By Ernie Williamson The Bulletin
I was a dog person growing up.
As years passed, however, I married into some cats.
I officially became a cat person about 14 years ago when we found four kittens in a bush in front of the house.
We already had a couple of other cats, so keeping the four kittens was out of the question.
We decided we would care for the kittens in our sun room until we could give them away. The plan almost worked.
Doc, an adorable tuxedo kitten, and a furry calico, “Callie”, went fast. But we had no takers for Sweetie, another calico, or Bear, an already husky black kitten.
You guessed it. My wife and I grew attached to the two nobody wanted and kept them.
Sweetie, because she was just that - sweet - and Bear - because nobody else wanted him.
We have no regrets.
Now, 14 years later, we are down to just one cat. The others have passed.
Bear has been the only cat in the house since Sweetie passed last year.
The two were total opposites.
Sweetie, who I admit was my favorite, was social. She never met a stranger and often would climb up on the laps of strangers.
Bear, on the other hand, would take off and hide under the bed at the mere sound of a visitor at the front door.
Sweetie loved to play. She would chase her tail, swat at lint in the air and bat at pieces of string dangled in front of her.
Bear wanted none of it.
Sweetie was completely trusting. Unfamiliar sounds did not frighten her.
A simple cough would send Bear running.
Sweetie was always by my side.
Bear stayed out of sight, except at meal time.
Bear, however, has undergone a personality transformation since he became the surviving cat.
It may be because he misses the other cats. Or it may be because he no longer must compete with other cats for attention from my wife, Kelly, and I.
Whatever the reason, Bear has become more social. I wake up in the morning with him at the foot of the bed. He is sitting next to me now as I type this column.
He plays Kelly and I against each other. If I stop petting him, he heads straight for Kelly where he knows he will not only get petted, but will get a treat.
It is almost as if he is making up for lost years.
Although Bear appears to be in good health, he is 14 years old, and I know it will not be long before there will not be any cats left in our house.
That will be a sad day.
Getting another cat would be complicated by the fact that Kelly and I are both in our 70s. We would need a plan for a cat’s long-term care.
I am all for that.
I am, after all, a cat person.
(Contact Ernie at email@example.com. Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)