I rarely talk about my cat Vinnie because he is a fraidy cat. Nobody knows we even have him, unless of course, I forget to clean his “box.” He scurries under the bed when the door opens. He’s either shy or just plain unsociable–I haven’t decided what his problem is, but then again, I’ve only had him 12 years.
It’s been rather unsettling to have such a shy guy because Parnelli, his predecessor, was a big, fat, ham. He actually LOVED people. He was playful and funny. He’d play fetch with a fake furry mouse, he did “dog” tricks like sit, shake, high five, and wave bye-bye all on command (for a treat, of course) and he loved to sit on anybody’s lap.
But not Vinnie. He’s a cat of another color — well, that’s not exactly true. Vinnie is black and white like Parnelli was, but under the fur he’s a whole different animal.
Vinnie spends his days sleeping in a dog bed in my bedroom. (Ernie has no use for a “dog” bed; he feels he’s entitled to sleep in the big bed with Mom and Dad.) Vinnie only comes out for his tuna in the morning, makes sure his food dish is filled to the brim for snacking during the day, and then he returns to the bedroom. Once in a while he’ll come out to watch the afternoon soap operas, and in the evening, he’ll lay by my feet to watch television. We have discovered, however, he does enjoy Animal Planet, so if we turn on his favorite channel, he’ll grace our presence for over an hour.
Vinnie’s also a talker. Like his Parnelli, Vinnie communicates through different sounding, “Meows,” and he usually initiates the conversation. As a dumb human, I answer, asking him “What do you want?” Only to be told in cat talk that he doesn’t like to repeat himself, but for my benefit he will meow again and again until I get the message.
But even with his shyness, Vinnie is the sweetest cat I’ve ever had. Every night before he settles down, he brings his little Snoopy stuffed animal into the bedroom and rocks him to sleep with a kneading motion he does with all four paws. After several minutes, he gently places Snoopy in his bed, sings a little goodnight song, and then Vinnie goes out into the living room and puts himself to bed in my writing chair. I think this is one of the sweetest behaviors I’ve ever witnessed with one of my pets.
This pet story is just so adorable I had to tell you about him. Just like Parnelli, Vinnie has given us many hours of entertainment and joy–even though it’s been packaged in a totally different way.