Harry's Grandfather Tells All
All my grand-kittens are resting except Harry. Today is the big day. They are up for adoption, and they need to be well-rested.
Harry is a headstrong kitten with more energy than his five brothers put together. It seems like he is never still long enough to realize he is tired. And the amount of food he packs away is astronomical. Boy, this kitten sure loves his treats!
I know a grandfather should not have favorites, but Harry is mine, by far. He reminds me of myself when I was his age, and I see great things in his future.
“Harry, come over here by the fire, and lay with me.”
He finally stops long enough to glance at me with that mischievous look in his eye, and then he takes off at top speed in the other direction. I’m trying to be patient, after all , he is my favorite, but enough is enough.
I try my sternest voice. “Harry … now.”
He stops dead in his tracks. Now, I have his attention. He slithers on his belly over to me.
“I’m sorry, Grandfather. But I was just …”
“I know what you were just doing, but you need to rest now. You know you might be taken to a new home today, and you want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, don’t you?”
“But I don’t want to leave you, Grandfather.”
“But you must, Harry. You have to spread your love to others. Your new home may not be too far for us to visit each other.” I pat the floor next to me. “Come… lay with me.”
Harry stretches, and yawns as wide as his little mouth will allow. He trots over to me, and flounces on the carpet, and gazes adoringly into my eyes.
“Grandfather, tell me how you became a knight again.”
“Now, Harry. You should go to sleep.” I look down at my little grand-kitten, and see the pleading in his eyes. “Oh, okay… but after I tell the story, promise me you will take a catnap.”
“Once upon a time…”
“… there was a princess.”
“Who is telling the story?”
“I was walking along the river’s edge. It was a beautiful summer day, and the sweet scent of lupines was wafting in the breeze. I came upon an old oak tree…”
“Was it as old as you are?”
I smile down at Harry. “Even older than me, Harry.” I clear my throat. “I saw something moving amongst the branches. Before I knew it, a pretty little Siamese kitten walked out on the longest limb, shaking as she tried to balance herself. Alas, her legs were unsteady beneath her, and she fell into the water.”
“Oh, no!” Harry is entranced with the story, even though he heard it several times during his short lifetime.
“Shush, now, Harry.”
Harry snuggles in closer to me.
“Okay, back to the story. The kitten fell in the water. Of course, she could not swim, and being a Maine Coon who loves water, I jumped right in to save her. On the shore once more, the Siamese was still shaking with fear. Her blue eyes were wide.”
“‘Oh, thank you! I don’t know what would have happened to me if you weren’t here to save me,’ she said.”
I asked her, “What are you doing out here alone? Where is your mother?”
“Don’t you know who I am?”
When I shook my head, she said, “I’m Princess Cynthia, and my father’s the Cat King.”
“Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather, Harry. There I was, a lowly cat, talking to a princess.”
“So, what did you do?” Harry asked.
“What could I do? I bowed before her.”
“And what did she say?” Harry already knows the answer to this, but I play along.
“She said, ‘You must come to the castle with me, while I tell my father what you did for me’. So I touched the princess’ back, and soon I was in the Cat Kingdom.”
“What was it like, Grandfather?”
“The sky overhead was painted in pastel pinks, purples, and blues. A rainbow arced over the enormous castle. There was glitter in the air, and music came from everywhere and nowhere at once. On the walls of a long hallway were giant portraits of cats through the ages. We came to a red carpet, and at the other end of it was the Cat King.”
“And what did he say?”
“He was so grateful that I saved the princess that he made me a knight.”
“I like that story, Grandfather.”
“Good. Now remember your promise.”
Harry nudges into me, closes his eyes , and soon I hear a soft snore come from him. I smile down at him. I hope he can stay with me forever.