Garnet Hunt White
His gleaming, golden fur as sunny as sunlight gave Sunshine his name. It also sets him apart from other cats. His hair has a silky soft feel like lush-plush velvet.
His fleecy milk white feet are fluffy like down. He looks at the other cats; cocks his head sideways; then follows me. Follows until he becomes the boss.
Sunshine purrs then peers at me through golden green eyes. He leads me towards his cat pan, stops before he gets there, turns his head and scrutinizes me. I follow.
He turns up his nose at yesterday's food. I put fresh dry food in his pan. He eyes me, then turns as I open him a can of chicken and liver to fill his dish. He eats. I fill his water bowl with fresh water and add a couple of ice cubes. He has me well trained.
Sunshine tolls me to whichever door he chooses to pass through when he wants to go outside. He scratches on the French Doors when he decides to come in. I spring from my chair and open the door. He walks in, head held high, tail straight up. He has me under his paw.
When Glenn, my husband, would come home from work, Sunshine would then transfer his affections to him. He never failed to accompany him into the walk-in closet. He smelled, then walked to Glenn's house shoes, and pulled them forward with his paw.
When Glenn would settle down in his chair to read, Sunshine would curl up on the back of his chair, put his head on Glenn's shoulder and nap. During the day, when I worked at my computer, he always quietly curled in my lap.
Many times I have heard Glenn laugh as he looked out the south window. I asked, "Why are you laughing?"
Glenn would say, "There goes Sunshine up the hill to check the menu at Doctor Gene and Mary's house." Or he would say, "Sunshine's coming down the hill. He's checked out Doctor's place." These travels of Sunshine brought about a nickname, The Partnership Cat.
When Sunshine feels left out, he reaches a white paw out and grabs my skirt. I take him in my arms and stroke his velvety fur. That satisfies him.
Sunshine has hobbies. He likes to ride in the car, sleep on the car's roof in the garage, and watch television, especially the cat food commercials where the cats swish across the screen.
One day, Sunshine and I strolled across our back yard, which joins the Mark Twain National Forest. I carried my salad bucket planning to pick greens.
Sunshine stopped and made a blood curdling noise deep in his throat. I stopped and looked at him. Oh! The velvet fur stood straight outward from his body. His back arched high like a rainbow. His eyes slanted. What was he looking at?
I stood still and looked toward the woods. A second later, I saw two coyotes just outside the fence. I yelled and threw my salad bucket at the fence. They disappeared.
"Oh, Sunshine." I picked him up and hugged him. "You sure paid for your keeps today."
He purred then laid his head on my shoulders.
Glenn suddenly passed away with a heart attack. A stunned shock gripped me. I couldn't sleep; I couldn't eat. Exhausted, but I had to carry on. I lay on the bed at night hoping to rest.
I would become aware of a breathing, purring by my pillow. Sunshine would be laying on the bed near my head. He had never slept on our bed before. He stroked my hair with his paw. Glenn always stroked my hair before he went to sleep. How did Sunshine know to do this?
I took Sunshine to the cemetery. He jumped out of the car, went to Glenn's grave, turned around three time, and laid down.
Yes, Sunshine demands his satisfying food, to be petted, and to be king of the house.
But Sunshine seems to have changes since Glenn's passing. He doesn't take all. He knows how to give by walking away from his cat food in favor of another cat. He shows how to comfort by letting a kitten snuggle up to him to sleep. He grants patience with me by not prancing when I'm slow to feed him.
I don't understand how Sunshine knows so much about me, a human life, but he has helped make my lonely days more bearable.
Through Sunshine, I've learned to have more respect, respect for him, respect for all cats, both the unfortunate discarded ones, and the loved ones. There's a bond between Sunshine and me. Love. We love each other. We give our love to others.
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