TarBaby is stretched out between my arms on a small pad for the cats and my forearms on the cold glass desk top. His front forelegs are draped over my left forearm, head up, eyes closed, happy to be at home. He was reluctant about my hands when I reached to touch him in the cage. Hands in the pokey came to mean pokes with needles and nasty stuff squirted in his mouth. He needed to investigate my hands first, then my intent. Even then, he wasn't so sure about it. I kept my hands away from him for awhile, talked to him, let him want me to touch him, which he did, wanting me to hold him.
I held him for awhile telling him we'll be going home. I'd brought the travel cage, which was open nearby. I didn't want to rush him from one cage to another. Three weeks of solitary confinement surrounded by dogs in their confinement was enough. A cage was a safe place for a cat. I went out front to the office and paid a portion of what the bill will be, and transferred TarBaby to the homeward bound cage and carried him to the car. He didn't cry about being in the cage at all. He curled up in the back of it, continuing to feel confined, but with the belief we were going home.
I let him out of the cage on the walkway to the house and stayed outside with him for awhile. I picked up the camera and followed him getting pictures. First place he went was to the double yellow line in the middle of the road to roll, feel the texture of that road on his back, roll back and forth on it. In the old days they might have called it wallerin. All the cats love to feel the texture of the road on their backs. Makes me wonder how much petting them sensitizes their backs to make them like feeling varieties of textures on it. I've seen them waller on a dry washrag on the floor. They love the feel of terrycloth on their backs. They like the smooth sensation of a human hand too that carries in it appreciation and love.
He went to a forsythia patch by the house, walking through sniffing the branches low to the ground. It must be one of his places he likes. In his absence possibly some dogs sniffed around there smelling cat, leaving their scents everywhere, thinking, get the cat, get the cat. When Allan's dogs next door are loose, they set out for a pogrom on Cattown. The cats run under the house to places dogs can't reach and hiss at them when they try. It's their game. These dogs live with 2 cats. They're not a danger. Plus they know me and know these are my cats. Cats run, dogs chase. Cats don't run, dogs get flustered and have a funny look on their faces, like what do I do now?
TarBaby stepped onto one of his pieces of wood he scratches, pulling his claws through the grain, sharpening them to the needle point he likes. The claws are the equivalent of fingernails for us, growing at the ends of their fingers. Tugging the claws through the wood exercises the fingers too, bringing him up to speed, toning up, back in his world. El Gato is back. Beware all mice. This house is not a good one to winter in. Mice suicidal enough to enter don't stay very long. It's where the mouse eaters live. Not many mice survive it to warn others.
The house feels better now that TarBaby is home. Having his spirit back in the house makes a big difference. I can feel it, though it's difficult to decipher in words. Perhaps it's an air of completeness. We're all here. The whole time since I've been back from Jr's, TarBaby has been in animal hospital. I come home to a house that is missing a major element. We're all here. No need to drive to Twin Oaks to see TarBaby. He's been tested for everything the vet can think of to find reason for the high white blood cell count, but they came up with nothing at every turn. A mystery malady. I'll encourage him to sleep on my bed tonight, if he will. I want to have him close and hold him several times a day to give him some energy I've not been able to give him for so many months, even years.
Tapo and Caterpillar seemed a little disappointed TarBaby is back, and TarBaby's delight seeing them was equally subdued. In the house, TarBaby walked a bee-line past Caterpillar and Tapo without even looking at them, to the table in the kitchen where he eats. I gave him some catfood he likes, him purring while he ate it. I went outside after awhile to sand the trunklid on the car since the temp was above 50. TarBaby stayed close by, sometimes walking over trunk lid, walking around the sanding back and forth motions of my hand, playing with me, wanting that hand to be petting him. I pet him with my left hand and sanded with right. Sand with left, pet with right.
He walked around on the ground around the car. Walked up to the roof after awhile for a good view in all directions. He walked down the windshield to the hood and hunkered down at the roadside edge with a view up the road in both directions. He closed his eyes and meditated like he learned to do in the pen. I have noticed a tendency in him toward solitude, going to his places that are his alone, being inward for awhile, like somebody just out of prison. He got used to it. It was the hospital or the grave. He knows that. It's not like he's pouting. He's been inward for three weeks without end. It's too much to expect him to shake it off same day he gets home. I feel good about him. We had a good day together. He knows I'm happy to have him here too,