Aiden rules! He steals my attention at the top of each day. At the peep of dawn he scratches the frig door for his scoop of Solid Gold wet food and he meows incessantly until I traipse out of my bedroom to feed him.
Aiden prefers his genetically unaltered lamb served 6 seconds out of the microwave not a hair too late, and before he partakes, he’ll perform his usual ritual. He circles the feeding bowl prayerfully at least four times, wiping his paws on the kitchen tiles. Sometimes I wonder if his neuro wires are crossed up. Maybe he’s confused eating with completing his litter box activity.
My quirky, lovable cat must have an attentive audience when he eats. Like a child tugging at his mother’s apron strings, Aiden requires undivided attention in all his feline pursuits, including his rest room breaks. This behavior is probably not typical of most cats. They want their privacy at all costs, but Aiden likes to be different. He is so non conformist that he’s never hissed a day in his life.
When my constant companion takes an occasional walk with me on the end of his leash, a neighborhood dog will approach and furiously bark at him obeying canine instincts. Aiden, however, won’t miss a beat and will go right up to any animal, big or small who bothers to notice him, and plant a giant wet kiss right on his nose.
During Aiden’s daily ride in his favorite blue stroller, he’s in cat paradise. Quickly, he sniffs out approaching dogs whose owners are curious enough to peer inside and take a look. Most passersby think I have a cute baby in my mini pram, not an eighteen pound ball of fur. The worst part of the walk for Aiden, is returning home. Once we’re inside the patio area, and the gate is closed, he will sit it out, and refuse to emerge from his comfort zone. But in a standstill like this, a few well placed Greenies will do the trick.
Aiden used to live with me in my previous abode which was a boxed in room off a main house owned by a friend. She offered me free rent in exchange for my helping to care for her aging, wheel chair bound mother.
This living space was so crowded and claustrophobic that my students would sometimes trip over themselves getting to the Steinway piano. To conserve the area I was given, I slept on a futon under my grand.
One day I inadvertently did a back flip trying to release myself from my piano bench where I had been uncomfortably sandwiched between a tall book shelf and the keyboard itself. Can you imagine the next scheduled student coming upon me in an compromised position with my feet up in the air? It had to be the most embarrassing moment of my life!
Aiden was content to inhabit this tight living quarter because he would always perch himself on my Steinway for a good part of the day.
Honestly, there was nowhere else for him to go, except out the door to a vastly big patio, that was paved in stone. That’s where “Hannah,” the homeowner’s dog hung out from time and time and where she always growled furiously when encountering Aiden. But, my indomitable male feline, predictably sauntered right up to her, licked her face and refused to break the amiable bond.
Some of these love trysts would occur in the main house off the dining area.
When I moved to my townhouse in northwest Fresno, Aiden suddenly had a full-blown space in which to prance. First thing he did was race up and down the staircase like a bullet train, releasing all the pent-up energy that had been bottled up in the previous minuscule living space. And in time, he settled down a bit, and found some favorite haunts where he would hide for hours at a time, eluding me.
That’s when I purchased a new collar for him and attached a very resonant bell.
Aiden loves his new home and now recognizes two pianos and a Casio digital keyboard as his constant friends. These go along with the perpetual tripod and mounted video camera in the living room.
Last night, Aiden did a tour de force maneuver. As he comfortably lay on his back, enjoying a waft of late evening cool breezes, I tiptoed up to him and cooed, “stretch the putty cat.” Without the nudge of my fingers on his paws, he produced a big, uninhibited stretch on demand.
If this should ever happen again within videotaping range, and I have the assistance of a visitor, Aiden will finally enjoy his 300 megabytes of You Tube fame. He will establish his new-found celebrity on the Network! For now he picks and chooses his show off times, and controls the ebb and flow of life here in my new, expanded piano studio.
Watch him scale the walls!