121. Henry the Model Cat

Henry was whining to me the other day — You haven’t written about me for a long time, he said. You have thousands of pictures of me on your phone; don’t you think it’s about time I get another post of my own?

The last time, he just commandeered the laptop and wrote his own post,Henry watching videos so I thought I’d better do as he says. No surprise there — the world is full of pet owners doing what their animals demand.
Henry bugging Mr.H.C.

It took us two years to find another cat after our perfect Mr. Kitty died suddenly at early middle age — in his mid-forties, we would say. There’s not much like the sorrow of losing a pet; an animal, you tell yourself, it’s not like a person. Yet they’ve shared your house and your life for however many years and there’s surely a gaping hole where their funny little selves used to be.

Mr. Kitty had been such a good cat! And cats are such capricious beings — not all of them are people I can live with. I’ve known some awful cats in my time — they shall remain nameless. No, one has to be very careful when choosing a cat. No cat rescuer, moi. If I’m going to share my house, the animal best be well behaved.
Henry the model cat

Just as Mr. Kitty had done, Henry chose us. (I’ve written about him here and here and here.)
henryA wild cat who had three families feeding him, we are fairly sure that he had been chasing a woman and just got too far away from home to find his way back. Litter-trained from the beginning (he went in Mr. H.C.’s open suitcase on the floor!) he has now made the complete transition from wild tomcat to domesticated lap cat. He looks off the porch at the birds and the chipmunks and then comfortably comes back inside to eat from his food bowl; only in his distant animal memory does he remember being a hunter, cold and miserable in the snow, desperately searching for a warm place to sleep.
Kitty looking over back porch

Now he curls up stretches out on the bed and snores loudly — louder than Mr. H.C. even.

Henry lounging

Henry doesn’t know a stranger. If you sit down in a chair, he’ll be on your lap within five minutes, not even bothering with proper introductions.
Still life with husband and cat

When we leave him for three days, he is always delighted to see us when we return — no sulking or pouting for Henry. He jumps into your arms for some immediate loving. “Oh I’ve missed you,” he purrs.


He’s also likely to steal the iPhone and take a selfie.

Our son-in-law stayed here for a few days a couple of weeks ago, and his main charge was caring for the Henry while we were gone. When we returned, his comment was, “Henry is a model cat.”

Yes. We knew that. But Henry overheard, and since then has been overdoing his bad habit… He only has one.

He is an early riser. And he hasn’t figured out yet that we are no longer on Daylight Savings Time. This morning at 4:22 the scratching on the sliding glass door began. He wanted to go out.

It’s hard to ignore cat claws on glass.


He also hasn’t yet figured out that it is getting to be very cold — 28 degrees cold. At 4:25 the scratching began again. He wanted to come in.

It’s hard to ignore cat claws on glass.

Cat in window

He doesn’t leave dead things on the floor; he doesn’t walk on the kitchen counters (though I did catch him once on the dining room table); he won’t drink milk or eat fish from your plate; he doesn’t even say much.

Henry in sepia

He’s simply a model cat.

11 thoughts on “121. Henry the Model Cat

  1. This was such a sweet post. We had two cats for eight years … one passed. The other was left and lonely. We found four kittens on our road over the summer. Found homes for two, have two remaining. They are ours now. We now have three cats. Our oldest doesn’t like the youngers much … but he’s trying. :)


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