Ciao a tutti!
Allow me to introduce myself: mi chiamo il Diavolo. Thanks (or grazie) to my pet human, Michelle, I am becoming bilingual or I guess that should be trilingual as I understand English, un piccolo italiano and of course I understand and speak cat.
For at least six years I have been a Community Cat, sometimes called Blackie but mostly just cat. I know I once had a real name but I don’t remember it.
There are legends about how I came to live at this small apartment complex just south of Seattle, Washington. Many say they can’t remember a time when I wasn’t here, hanging out in the back hall or by the front door waiting for a kind human to put food out for me. I spent years fending off other cats, dogs and even wild animals to get enough to eat. It was really hard in winter when it was so cold but some people would let me inside to sleep in their homes but no one ever offered to adopt me and give me a name.
I do seem to remember a kind old lady that I once lived with. She petted me and brushed me and always told me I was a good boy. Then one day she went away and never came back. Later some people came and took all of her things out of our apartment and then the unthinkable happened. They put me outside and they went away too.
For many years, like Blanche du Bois, I depended on the kindness of strangers. About three years ago this nice lady moved into the apartment right by my food bowl. She already had a cat, I could smell her before I saw her. I met Lili a couple of times when I came up on the patio and once we touched noses through the screen. She was very old and her human, Michelle, had promised that she could be an only cat because Lili liked it that way.
I knew there was no hope of moving in but I started meeting Michelle when she came home from work and she always had a kind word and a pat for me and always put food in my bowl when she saw me.
Last summer Lili got sick and one day she went away too. Michelle would sit on the patio and look so sad. Lots of the cats here would visit her and keep her company but I was afraid. Afraid I would get attached and she would go away too.
Finally in about September I got up the courage to sleep in the chair on her patio. She was happy that I was visiting and even gave me a soft pillow to sleep on and made sure there was food and water for me. She also gave me my new name; Diavolo because she said I’m such a handsome devil. One day she even hugged me and told me that when she was ready she would adopt me. She didn’t know that I had already decided that she was “the one”.
The weather turned cold and she started letting me come indoors. It was so nice to be warm and have a lap to sit on. I was good and remembered my manners and waited to be invited up. I didn’t jump up on the table or counter because I knew that was bad and I didn’t eat the houseplants (they make me sick anyway…blech!). I always made sure to let her know when I wanted out. I never did anything bad.
Finally at the beginning of December she said she was making it official and adopting me. Lots of good things happened. I got canned food (!!) and toys and catnip. She even has this plastic mouse that shoots a red dot out of its nose that I love chasing all over the floor….the red dot, not the mouse, silly. And I don’t have to be outdoors looking for real mice to eat.
As you can see above I get to sleep on Michelle’s bed every night and I wake her up with grateful purrs every morning.
Yes, life is good at last!
(This is Diavolo’s story as told to his pet human…and typist….Michelle)