Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tsavo on the Dock at Indian Cove AKA Turtle Cove, January 2017

Tsavo, the ranger and gregarious adventurer, is gradually losing his hearing and is mellowing, at least compared to his tradition of perpetual motion. Yet he has lost none of his activated curiosity and manages to make an interesting trek out of every opportunity. Daily, he makes his outdoor rounds, comes in to graze his food bowl, and then returns to his rounds until hungry again, three to four hours total usually. That's when I will corral both he and Tiger for the day. To Tsavo, life has mostly been about the changing landscape in front of him and what's next.

He was such an independent, self-sufficient strong silent-type cat that he hadn't spoken to me the whole year and a few months until Tiger moved in, and Tiger, being uninhibitedly vocal apparently from birth, inspired Tsavo and taught him how emotive enunciation could get further positive attention from me. Now Tsavo has words for and emotions about almost everything and it has helped he and I become closer than ever.. Tiger's instructive examples probably help make up for how Tiger attacked Tsavo when Tiger first arrived from the Darwinian streets of Austin.

My current favorite recurring Tsavo moment happens multiple times a night.  He will pad into the dimly lit study and silently stand up and very gently touch my sleeve with one paw two or three times in a row, a touch so soft and pleasing that it helps me clearly imagine his earnest face looking right at mine before I even turn to see him. Then he will softly utter a few meows while looking me directly in the eyes, and when I do turn and face him, usually stating his name, and truly happy to see him and surprised each time he does this - such an intimate personal approach and a wonderful learned understanding of how to appeal to me – there is his small sweet face searching mine for my own sweet surrender.  He then turns and runs out of the study either to the kitchen or front screen door.

Then it is up to me to follow him and look into whatever important need that Tsavo needs tending to at the moment. Sometimes it's a bit more kibble in his bowl to last the rest of the night. Sometimes he just wants company while he sits at the screen door and looks and listens into the forest, his head turning slightly to one side or the other, his ears fine-tuning direction finders. Occasionally he will want me to stand guard at the litter box to make sure our retired warrior Tiger doesn't get any funny ideas about an ambush, which he has been known to do both indoors and out, all in good street fun of course.

Tsavo and I have been great friends since first meeting on our long sloped driveway. He was smelling the air and looking for his previous human significant other who had gone for a walk without him, though she had brought the new dog - a doubly hurtful omission! Yet he longed to join them and wore his heart on his paw, and I was touched by the intensity of his loyalty and feelings. Soon after that, he began visiting me regularly at my cabin, I'd let him sit where he wanted and stay as long as he could. Soon his human knew to head directly to my house when looking for Tsavo.  After a month or two, she asked me if I wanted Tsavo to come live with me.  It was an unexpected and the most generous offer I've ever received.

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