay down on hte couch and he took the spot under the rocking chair and we both napped.   When I woke, I looked around and saw him under the chair, sleeping peacefully.  I said his name softly (he came pre-named) and he woke.  At first he was disoriented, not sure where he was.  He looked around quickly but then his eyes met mine and he visably relaxed.  Then he chirruped my name in feline and came over to lick my face.  I knew then that we were meant to be together.

Before Franklin came to live with me, I had gone for almost three weeks without an animal in my life.  It was the longest three weeks ever and I knew I would not be able to last very long.  To this day I do not really understand how anyone could have possibly abandoned him, or any of the other 5 cats and 3 dogs that now make up our family.  I don't understand how someone could not see the shinning individuals that they are, their preferences, the delightful quirks in their personalities, the way they communicate, and most of all, despite what they have gone through at the hands of humans, how much trust they have.

We humans are not so forgiving and I am not sure that it is a good thing for them to forgive.  Yet over and over again, I have seen animals pull through rough times and forgive all that was done to them.

In the morning, after Franklin has awakened me, the two dogs that sleep on the bed crawl out from underneath the covers and shake themselves, straightening out their ears.   Then they flop back down on my legs or torso and go back to sleep.  The other 3 cats that also share the bed sometimes don't even flick an ear -- they just sleep on through.  But the youngest cat (Prescott) will wake up and come over to lie down on my chest.  She thinks it's funny to put her cold wet nose just under my chin on bare skin.  She buries her head in my neck and purrs.  She knows full well about the rule of never chastising a purring cat, so she stays there til she falls asleep.  Meantime, Franklin has curled up under my left armpit and Addams curls up under my right armpit.   They purr loudly in sterio and we lie in blissful gratitude for each other, watching the sky outside the window -- until my legs cramp and I have to move.

It's a lovely way to start the day.

Addams, with his come-hither look, inviting petting.

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