Dearest Tryskuit and Nabysko:*
Bruce was asleep in his recently acquired marital bed in San Diego when Grasshopper, the flying tuxedo cat, soared into the air above him. Despite her accomplishment of having learned to fly, Grasshopper’s lack of wings limited her range and she soon had no choice but to land. She picked her spot, aimed her extended legs and unsheathed claws directly towards it and then rapidly descended to make a slam-down landing upon “that place where no man wants to be landed upon.”
Bruce awoke with a tremendous squeak, doubled up into the fetal position and in the process launched Grasshopper into a second, unplanned, flight that took her clear across the room.
Grasshopper and Kohala had been a pair well before Bruce had come along and his introduction as the third party into a new triangle had generated “a few moments” - this being the greatest single moment of all. Yet, by nature, cat and husband were amiable sorts and so they got through it and by the time I met them, Bruce had affectionately become known as “Dad-Cat,” which was good, as Grasshopper had made it questionable that he would ever be called “Dad.”
Grasshopper, the flying cat, proved that she could even soar with birds. One day, as she so loved to do, she had been sitting on the walkway to their second-floor apartment, observing birds buzzing about, when a blue jay suddenly dove out of the sky, bonked her atop the head, and then turned upward to flee.
Foolish blue jay! This bird did not know that this cat could fly!
The jay sound found out when Grasshopper rose skyward with the bird, matching it foot for foot. Grasshopper then gave the jay a good mid-air thump and sent it tumbling through the air. The jay recovered before dinner.
Apparently, an unobserved Grasshopper once made another flight to a neighbor’s screen door, then tore it open and strolled inside. Shortly afterward, the panicked neighbor declared that her house had been invaded by “a fierce, giant, black cat.” Later, when she got to pat Grasshopper upon the head, she had to admit that this cat was neither fierce nor giant and that while she was black, she was white as well. Another unobserved flight took Grasshopper to the roof, where she lost confidence in her flying skills and had to be rescued by the police.
Despite her wonderful mischief, let it be known to all that Grasshopper was 100 percent love. I met her when she was 16 years old and it was clear to me that, she, Kohala and Bruce were three as one, inseparable. Yet, Kohala had begun to realize that nature would soon decree that this physical union must end. “I know that one day soon she will be gone,” Kohala said. “I cannot bear to think of the pain and grief that I will feel.” That day came two years later, and for two solid years thereafter, Mom Cat grieved. Finally, she adopted “a Lynx Point Siamese mix with a sweet but powerful voice” who had been tossed from a car as if he were nothing but litter. Now he is “Mr. Cat.”
*It used to be that when I would write down the stories of cats that I met along the way, I would do so with salutations to my daughters, since they were the ones that I took the photos for; they were the ones that I told the stories to. I decided present this one to them, just as I used to do.
Last night, I featured an "Inside Cat," meaning a cat from Alaska - a flying cat. I still need to catch up with the recent activities of the Kracker Cats, but before I do, I thought I would drop in this "Outside Cat" story - meaning a cat from outside the state of Alaska - but also a flying cat.
I chose this one because it is short and simple and I am exhausted, so I chose the easy way out.
For those who missed it, the Kracker Cat blog was featured here in the Mat-Su section of today's Anchorage Daily News.