June 11, 2004

Mi-Ha: The Golden Years

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.


The golden years of Mi-Ha were really golden. She brought me great joy! I loved my cat. One of the things we loved to do together was take cat naps. Many a time I recall being tired after doing a Jane Fonda workout tape and ending with a cooldown on the floor. I would collapse right there with my bottled water and over she would come. She would curl up on the floor next to me and go to sleep. I thought that only dogs followed their owners around but my Mi-Ha did the same thing. Wherever I went she followed.

I remember after I moved from Chapel Hill to Durham, the apartment I moved into was a basement apartment. When I looked out the window all I could see was feet. One morning I was getting ready to go to work and I had the living room window open. It had a screen of course. Mi-Ha was always at the windows as cats always are. All of a sudden I heard a low yowl and then she pitched herself at the screen, it popped out and she was gone. There must have been another car out there. I was just about to leave so I was fully dressed. I grabbed my keys and flew out the door to find her soon. I had to get to work.

I walked and walked and walked some more. I called her name softly, then louder and finally I was yelling her name. I called work, hysterical and crying that my cat was lost and I would not be in until I found her. I began the search again. 2 hours passed and still no Mi-Ha. Despair and heartbreak began to set in. I walked and yelled name some more , all the time crying in between. Someone called the police. They must have thought I was disturbed and needed some help. I did--but only to find my cat. When the officer approached me he asked if I was okay. I explained the situation and demanded that since he was there that he also help me find my cat. He retreated to his police car and left. Aren't the police supposed to serve the public? Why did not he help me?

Finally around 12:30pm I called Mi-Ha's name and I heard a faint meow. I could not tell where it was coming from. I was about 1/2 mile from home and still in the apartment parking lot. I listened. Silence. I called her name again. Again that faint meow. Just one. It was coming from down low and behind me. I walked to the row of cars behind me and called again. "Meow." I got down on the ground and looked under all the cars in that row. Nothing. I called again and this time the sound seemed to be coming from the row of cars on the aisle behind me.

I walked over to that aisle behind me and called her name. I heard a much louder MEOW now. She had to be near. I got down on the ground and looked under all the cars. Finally I spied her 2 cars away. I got up and ran over to that car calling her name the whole time. She came out from under the car and literally leaped into my arms. She was shaking like a leaf. She clung to me and we walked home. Mission accomplished. I called my boss and told him I was coming in. He told me to stay home and just take the day. He said after speaking with me the first time I would most likely be no good for the rest of the day.

I also remember that Mi-Ha was my personal alarm clock. Just minutes before the alarm clock would go off, she would climb up from the foot of the bed where she normally slept and climb up on my chest and just sit until the alarm rang. If I got up she would get up. If I did not get up she would begin to purr very loudly with her nose less than one inch away from mine. If I did not open my eyes she would snake out a paw and touch my nose. She would continue to place her paw on my nose until my eyes opened. Once they were open she would get up. Her work was done.

Let's not forget the fish platter incident. I had found a wonderful set of clear fish dishes and a matching fish platter at Pier One Imports. The fish platter was a heavy, glass platter with a trout imprint made into the glass. It was lovely. The only place to keep it was on top of the refrigerator. Well one day when I got home Mi-Ha was sitting on top of the fish platter on top of the refrigerator. I had never seen her up there before or anywhere in the kitchen up on anything. We had gone through lots of water bottle spritz training to keep her off of things. Well, she saw me and I saw her. She knew immediately she was not to be up there.

What happened next happened in slow motion. Mi-Ha jumped from the refridgerator to the floor. When she did, her back paws made the fish platter fly into the air. Tha platter flew in slow motion into the air to the right of the fridge. I leap forward to catch the platter with arms outstretched. Unfortunately I was just short an inch or two. My outstretched arms and the platter passed each other like ships in the night. The platter fell and smashed in slow motion into a thousand pieces of broken glass.

Yes, yes, yes. Those were the golden years.


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