Saturday, March 17, 2012


  Not that Ray. Far as I know he's still where we planted him, across the field from the Dennistons, by the waterfall, next to his uncle Andrew Jackson (not that Andrew Jackson). No, the Ray Gilkey I'm referring to is the former Boots, my cat. Ray is the favorite of all my cats. There's the drooling, snorting, neurotic and mean Nicole, the meowing, needy Spooky Cat and the new ragged, falling apart, skittish Mr. Kitty. All have there own particular charm, but Ray is the rock. He's the only one I let inside at night. But like all roommates, we can have our difficulties co-habitating.
    The other night I had just laid out a nice plate of black beans on my coffee table. Then, distracted for a minute by the ringing phone, I turned to see Ray on his back legs, nose almost in my plate. I barked and swatted. Ray ran for the safety of the wood box. The rest of the evening was tense. Rayed eyeballed me from the back of the stove. I glared back. I honestly can't remember whether I let him stay in or exiled him to the woods. All I know is I was very disappointed in his behavior and was giving him the silent treatment.
   Now I'm not one of those cat people who fawns over his charges. The cats and I have an understanding.  I feed them most mornings and they basically leave me alone. I assume they catch a mouse now and then. No pressure on either side. Compared to the other three Ray is a regal beast. He likes to be petted, but doesn't demand it. He's good with kids. I have no idea how old he is, but he looks to be getting on. It's no big deal for any of these critters to be gone from the premises for a couple of days, but they always show up eventually. Ray has a particular habit of silently following me into the church and getting locked in. So if I don't see him at morning chow I check the church. This time the church was empty. He's been gone for 3 or 4 days now and I'm getting worried.
   I hate to think that the last interaction Ray and I had was in anger.  Over the years I've had some good cats- the dog like Monkey Balls, Itchy, Bitchy and Twitchy (all true to their names), the iconic Cali, the bald assed Paris....but I think Ray is the best of the bunch. He may be off at the neighbor's teaching me a lesson. I don't know. But if anybody sees a big orange cat wandering around with a chip on his shoulder just let him know i'm sorry i yelled. We can work it out. Come home Ray. I miss you.


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