The Other Reality

Moment and Memory 12/28/2009

Posted in Not Completely Random, Personal reflections by aryckman on January 9, 2010

From the opposite side of the bathroom door I hear Tato call to the cat. His voice is low and the soft, slightly muffled quality of his words indicate that he doesn’t have his dentures in.

“Here, Friskey. No. Come here, Friskey.”

The soft spoken words are clear in the early morning quiet of the house only accompanied by the sound of the bath water splashing against the side of the tub as I move. Moments later I hear the thud of paws hit the floor as she jumps off his bed.

The cat’s name is not Friskey, not until recently that is. My mom found her, or rather the small black cat found my mom and wouldn’t leave. But because my mom already had a cat, one that wouldn’t tolerate other felines eating out of her bowl or using her litter my mom gave the cat to my dad. He always joked that for a free cat she was awfully expensive–some three-hundred dollars after getting her neutered and shots and having her front paws declawed.

My dad named her Whiskers because when he was a boy they had a cat and its whiskers would always tickle his face causing him to say “Go, key,” toddler speak meaning “Go away, kitty.” The cats whiskers bothered him so much that he cut them off not understanding the detrimental effect this would have. Whiskers is named in honor of that cat.

My dad also called her Kitty Whiskers, a cutening of the name as people often do when talking to babies or animals. And this name had its syllables rearranged into Whiskey Kitters, as dyslexics like my dad are prone to do.

So when I finally took the cat after my dad became allergic to her I only referred to her as Whiskey. Years later after several moves, a marriage and a divorce she and I both moved in with my grandfather. And because of his failing hearing and maybe also because English is his second language he began calling her Friskey and no attempts to correct him have succeeded.

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