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The Day Trust Is Given

It started with a phone call from my wife who was out shopping.

"I'm bringing home a cat," she told me.

"You don't need my permission. Is it in need?" I asked.

"Yes, he is and he's a big boy," she responded.

"I look forward to meeting him," was my final word before the line went dead.

About two hours later she arrived home with a large carrier. I was told they gave it to her with the adoption. She opened the door and out stepped a Maine Coon. 

The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed. It has a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the US state of Maine] where it is the official state cat. The Maine Coon is a large and sociable cat, hence its nickname, "the gentle giant". It is characterized by a prominent ruff along its chest, robust bone structure, rectangular body shape, an uneven two-layered coat with longer guard hairs over a silky satin undercoat, and a long, bushy tail. The breed's colors vary widely, with only lilac and chocolate disallowed for pedigree. Reputed for its intelligence and playful, gentle personality, the Maine Coon is often cited as having "dog-like" characteristics.

The others came forward to meet this stranger and then came the hissing which is an attempt to establishing dominance, he was unmoved. My wife said that she found him at an adoption event. He was alone in a large cage and looked very sad, He was passed by due to his size and age, he was four and everyone wants kittens.

The volunteers offered that he probably wouldn't get along with other cats based on what they observe and they could offer no background info so we had no idea what he endured during his early days. That is the only drawback to adopting an older pet. The shelters really have no clue about his background except how they came to them.

We didn't see much of him over the next several hours as he exploring the house. At mealtime we discovered that he was not a wet food lover, he preferred dry. As we turned in for the night he found a place on the couch and stayed there all night. Morning came as did their breakfast time and the normal hissing was greatly reduced and the others drew closer to sniff him. We renamed him "Tank" and he soon responded to his name.

It was later that day as I headed upstairs I found him perched on the landing wall at the top of the stairs.

"How ya doing big boy?" I asked and moved in a little closer.

What happened then caught me by surprise. He hit me across the face about a dozen times in rapid succession.

"What the hell?" I said out loud.

"What's wrong?" I heard my wife ask from her office.

"Tank hit me about a dozen times across the face," I answered.

'You invaded his space and he was warning you to back off. If he really wanted to hurt you he would have had his claws out," she added.

 I was a little upset but that didn't alter my attitude toward him. He was stroked whenever he walked by. I made sure he was fed at mealtimes and was present when I dolled out the kitty treats and catnip. Based on his reactions I can only assume that he had never been given treats in his kitten days.

He was a favorite playmate of the younger and smaller kitties. I watched as he chased them and then after a quick bath break they chased him. The first time he hacked up a hairball he crouched low and looked like he was ready to run. I wonder if his former master scolded him for this normal occurrence.

Anyway, it was about a month later and I am sprawled out on the couch recovering from dental surgery. I wasn't in pain and the meds they gave me made me groggy and I decided not to risk climbing the stairs. I had the TV on to help distract me and maybe lull me to sleep.

It was a little after I laid down that I felt the distinct pressure of kitty paws from one of the cats walking up the side of my body. When it reached my shoulder it jumped down and I soon felt kitty whiskers against my cheek. I opened my eyes and there stood Tank just staring at me.

He rubbed the side of his face against mine to deposit his scent on me and that was followed by a quick lick on the forehead and a head bump. This big boy then stretched out alongside me and began to purr. It was a deep reverberating sound that I felt and heard and was asleep in no time.

When my wife left her office to check on me she discovered that Tank was still stretched out next to me and took a picture with her smartphone to show me. Apparently, I had gotten cold and covered myself up with a throw and Tank was now under it with me.

When I moved to get up and use the restroom and take some more pain meds the big cat jumped down and vanished. When I returned to the couch he reappeared and waited until I pulled back the throw so he could jump up and be under it with me.

I had earned the big cat's trust and we have been buds ever since.


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