and used to be a man about town.
Now that he is 18
a bit arthritic and slower
he sticks close to home.
His mom (the human one)
who loves puns and colorful woven rugs
named him Ikat.
She likes to travel.
Which is a blessing to me and other friends
who love to live with her cats
in the cottage and garden
next to the creek
that runs from the island to the sea.
But Ikat did not appreciate her wandering off so often
he took to the road, too.
It broke his mom's heart the first time she returned home
to find him missing.
She rejoiced when he sauntered back into her life
many weeks later
looking fine--only to fret yet again
when he walked out one day
and did not come home that night
or the next...
Again, several weeks passed
and then, one evening
she heard the slap of the cat flap
and his distinctive, baritone voice
meowing to be fed.
The next year
while Ikat had once again gone missing
neighbors alerted her that they had seen
a grey and white cat on the other side of the village.
It took her several days, but she finally found him
happy, healthy and sitting in another garden.
She knocked on the door
met the family and, with them, put 2 & 2 together:
Ikat had wandered into their lives
adopted them and another name: Bob.
They clearly loved him, too
and had also felt deeply distressed
every time he disappeared
only to rejoice again
when he returned.
And so it continued
for four or five years
the two families sharing the big, handsome boy
until Ikat-Bob grew older and stiff with arthritis.
Now, he likes staying close to home
with his first human mom
and seems to have accepted the fact that, from time to time
she still goes away
but invites live-in friends to keep him company
while he spends most of each day
sleeping on down comforters in the sun
until his stomach wakes him.
Then, he comes to find you
boring holes through you with his bright gold eyes
and escorts you
to the food bowl
i love living with Ikat
and that he seems to like living with me
until him mom gets back home.