From the moment Rosie (a.k.a., the official Smirking Cat mascot) joined our family, he was unequivocally and 100% Gary’s cat. Gary was the one who coaxed the cat into the car as he rescued him from a crowded parking lot where his nine lives were certainly numbered, and it was Gary who talked gently to him and soothed him the entire drive home, with Rosie hiding under the seat, crying, not sure he was terribly happy about this turn of events just yet.
As for me, my crucial role was misidentifying his sex, as I declared him a “she” and thus the name Rosie. Wolverine (Gary’s 9-year-old) named him, thinking he was a female cat. *shrug* Hey, my level of expertise in the matter is that if a cat is not actively spraying piss on something, fighting other tom cats, or trying to have sex with a female cat, then I pronounce it a female cat. Clearly I need a more fine-tuned and accurate method for assessment, however.
Rosie slept with Gary, sat on his lap, followed him around, and essentially worshipped him. I, queen of cat people, was completely okay with this…okay, no I wasn’t, it irked the hell out of me. Cats love me! And this cat completely ignores me! And Gary is a dog person!
So Gary being gone has been quite an adjustment for Rosie. At first he waited by the window, watching for him, occasionally casting me heartbroken and semi-suspicious glances as if to say, “Where is he?…and what have you done with him?”
Rosie sleeps on Gary’s pillow, burrowed deep into it as if it is comforting. When I unpacked some of Gary’s clothes at this house, Rosie leaped into a box of his things, probably able to smell Gary’s scent on the clothes, and curled up on some shirts. I didn’t have the heart to make him move.
I did the best I could, petting him, loving him, telling him his daddy will be home soon. The other morning, I woke up and discovered that in the night, Rosie had carried his favorite toy into the bedroom and deposited it right on top of the pair of jeans I had tossed beside the bed. I laughed and couldn’t wait to tell Gary, since this night-time toy gifting was something Rosie always did for Gary, every night, some sort of ritualistic display of love by offering up his toys, I suppose.
Rosie has brought me his toy a few times now, and he has been known to curl up at my side on the bed, something he never did while the Golden Boy Gary was here (ooops, my jealousy is showing, ha ha).
Rosie is a sweet, gentle cat, and though I hate to admit it, Gary is right that the only cat who knows how to behave is Rosie. He is easily lured to the dark side by Sylvester, who draws him into his diabolical plans of pillage and deviltry, and he is not plagued with fits of old-man grumpiness like my spoiled Tweetie.
In the meantime, I will simply pawn off Sylvester as Gary’s cat, since he isn’t here to argue the point, and Rosie and I will wait for him to finally come home!