Daily Prompt: Menagerie
Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?
(Bonus points for adorable animal photos, and double bonus if they’re taken with your phone!)
Grayson is the youngest in our family of four. He came to us, a spirited little thing. As a tot his favorite thing was to climb up our backs and perch on our shoulders like a bird, enjoying the view, while we carried on our chores from room to room.
From the very beginning Grayson has been Mr. Personality. While his cage buddy lounged, casually watching the humans peer in and out, Grayson was reaching out and pawing for attention. He seeks, rather than shies away from people. He is a people cat. Wherever we have lived, our neighbors have felt compelled to do things for Grayson. Our current neighbor got him a rug so he could be comfortable while sitting on our porch. When we were living in an apartment complex, one of the neighbors built him a make-shift cat shelter under the stairwell so he could be warm on cold days until we came home.
It hasn’t all been a simple life. Grayson’s first home was on an island. Because we lived in a state park, he was not allowed outdoors for fear that his instincts would kick in and compel him to chase down the birds. Indeed, this is what happened when we moved from Angel Island to Lakeshore. Very shortly after moving, we found a dead pigeon on the balcony with Grayson sitting a little ways away from it. It was the last time we left him unattended on the balcony and led to our decision to train him to go outdoors since we were away for much of the day at work or school. Boy, was he scared. He wouldn’t even go in the hallway without quaking. Yet little by little he learned that outside wasn’t such a scary place as long as you found good spots among fragrant bushes to lounge hidden from passersby, but with a clear vantage point.
Grayson gained so much confidence that he crossed the street into the next apartment complex which had a high and open garden. When we were ready for him to come in, we would yell down 5 stories, “Graysie!!!” and he would come running up. We eventually moved to another neighborhood that had several cats and a few racoons. The backyard had been vacant for awhile and one or two cats thought nothing of hanging out. One cat jumped the fence and walked into our house and taking a bite of the cat food before being shooed out. Grayson got into a few scuffles, but held his own. He wasn’t unscathed and one particular fight left him sick for days. The fights gave him more confidence, so much so that he started bossing us around. Now when he wants to go out or come in, he meows impatiently at the door and if he has been waiting too long to come in, grunts when we finally let him in.