Rambo Is Bored

A Cabin-Fevered Cat

By Marylyn Cork

My cat Rambo is bored. Tired to death of winter. He longs to be outside chasing anything that moves, but too much snow has accumulated in my yard.

Rambo came to me last spring as a tiny ball of golden fluff that a granddaughter brought by, pointing out I’d always had a weakness for yellow cats. She also brought a timid littermate with him so I could “have a choice,” while actually hoping I’d take them both, I expect.

I picked the adventurous one who stuck his nose out of the carrier immediately, totally unintimidated. I named him Rambo.

The name fit, and from the first, he loved the out-of-doors. Three times in the first six weeks he made himself deathly ill, apparently from something he sampled in my yard. Everything went into his mouth. Each time he got sick he rallied, while I began to worry he would use up his nine lives before he was even six months old.

One day he disappeared while in the house. Searching the premises, I accidentally dropped a recliner on him while he was curled up under it taking a nap. I thought I had broken his foot, but the vet’s x-rays revealed it was merely a sprain. Rambo divested himself of the splint before we were home again, and walked on the top of the joint until he regained full use of his paw.

He grew fast as the summer took hold. His favorite playthings were garter snakes that visited the sprinkler hoses and my tiny pool during our hot, dry summer. I often caught him dragging serpents of varying sizes around the yard. That’s when I learned that snakes can play possum. As soon as they quit squirming, Rambo lost interest, dropped them and turned his attention to something else that moved while they slithered away, apparently unharmed.

Snow was Rambo’s unwelcome introduction to winter. He shot like a cannonball through the porch door that first morning, moving so fast he missed the top step entirely and landed on all four feet in about four inches of shivery white stuff.

The look on his face was priceless. Shocked to the core, that cat was too flummoxed to move for a good thirty seconds. I laughed hysterically. He pouted the rest of the day and stayed in the house.

Eventually, he concluded he’d just have to live with it. He’s been in and out ever since, hardly out before he’s back at the door wanting in. There isn’t much of anywhere he can go to avoid walking in the hated snow, except up and down the sidewalk to the county road and back, and around the house under the eaves to the back deck.

Not long ago he followed me to a bird feeder as I was plowing ahead of him through snow up to my knees.  Hitting a soft spot under a tree, he almost disappeared from view. I watched him lunge toward the sidewalk while trying to keep his head above the surface, looking for all the world like someone doing the breaststroke down the length of a swimming pool.

My green-eyed cat is half human, as full of mischief and high spirits as a two-year-old child. He can climb to the ceiling, loves my yogurt breakfast smoothies, and bats the leaves of the foliage plants in the living room back and forth just for the fun of watching them quiver.

He also stubbornly insists on trying to sleep with me, even though he knows very well it’s not allowed. Those clever paws have no trouble working the door open if I’m at all remiss about closing it tight when I go to bed.

I wish I’d kept the other kitten for his playmate.


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