Popoki was an amazing cat. Anyone who has ever been owned by a cat feels that their cat is special, and they are right. But I was Popoki’s human – one of them anyway – and this is my blog – this is my story, and Popoki was amazing!
I’m sure I mentioned in an earlier post that Popoki was every inch a lady – une grande dame – if you please. She exerted her authority with skill, but she never left anyone in doubt as to who was in charge. Case in point:
Popo was not an incorrigible scratcher, but she did have one preference. In the family room of the house where I lived with my parents and brothers, we had an old overstuffed and upholstered rocker. It was a comfortable chair – we had owned that chair for as long as I could remember. It was my Dad’s favorite chair, because it fit him well – he was six and one-half feet tall, and this chair suited his body contours just right. It suited Popoki’s claws just as well. She did not ruin the upholstery of the chair, but it appeared that she was well on the way to doing so when my mother, who foolishly thought she had control, decided to “teach” the cat not to scratch up the furniture.
Here’s the method she chose to teach Popo to stop exercising her claws on the chair: “Popoki,” said Mom to the cat,”You must stop scratching the chair! From now on, whenever you scratch the chair, I’m putting you outside!” Popo ignored her, and went over to scratch the chair. Immediately, my mother picked her up, walked over to the adjacent sliding glass door which led to the screened-in porch. It didn’t seem to bother her much. As a matter of fact she discovered that if she wanted to go out, all she had to do was scratch the chair! She got an escorted trip to the door! Neat!
It got to the point where you could tell by her body language, that there were many times that she wanted to go out, but didn’t really feel like scratching the chair, but, Hey! You gotta try to appease your humans. She would do a cursory quick scratch on the chair, and then patiently walk over to the door and wait to be let out. You could almost see her roll her eyes. “What a cat’s gotta do to keep people happy! Sheesh!”
Another wonderful memory of Popoki is her way with children. She always seemed to know how to treat them, and which kids she needed to stay away from, and which ones she could encourage to play. When my eldest nephew was just learning to walk, Popoki delighted in “knocking him down.” What she would do was to lean against him as he stood up. He would lose his balance, and fall down again! Christopher loved this. Fortunately, little kids have a very low center of gravity, and it was a short plop to the floor from the standing position. The two of them would play this game for several minutes at a time. I never knew who enjoyed it more, but anyone lucky enough to observe their play would have almost as much fun.
There are many more Popoki stories to tell. They’ll keep for another time. Until then, for now, I’ve said enough. . .