Morti and Me – Part 2
Slice Of Life
By – Sheri de Grom
Morti was a California cat through and through. He dreamed of sunshine and endless saucers of cream. Unlike everyone else in the beach community near Los Angeles where we lived, Morti had no desire to get in a car. Cars, to Morti, meant a trip to the veterinarian.
Imagine, if you will, his total lack of enthusiasm when I told him we were moving to Germany but were stopping in Kansas first. After all, we lived at the beach. Why move? Each morning all we had to do was open the drapes and the sliding glass door and there was that warm enticing white sand.
Morti was a house cat but he certainly must have had many a fantasy of wallowing on that warm beach.
Morti’s ears did perk up when I started practicing German language skills around the house but he still didn’t understand why we needed to go to Kansas. And why did we need to drive there?
I planned to spend a month with my parents before moving to Germany for three years. There was one problem: my mother had never allowed an animal in the house. Her philosophy: there’s plenty of room for them outside!
I’d grown up on a working cattle ranch and more than once we’d had a baby calf in the house to warm. Dad would find calves in the deep snow when he rode pastures checking on herds. He’d pick up stragglers, put them behind him on his saddle and bring them to the house.
For mother, having a rescue calf in the house wrapped in an old quilt and nursing from a bottle was different from having an indoor pet. The calf was simply a part of ranch life. Every calf that didn’t make it through the winter was one less calf going to market the following fall.
I knew exceptions would have to be made for Morti when we arrived at my parents’ home. There would be no litter box in my mother’s house. Neither would Morti have freedom to meander about the house or be allowed to check out new crevices and other exotic places. Morti would be checked at the door like a pair of muddy boots.
I’d had numerous conversations with my father in advance of Morti’s and my arrival. He assured me he’d have a workable solution.
Morti had reservations. I had reservations.
Dad had never let me down. He was my John Wayne and always had been. Yet I also knew Mom would never allow a cat in her house.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother wasn’t one of those uppity women who read movie magazines and had everything done for her. She was just the opposite. Our home would have passed the white glove test any day of the week and she was the one who kept it that way.
Dad met me at the door when I arrived. There was that mischievous twinkle in his eye and he said, “Allow me to show you his Lordship’s kingdom!”
We walked to a quiet grove of oak trees where Dad had parked the recreational vehicle (RV). He normally kept the RV parked in a protected building along with the cattle trucks and other vehicles essential to a large ranching operation. The grove of oak trees provided a perfect location for Morti. He’d get sun streaming through the RV windows along with hearing water splashing over a small waterfall nearby. He’d have lots of birds, squirrels and other wildlife to watch as they scurried around the camper.
Dad had gone out of his way for Morti but he also understood how attached I was to Morti and how he’d helped me cope with not one, but two of the greatest sorrows of my life.
We settled Morti into his new living arrangements or, rather, I should say I did. Dad and Morti had decided to make themselves comfy watching the evening news on the TV while I put out Morti’s dinner and fresh water.
I’d also brought along Morti’s favorite toys but Dad had purchased several new toys and I was sure Morti would have much to explore. Morti was one worn out cat as Dad and I prepared to leave the RV and Dad insisted he should leave the TV on so Morti would have company. We’d put music on for him later in the evening.
I was sure my mother wasn’t going to be overly thrilled with my cat in their recreational vehicle, but I wasn’t going to question Dad on how he had accomplished what he had.
It was good to be home for a visit with my parents. I always made sure I saw them twice a year. Often it turned out that I came home to see all of the extended family for a week or so and then my parents would come to wherever I was working and spend time with me. It made for a great relationship between an adult daughter and her parents to have this special bonding time.
I’d been spending large chunks of time with Morti in the RV and it was a great place to entertain extended family and friends who dropped by for a visit. I was uneasy about leaving my parents for three years. I’d never been away for that long before.
The time flew by all too fast and suddenly it was time for me to leave for Germany but Morti couldn’t go. I stressed. I pleaded. I prayed and still Morti couldn’t go. It was November and too cold. I was flying via military aircraft carrier and Morti couldn’t fly until warmer weather.
Morti and I had never been apart. How could Morti be alone on Christmas? We wouldn’t even be together for Thanksgiving. Morti didn’t belong on a Kansas cattle ranch. The two of us belonged together, forever. I didn’t know how to say good-bye. Not to Morti, he’d saved me from myself so many times before.
Please join Morti and me on Thursday while I wait for the weather to warm and Morti can join me in Germany.
If you missed how Morti and I met, you may read about it here.