Sunday, December 2, 2012

Shotgun Gator Kitty Sidekick

Sassy napping on the Gator seat
Today was the first day that Sassy has trusted me enough to actually stay in my lap while I'm driving the Gator. Why is this significant? Because she has wanted to ride with me since she arrived here but has been too scared. She sleeps on the Gator seat, follows my every move when I'm outside, and stands with her back legs on my feet every time I end up standing in one place for more than a few seconds. She's a needy drooly kitty who will jump into every vehicle you're in, follow you like a dog (hell, better than OUR dog!) and leap onto your shoulders or climb up your leg with super-sharp Claws Of Death when you're least expecting it. Now, ask her to catch a mouse and you're insulting her.
Sassy lounging in the wash stall
She's here for eye candy only. She is the Superior Siamese Barn Kitty. She does not work for her supper unless you consider her career is modeling. Catarina, the poofy long haired Fabio-looking blindingly white cat with calico patches is the unlikely hunter of the bunch. While she looks like she should be going down a models' runway at the latest Cat Fancy show and winning in the Housecat division due to her stunningly soft and starchily clean long coat, she's the more industrious of the duo. She prefers to don a construction cap and grab her lunch pail every morning and embark on her journey through the plains of the Serengeti (better known as our backyard and the adjoining forest behind the pasture) while Sassy lounges in her cat bed eating bon-bons in her housedress and trailer park tiara in the barn or curls up in the barrel that we store our trailer cover in in our shed. Catarina then brings the spoils of the hunt to our front door and prominently displays them on the doormat, to which we greet with an obligatory CRUNCH and often a scream as we step on the carcass in our hurry to leave the house in the morning. I can't tell you how many mornings I've spent scraping vole goo off of the soles of my shoes after having walked the dog....

Pepper riding on a round bale

Pepper prowling in the backyard
Pepper walking the plank
But I digress. Sassy is a sweet soul who reminds me so much of my beloved Pepper. She came to us after Pepper passed last year and her mannerisms, drooly kitty-ness, her tendency to be fearlessly underfoot and inconveniently in the way whilst still maintaining her cuteness is surprisingly similar. Now Pepper used to LOVE the Gator. She was an adrenaline junkie kitty who LOVED riding shotgun in the Gator, tried to constantly make herself a hood ornament on our cars, ATV and eventually the Gator while we drove around the farm. She rode shotgun with me everywhere. If she wasn't hanging on to the passenger seat, head up and wind blowing through her fur, she was firmly attached to my lap, claws dug in, while I was driving. She even hopped onto anything in motion-I snapped a pic while she was in her glory perched on a round bale we were towing with the Gator.
She climbed rafters that were insanely high and napped on birds nests. If she were a human, I guarantee she would be mountain biking down steep cliffs and jumping out of airplanes. Maybe a race car driver? Who knows.

Sassy insisting on helping me put up lights

So ever since Sassy arrived and "felt" like Pepper, she's gazed longingly at the Gator when I drive it. She would sleep on the seat and clearly want to stay in it with me whenever I drove it, but fear would take over and she would leap out of the moving Gator within seconds. For a while, it was an event for her to stay in the Gator when it was started. She would follow it, trotting beside it until I got to my destination. But no matter how gentle I drove it she would eventually lose trust and jump out. So, today was the first day I've ever scooched her over into the passenger seat and had her stay in the Gator while driving. She climbed onto my lap, dug her claws in and drooled while I drove around the farm.
Sassy actually climbed the ladder right next to me
It may not mean much, but when you feel the honest trust of an animal while they're clearly fighting every instinct that tells them to flee and they make a conscious choice to stay with you, it's a special thing. I'm glad to say that I have a Shotgun Gator Kitty Sidekick again.

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