50 Finally, she has a name...

Tigger, ever the fastidious cat, has been grooming much more lately for some reason. Especially lying near the glass door in the dining room. Either he has been getting especially dirty, which he has not, or he is very conscious of his looks for some reason. But what could be the reason? Eventually he ends up on his buddy's chest and the problem comes up in conversation.

"Tigger, I noticed you're grooming an awful lot lately. Are you trying to tell me that I need to clean house because you are getting so dirty?"

"Of course not. The house is plenty clean. I just want to look extra good these days."

"And?"

"What do you mean? Please don't stop rubbing me under my chin. That feels sooooooo good."

"Can I assume there is a reason you want to look extra good these days?"

"Well... yes... I... um... sorta want to impress Misty."

"Of course, I might have guessed. Who's Misty?"

"Oh! I forgot to tell you. Her name is Misty... that pretty girl cat from next door. She told me her name the other day but you were gone shopping and I forgot to tell you when you got back. Misty is a pretty name doncha think?"

"I do indeed. I think Misty is a very pretty name to go with a very pretty cat and I think it is wonderful you finally found out what her name is. Hey, I thought you weren't going to have anything to do with her... the bully you know."

"I keep trying not to but for some strange reason I can't help myself. She is sooooo pretty, and nice too. By the way, those pictures of you when you were a little kid, what happened?"

"What do you mean?"

"That was when I was a little kid, now I am an old man. People change as they grow older. I have a feeling something is bothering you. What is it?"

"You were telling me I am growing up... getting older... and I was glad to hear that. I was really happy I am now eating grown up cat food and all but will I change like you did when I get older?"

"Aha! Now I see where you are going. Yes you will change but not in that way very much. You already have changed a great deal from the little fuzz ball with a pointy tail that you were when you first came to live with me. But you will change very little in looks from now on. Cats don't age the same as people. It is very hard to tell how old a cat is but much easier to tell how old people are."

"Does that bother you?"

"You mean does it bother me that people show their age? Not at all. In fact, I think it is rather nice that as people age a lot of their life shows in their face... laugh lines and eyes especially. For a person to grow to be old they have to have a lot of experiences. Some good some bad but lots of experiences. I think that all of that life shows in the character of their face and I like that. I like to look at people's faces, to try to see how much of life they have experienced. If I still looked like I did when I was a kid I think I would look ridiculous. Nothing wrong with looking like that when you are kid but it would not do to look like that at my age. Besides, I only see my face when I shave each morning, after that it is everyone else's problem."

"Do you think I look OK to Misty?"

"Now that is obvious. She keeps trying to get you to come out and play with her. She knows that the bully doesn't want her to but she does it anyway, like you know he doesn't want you being with her but you can't help wanting to. It must be love."

"Love? What is love?"

They moved from the chair to the window so that they could keep an eye out for Misty just in case she came around looking for Tigger. Roy continued trying to explain life to Tigger.

"Now you are getting into some deep stuff. That is really hard to tell you about. It is all about how people, or cats and things, feel about each other. There are all kinds of love but I guess the easiest way to tell you is to remind you of how you feel about your mom. That is a form of love. How you feel about Misty is another kind. How do you feel about Misty?"

"Whenever she is around I get all flustered... I can't talk to her and when she talks to me I really go to pieces. I can't seem to think or act right. Does that mean I am sick or something?"

"Oh yes! Love sick. You have got a full blown case of love sickness. It is especially bad because you also have the bully to worry about. You have a real dilemma to deal with."

"What is the cure for love sickness? Do I have to take some more medication like I did for my wound?"

"No. This wound is to your heart and I don't know what to tell you to do about it. You have to remember that the bully is there and doesn't want you messing around with Misty but she sure is a pretty cat and she is so nice to you too. Boy! You sure do have yourself a problem."

"What can I do about it?

"I'm afraid you are going to have to work on that problem yourself. That is how the experience lines get into peoples faces. You will have lots of experiences in your life, some good, some bad but lots and lots of experiences. This is one of those.

"You mean you won't be helping me get out of this mess?"

"You've got that right. There isn't much I can do to help you solve that problem. This is up to you."

"Thanks..... a lot...."

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