Nineteen ninety-three was a year of change in our cat population. First I found JJ along the side of the road and brought her home "temporarily." Then, Semmi, the most majestic-looking cat I ever hope to own, was murdered with a small-caliber gun, and in my grief, the next weekend I followed a "free kittens" sign to my most-beloved cat, Molly.
She had been with us only a few months and was still in her kittenhood, probably technically a cat-teen, when we discovered her amazing talent: like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Molly could defy gravity and fight foes in mid-air. Like a Honey Nut Cheerios mini-beach ball:
Back in the old days, toys sometimes actually came in cereal boxes and we didn't have to send away for them. The beach ball was one such toy. The kids were casually batting it around when Molly went into hyperdrive and leapt to the attack. Leapt, as in gravity-defying heights.
So the game was on. For some weeks, several times a day, the kids would post themselves at either end of the hall and bat the ball back and forth; Molly, between them, would leap and twist and contort in her efforts to attack the ball, and she would play this game until she was exhausted. We took a number of photos -- this is the best -- and some video (which is somewhere in this house...). After a few weeks, she lost interest in the beach ball, as teenagers do. They grow up, find new interests, and move on.
The old TV has been replaced twice over, the nasty carpet ripped out years ago, the son now property of the USMC, but Molly and I are still here keeping each other company, both a little too sluggish and creaky to chase after inflatable balls, but still here. And so are the memories.