A Cat’s Best Friend



Bailey was MY cat … I guess you could really say, I was Bailey’s human. Bailey was patient with me. He always waited for me to sit down and get comfortable. Then he’d look and take a moment to survey my seat. Finally, he would hop on up and nestle himself down beside me with his paws on my leg. If I was in the way, he would wiggle back and forth until I moved over. That was his polite way of saying, “this is my seat, but I’ll share it with you.”

Bailey was known as the purrr-meister. His voice box could rival the loudest Harley on a Sunday afternoon. Bailey would begin to purr at the sight of me – or at least that’s what I’m sure he wanted me to think. Bailey might have been purring at the sight of the cat food can I had in my hand. I may never know, but I know I felt him purring from the next room.

Bailey had me trained well. He would herd me over to the kitchen cabinets beside the sink and then tell me what he wanted. “Mow … Mow … Mow, Mow” I finally decided it was morse code for “Treat Now … Treat Now” He would get more intense and the pauses between meows would diminish as I took the bag of treats off their shelf and opened the ziplock bag. As I placed my hand inside to grab a few, I would be met with his paws at the top cabinet drawer. He seemed to tell me, “Good human, now hand them over, quick, I’m starving.” I would throw a few on the floor, or at least I think they made it to the floor. Bailey would sweep them up like a vacuum and then ask for more. “Sucker,” I would mutter to myself as I took out another handful.

Everyone loved Bailey. That includes our four other cats. They all loved Bailey even if they occasionally fought among themselves. As I was Bailey’s human, the other cats were his children – even if just figuratively. Jack, Lizzy, Sandi or Henri would all seek out Bailey’s approval when coming inside the house. They would rub their scent all up and down Bailey and wait while he sniffed his approval. Only then could they continue to the food bowl for a snack.

At night, Bailey would allow one of his children to curl up next to him. Especially in the winter when it is colder, Bailey wanted warmth. Sometimes everyone would fight for the right to sleep next to Bailey. Sometimes Bailey gave in and two or three would curl up with him. Everyone loved Bailey.

Bailey outside

Bailey outside

Bailey had no need to go outside. Bailey had four other cats to go do his bidding out of doors. All Bailey needed was the door to be opened so he could sniff the air. Bailey could tell another cat coming from two doors down or smell a squirrel before the squirrel even decided to make a trek into our yard. Bailey had a keen sense of smell. He just didn’t want to go outside. So he didn’t. But, Bailey would sit in the doorway sniffing for half a day if you would let him.

As I sit back tonight and reflect on the joy and the happiness that Bailey has brought to my life and my family’s life for the last 13+ years, there is no doubt in my mind that I was Bailey’s human. I am grateful he picked me and I will miss him.

Bailey, 1/1996 to 3/25/2009.
Leica M8, 1/90, f/2 50mm ISO 320

1 Comment

  1. Came across your site via another which is usually my case while learning about PS and LR. Funny thing is your post about your cat really hit home for me. Our cat Sally passed away last Friday after 19 years of bringing a ton of smiles to us and not asking for much in return. Over a year ago she was diagnosed with CRF better known as Chronic Renal Failure and with no cure. The only way to help her kidneys out was to give her subcutaneous injections under her skin everyday. One bag of saline solution per week, IV line, and a new needle everyday-this was my introduction to becoming a vet, or at least pretending I was! This would help flush out the toxins in her kidneys and yes prolong her life. It’s equivalent to dialysis for humans but not quite as complicated. To not drag this out my vet told me Sally would probably live 3 months with our help-she lived 15 months and I finally had to put here down because her kidneys were no longer responding to the treatments. Sally will be missed by the entire family-heck she almost made it through 3 generations of dogs! Great blog by the way, but your cat took center stage-as they always do!

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