Well, it was a first for Stella, the cat we adopted two years ago. Her lap of choice belongs to Hank, who manages to stretch his legs over the coffee table for hours to accommodate her. There have been times she has considered mine when I was sitting on the other side of the couch. She would give my lap an appraisal, decide it wasn’t a right fit, and instead plopped down on the couch cushion next to my hip. But yesterday was different.
Let me backtrack a bit and tell you about Stella. She’s a Maine coon cat, who got dumped in a nearby city during Covid and found her way to a friend’s backyard, where she got fed and found shelter. But when Cris, who already had a cat, mentioned on Facebook she was looking for a home for the stray, we welcomed Stella into ours.
I believe because she was living for months in the outdoors, and due to the nature of her breed, she is a bit of a wildling. But Stella — I love to shout her name out loud — has decided it’s worthwhile to live with us.
Stella actually is a cheap cat to own. She snubbed her nose at the expensive natural cat foods we bought her in preference to a national brand, plus these snacks she is crazy about. Actually, her food of choice is the rodents she captures. Sometimes we will hear her make this special meow that means she’s got something dead in her mouth that she wants to show off. Yes, we praise her for her hunting abilities. Toys? Nah, she’s got the real thing to chase. She prefers the outdoors instead of the litterbox.
Stella comes to us when she damn feels like it but loves the attention when she does — going absolutely nuts purring as she’s petted. She spends hours cleaning and grooming her beautiful fur. One time when I was writing on the front porch, she dropped a dead mouse beside my chair and commenced to eat the entire bone-crunchy thing.
Admittedly, Stella loves Hank more than me and she shows it by sitting on his lap. Even that took some doing. It was actually our son, Zack who broke the ice. He was visiting after a run and she jumped onto his lap to smell his perspiration. Hank came next.
But it was different yesterday. I was sitting on one of our Morris chairs (hand-built by Hank) with my feet on a stool, reading Helen Matthew’s The Girl in the Van. Stella had finished eating her snacks on the coffee table when she began eyeing my lap. “Yeah, right,” I told myself.
I was amused as Stella leaped to the arm of the chair and after studying my body more, she gingerly made her way onto my lap. Her paws, killing claws intact thankfully, kneaded me, and then she curled around, purring as I petted her. She stayed that way. I read and kept a hand on her. She slept. Dinner would be later than usual.
I stretched to get my phone to call Hank who was working in his woodshop. He laughed when he saw Stella. “It feels good to have a cat on your lap, doesn’t it?” he said.
Yes, it does.
LINKS TO MY BOOKS: While I have your attention, here’s the link to my books on Amazon, specifically the Isabel Long Mystery Series. (Yes, there’s a cat in it.) Following the Lead, no. 6, will have a Nov. 3 release. I am grateful for pre-orders as it helps with ratings. https://www.amazon.com/Joan-Livingston/e/B01E1HKIDG