Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why Popoki Deserves a Gold Medal

One of the things I was immensely grateful for, when the girls first came to live with us, was that I had no worries about my cats physically hurting any of the children.

Po had sat stoically on the windowsill in our apartment while a three-year-old boy happily yanked her tail, and the most she did was twitch said tail, put her ears way back, and growl menacingly. Darn it, this was HER house, and no three-year-old upstart was going to try to take over, no matter how much he grabbed at her tail. And that was the same night that half our known world invaded for the Red, White and Boom party...so, lots of folks, lots of loud, and fireworks on top of all that.

The other cats had the good sense to go hide under the bed. Po was determined to protect her house.

And that's pretty much the way it went. The "hefty" cats--Po, Koa, Keiki and, later, Pa'ani--would face any threat head-on. The wimpies--Mika, Minou and, for awhile, Niele--would go hide under the bed.

Not a single child was ever attacked. Oh, there were more than a few menacing growls and laid-back ears, and the occasional swipe of a paw with sheathed claws. Enough to scare, but never hurt.

It was reassuring to bring the girls into our home and know that they would be safe from the cats.

We spent a week apologizing to the cats before the girls came home with us.

Because, you see, we knew that the girls would be safe around the cats, but we weren't quite sure the cats would be safe from the girls.

For Large Fry and Medium Fry, it was an instant love affair.

For Small Fry, not so much. She was scared of them. And it's a testament to how much she's grown, and the patience and general gentleness of Popoki, resident feline queen, that she now wants to pet Popoki goodnight before naptime and bedtime.

Large Fry will happily tell anyone that Pa'ani is her best friend. Which is not as exciting as it sounds; Pa'ani is everyone's best friend. He's that kind of cat.

Medium Fry and Po
Medium Fry will tell you that Po is her best friend.

I'm not so sure Po feels that's quite the honor that Medium thinks it is.

I went out this afternoon after Hubby got home, to get some more embroidery floss and spend Gramma B's money on the girls for Christmas. When I got home, Hubby told me that Medium Fry had been petting Popoki as she lay on the end of the couch where I usually sit.

Here I must point out that Medium Fry weighs about half a pound less than Large Fry, given that she has a different bone structure than either of her sisters, but is several inches shorter.

In other words, she's a 35-pound-chunk.

Po is old, almost 12. She's diabetic. And she recently lost three pounds, bringing her down to a frail (for her) 14 pounds.

Hubby is paying more attention to other goings-on than what Medium Fry is doing. She'd moved back over to snuggle next to him.

And then she went back to Po.

And SAT on her.

Yes, SAT.

On her back.

And probably sat for several minutes before cheerily announcing, "I'm sitting on the kitty!!"

Hubby looked over.

Sure enough, Medium Fry was perched on Po's back.

Po, with Medium's ducks
And Po was taking it! Her ears weren't even back or anything.

I believe he got Medium Fry off of the cat in a hurry, and issued a suitable command to not sit on the kitty again.

But to be that old (for a cat), and that sick, and to still put up with the more than a little effusive affections of a three-year-old...

That's impressive.

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