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For years and years, Sweetie and I were allowed to live and share space in Tigger, The Orange Tiger Kitty’s, house.  She let us share her bed, her kitchen and occasionally share her/our cup of water as we worked around the house.  Anyone with a cat knows that these furry friends consider themselves the master of all they purvey.


Tigger had begrudgingly tolerated the collie, Sandy Paws, too.  But, there was never a doubt between them as to who ruled and drooled in our home.  So when Sandy Paws went to the puppy playground in the sky, Tigger assumed her rightful place as queen of the casa and that was that.


I am partial to orange kitties.  I am convinced that they come with a special personality that is coded somewhere deep in their DNA.  I have always called them cat-dogs because they have all the zen-ness of the felines along with a healthy dose of playful dog-like characteristics.  All you orange cat lovers out there know what I’m talking about.  If you are familiar with Jim Davis’ cartoon, Garfield, you understand orange cats.


Originally a foster cat that grew up in the big city, Tigger rarely ventured into The Big Outdoors until we moved to the country.  It was when we moved onto forty acres that we discovered that she loved to share.


As we would settle into bed for the night, she would wake from her nap (It lasted all day!) and head out to play with the mice in the fields.  These little friends of hers offered hours of entertainment, and after their ‘battery’ ran out, they offered a meal as well.  She loved us soooo much that she would make sure to catch a critter for Sweetie and I to chase around the bedroom, too.  She had a special meow that let us know she was coming.  She’d gently cradle a live mouse (they have the cutest tiny pink ears) in her mouth, come and join us in our/her room, drop the mouse for our play time and then plop down and proceed to groom herself.


There’s very little that will wake us both from a deep three a.m. sleep like that special meow.


One day I received a phone call from a fellow orange cat loving neighbor.  Over a year before, she had put her name on the people-to-call roster for orange kitties at the local shelter.  The animal shelter had phoned her.  There were two orange cats at the shelter and she had the bright idea that Tigger needed one for a playmate.


I talked with Sweetie and he said, well he said quite a lot, but the short version was that he said unequivocally NO.


I figured it wouldn’t hurt to stop by and say hello to the pair of kitties.  So the next time I went to town, I did.


Bad Idea!


I have a saying, “If you want to save money, don’t go to the mall.”  The same applies to animal shelters.  If you aren’t ready to adopt a pet, don’t go.


The kitties were brothers and were about three months old.  They were past the cuddly kitten stage, so the shelter was worried about them being adopted.  I called Sweetie and explained that these cats needed us.  Sweetie’s answer was still the same.  He figured that our family of three was purr-fect.


It’s best to keep the peace, so in the interest of harmony at home I reluctantly left the orange fluff balls with lots of chin scratches and encouraging words that they would find their homes.


Just so you know, I go to town about once a week.


When I repeated this routine the following week, one of the brothers had been adopted.  Sweetie wasn’t swayed when I called and told him about the lone cat.


One more week went by.  Before I left for town, Sweetie stopped me and said that if the cat was still at the shelter I could bring him home.


I may be blonde, but I catch on fast.  I beelined for the shelter and sure enough, there he was.  The orange kitty greeted me like he’d been waiting for my weekly visit.  I went through the details of adoption and scooped up our newest family member.  On the drive home he was a riot to watch as he put his paws on the window and gazed at the world whizzing by.  Did I mention the cat-dogness of orange cats?


I couldn’t wait to introduce him to his new home.  I named him Mr. Sunshine, Sunny for short, because of his sunny personality.  Sweetie calls him Sonny Crockett (all you Miami Mice errr Vice fans will love that).  The cat doesn’t seem to care which name we call him.  He’s pretty content.


Well…to say that Tigger was not amused is probably the understatement of the year, maybe century.  As a matter of fact, she trotted around the house growling at her brother for weeks.  Mr. Sunshine thought it a grand adventure and made it his personal quest to seek her out and either pounce or attempt to snuggle.  He thought it delightful.  She thought we had grown horns out the top of our heads.  On the positive side, she didn’t feel like sharing presents with us at three in the morning anymore.  Yeah!


It took some time, but Tigger began tolerating Mr. Sunshine and eventually she started entertaining herself by hiding around corners waiting to scare the bejesus out of Mr. S on a regular basis.  I’ve never figured out why he didn’t connect the dots on Tigger’s covert missions.  I put it down to his very precious and innocent (insert clueless) personality.  Whatever the reason, it provided hours of enjoyment for all four of our happy family.


Well, time passes and it’s been several years.  Tigger has joined Sandy Paws in the playground in the sky.  And Mr. Sunshine is now quite convinced that he’s actually human.  He is particularly fond of watching television with Sweetie.  His favorites are the basketball games.  The action as they dribble the ball back and forth across the TV screen provides hours of fun for Sweetie and Mr. Sunshine (and me as I watch both their heads swivel back and forth/left and right).


When I think about it, I wonder what our lives would be like if Sweetie and I had not said ‘Yes’ to the opportunity of sharing our lives with this delightful furry being.


Life is like that.


Opportunities come and opportunities go.  Doors open and invite you through.  Your job is to recognize those chances and more importantly to act on them before the door closes.


Your world will be better for it when you do.


Cheers to a purrrfect world for you and the opportunities that you say YES to!

With furry purry love,


Mr. Sunshine

                                                                         Mr. Sunshine aka Sunny or Sonny Crockett

(photo credit Kirk Schmidt)



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