49 Growing up

Tigger is growing up. Of course it was inevitable but there is one sure sign. He has graduated from kitten food to cat food.... He is officially no longer a kitten.

"Whoa! What is this in my food bowl? It tastes good but it sure isn't my usual food."

"Right you are. It isn't your usual food because you are now officially a cat, not a kitten and that is cat food. Don't you feel good about that?

"Hey! This is pretty neat. It does feel good to get cat food now. I bet you don't know how good it feels."

"Oh yes I do. When I was growing up we wore shorts or knickers until we reached a certain age. I remember very well how great it felt to graduate from knickers to long pants."

"What are knickers?"

"Let me show you. This is a picture of me and my brothers when we were growing up in Pulaski, Virginia in the early 1940's. We are wearing knickers... you know... the funny pants."

"Which one is you?"

"I am the one in the middle. The one on the left is my younger brother Barry and the one on the right is my older brother Fred."

"Ummm... and what may I ask is Fred holding? It doesn't look at all like a cat to me."

"How perceptive of you. It's not a cat. He is our dog Rascal. We didn't have any cats living with us when we were growing up."

"You mean you lived a deprived childhood?" he said with a look of real concern.

"I guess you might say that. We didn't know any better than to like a dog at the time though. Sorry about that. Actually Rascal was a very good companion for us in spite of being a dog."

"As long as you didn't know any better at the time. I must say that knickers look... well sort of... uh... what else can I say... funny."

"I agree and I agreed then as well. Now you can understand why I was so glad to graduate to long pants. I tell you what. The thing I hated most about knickers was the corduroy knickers! When you walk in corduroy knickers they make a loud swishing sound... not really swishing... more like two files rubbing together. It was impossible to sneak up on anyone and getting into the kitchen to sneak some cookies was impossible without mom hearing us. Sure made getting into mischief difficult."

"That would be bad. By the way, I am real quiet but you seem to know where I am and what I am doing almost all the time.... it makes it difficult for me to get into mischief too. How do you do that?" He asked with a worried expression, his ears back and his whiskers tucked in tight.

"Oh, I know you... I know you real well. I have known you since you were a little kitten you know. I can almost tell what you are going to get into before you do but sometimes you surprise me and get into something before I know you are doing it... but not often."

"I know... I hate how you do that!" He said as he gave me his most intense look.

"I guess you could look at it this way. Just like the house and yard are your territory and you spend most of your time keeping track of what is going on in your territory, the same areas are my territory as well. I have to know what is going on too. I watch you and have learned how you think."

"I know. I just wish you wouldn't do that. I just can't get away with anything around here." he was trying his best to look really hurt.

"And that, Tigger, is the whole idea. That is what I am supposed to do to take care of my territory.... and you."

"Why don't you let me do job that while I am looking after my territory? Then you wouldn't have to bother with it." he said with a hopeful expression, his ears back up, whiskers out and tail like a flag pole.

"Hummmmmmmmmm.... sounds like having the fox guarding the chicken house to me".

"Hey! Fox? Chicken house? How do I get that job?"

"You don't. It is part of my responsibility to see that you don't."

"Oh well. Oh yeah, do you have any more pictures of when you were a kid?" he asked more than ready to change the subject at this point.

"Oh yes! Tons of them. Would you like to see a few more?"

"Please. I like seeing what you looked like when you were little. You were kinda cute when you were a kid."

"Thanks, I think. Anyway, here are a couple more you might like to see. They have my mom and dad in them. They sure were wonderful parents. I miss them."

"I miss my mom too. She is a really good mom but I don't get to see her any more. Hey, wait a minute. Is that you holding the dog?"

"It is... but remember, this was before I knew any better and besides Rascal was a really good friend when I was growing up. That should count for something."

"You really didn't know about cats then?"

"It wasn't that I didn't know anything about cats then. I just didn't know how superior to dogs they were. I just didn't know any better... sorry."

"I guess you can be excused if you really didn't know how superior cats are to dogs. Besides, you were a cute kid then... what happened?"

"That's enough of that...."

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