Once, We Were FLYING!
Q: How did Bob come to live with you, Maggie?
A:By a very roundabout way, actually.
Bob was born in Boulder, Colorado and somehow wound up at the local animal shelter, where he was adopted by a woman who had just divorced her husband and who felt like their house was a bit empty with just her and her cat, The Pouncemeister. She brought Bob home, but The Pouncemeister did not want another cat around and Bob, being a high-spirited Yearling, didn’t help things by being more pounce-y than Pouncemeister. So, the recently divorced woman returned Bob to the shelter with her regrets and apologies.
And there Bob sat. A gangly Yearling cat with a head too big for his skinny and awkwardly growing body, hiding in the back of a cage with a little card that had his name on it and a short description: “Hello, my name is Roberto! Take me home and I will sing for you!”
A week or so passed when a man, recently divorced and living in a trailer on the outskirts of town, came in to the animal shelter looking for a friend to keep him company on those cold and lonely Colorado nights, when the wind comes howling down off The Flatirons and rustles the seams of the double-wides as they cling to the frozen foothill prairie. He used to have a cat, and a wife, but now had neither. He saw quite a few fine felines, all out front and looking for love, and he considered a couple of them seriously. But his eyes kept coming back to the big, but scrawny, grey cat who was slumped in the back of his cage, looking out with big eyes that seemed to say, “it’s OK, I know I’m not much, have a good one, man.” The man read the card on the cage, and, being a musician himself, thought that maybe two down on their luck minstrels might just be able to make each other’s world a little bit better.
“You look like a guy who needs to catch a break,” the man said.
“Heh-roooow?” replied Roberto.
“Whattya say, how about we keep each other company?” said the man.
So, he adopted Roberto, whom he called Bob.
Bob and his new human got on great in that drafty trailer and even had a laugh when they figured out that they’d both been dumped by the same woman. Yes, that’s right- the man’s ex-wife and the man’s ex-cat were The Pouncemeister and his human! Bob and the man laughed and shared a Dinty Moore beef stew that night and toasted the improbable rightness of their improvised family.
Now, the man and Bob were growing weary of the cold winds of Colorado and sought to find a new life in warm and reasonably sunny San Francisco, where a Dot Com goldrush was said to be happening. It also helped that the man had fallen in love with a weird lady from the Internet who had invited them to move in with her. So, Bob and the man moved to San Francisco and got a lovely apartment with the weird lady.
The man, after spending more time with her, began to think of the weird lady as “the really weird and messed-up lady,” while Bob took a real fancy to her. Eventually, the man and the weird lady stopped being a couple and got a place with seperate bedrooms. (This being San Francisco, you hold onto any halfway decent roommates you can find.) Bob was now faced with a decision- what bed would he sleep on? With whom?
Well, Bob decided that the weird lady, although weird, smelled better than the man, who had taken up kickboxing and was awfully sweaty and smelly at the end of the day. Bob chose the weird lady and her good-smelling bed.
One day, the man met an English lady and he fell in love with her. He said goodbye to the weird lady and to Bob and wished them well. Bob gave his old pal a jumpy rub on the knee and thanked him for giving him a break when no one else would.
The weird lady wished the man luck, and sent him on his way. She gave Bob a hug and the two of them shared a steak dinner together, one of many.
And Bob and I lived happily ever after, mostly. But those are different stories.