She came to me as a baby, but now she is a lady. She used to sleep by my side, then by my foot, but now, whenever she prefers to rest awhile from her peers and visit me, it is I who sleep on her foot.
She used to need love; well, she still does, but now she is capable of giving one out of free will, and she generously freewill everyone.
In her unlikely name, she is called “Bandit”; a name she has never partake to compete but won, by the pick of the highest bidder.
In her unlikely life, she would have died, had she not come to join us; but even in her unlikely survival, it was divine protection that sustain her; invisible guardian angel who stood still by her side and diligently repels all sort of sickness. Everybody around her, even me, fell sick at least once, under weather that constantly changed its mind. Every one she slept with, the cohorts who came with or around her time, had now passed.
But Bandit stays.
Twice an outbreak swept us, and when it swept us, it stole some. Bandit slept with those who then departed, ate with them, played with them, groomed them, was groomed by them. After a while, they passed
But Bandit stays.
And right under my eyes and fidgety days, when my small mind is always occupied with many things, big or otherwise, she acquired her days, and weeks, and months.
Until last week, when she somehow followed me to my bed. Once she can eat by herself, she wandered out on her own, and stays in the bigger halls of my living room and kitchen, and the cattery, some days; never to return again to this little box where she spent her kittenhood and had left when she felt strong and confident.
In my busy ventures I didn’t realize she was curling right behind me, by the pillow, until I have done my business and the exhaustion gripped me by the bone. I walked to the other side of the room to turn off the light, but look around once more, to find an adult cat curling on my bed, sleeping soundly, her splendid, velvety black and white fur raise and fall with her curvature.
“Why, aren’t you truly a bandit!” I only whispered, but my heart squealed. I walked back to the bed and put my finger to follow her curl. She shifted, stretched, and open her eyes.
Like Sleeping Beauty, awoken by the princely kiss.
When did she steal all the time, and grow on her own? Or was that my own neglect and ignorance that supply her with all that stealth, that she grows right under my nose, from a baby to a lady?
I sat by the bed, and Bandit stood up. Curled like the Yoga named after her move, and climbed to my lap.
She used to sleep there months ago, though it all felt like distant centuries.
Again I pet her, from the back of her ears, all the way, to the ending tip of her tail.
Her fur so soft, and with gentle sheen. It was thick, and clean. So fun to touch, so nice to watch.
“Soon we will have to send you to the vet”
She looks at me. Bandit always looks at me when she heard the word “vet” It was terror to all her peers, but foreign to her. She never went to one, she did not need to, but soon.
There was a gentle scratch on the door then, and I put her aside to answer. A scrawny little baby, stood there, not much taller than my ankle. He meowed many, but then invite himself in. It’s our home, no one need invitation to go anywhere, as long as the door is not shut. If it is, scratch, or call, and the door will be opened.
The little white and ginger fellow climbed straight onto the bed, He is still wary of everyone, even me. He let us touch him, but on his own terms. He slept alone, but sometimes, succumbed to night terrors, and abandon his pride, sleep by another’s side.
When those night terrors come, he is inconsolable. He will cry and cry and cry, all night long, and nothing we do will comfort him, but silence. We let him wear himself down to the morning, and then he will fall asleep, the whole day when we start our life another day.
I can see the frown on Bandit’s face, though perhaps unlikely that a cat ever frown, but she sat by his side, and the little baby pushed her away.
She backed away two steps and sit and watch.
And then when the baby turned the other way, she will sit by his side again, and also pushed away.
On her third call, the baby let her.
And then she lay at ease along my side, and put one hand on the tired little one, and with a slight, one sniff, he quieted down.
So Bandit has more than one trick in her sleeve.
After that, she groomed him. Just slightly, gently. Not to clean, perhaps, but small strokes, a gesture of sisterly love that she always abundantly share.
My baby had grown. She is now a lady, she is now a sister, though by determination, she will never be a mother.
But she is a lovely maid still, despite her unlikely name, a lady bloom in spring.