46: Battles of Normandy

46: Battles of Normandy

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That!

Battles of Normandy

My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.

~Lord Alfred Tennyson

I acquired my three-fourths Seal Point Siamese cat when she was six weeks old and I was a twenty-one-year-old college student. I saw an ad in our local paper advertising the kittens. When I called the number listed, I was told there were two kittens remaining, a male and a female. I asked them to hold the male kitten for me. I already had a name picked out — Norman.

After I arrived, the mom cat walked into the room followed by a healthy, rambunctiously romping kitten, the male. Following slowly behind came a much smaller kitten with shaky, bowed legs and a sparse dull coat, the female.

“That’s the runt,” the owner said. Although, the kitten was small and malnourished, she held her tail happily upright. I was shocked that the owners had never come to the aid of the little runt. Although I’d planned on purchasing the male, the little female needed me. Our eyes met and I felt an immediate connection. It was fate. I named her Normandy.

Normandy was so tiny a regular litter box was too big. I used the lid from a shoebox for her first litter box. I fed her a special mix of baby food, baby rice cereal and canned milk until she was big enough for kitten food. As she gained weight, her fur became soft and thick and her legs became sturdy and straight. She slept beside me on my pillow, curled up in the space between my neck and shoulder. She would wake me by attacking my eyelashes with her little kitten paws. Normandy grew into a healthy playful kitten that, if I tapped my thigh while wearing jeans, would climb up my leg and into my arms.

Normandy and I grew up together. She was with me through all of the major changes of my life. She was my comfort when my father passed away, and she helped me choose my husband. When I met my future husband, I told him he had to pass the Normandy test. My cat had to like him. She was a great judge of character and fell in love with him, too.

About a year after we married, my husband and I bought a house in a rural area. Normandy would finally have a yard to play in. She liked to keep me company while I worked in our new yard. She would roll in the dirt, chatter at the birds, and nap in the sun.

There were dogs that ran free and roamed the neighborhood. They were friendly dogs. Normandy didn’t run from them so they didn’t chase her.

One afternoon I was pulling weeds from the front flowerbed with Normandy sitting by my side. A medium-sized dog wandered up the street toward us. Normandy did something she’d never done before. She started walking toward the dog and situated herself between the dog and me. When I walked forward and called her, the dog started to back away and Normandy stealthily followed him.

The dog didn’t quite know what to do with an aggressive cat and slowly kept backing away. When I moved toward the house, Normandy turned to follow me. If I stepped in her direction her, she went back toward the dog. I quickly picked up the gardening supplies and walked to the front of the house. Normandy followed with occasional glances over her shoulder to glare at the dog.

The next time I worked in the yard, a dog came over to visit and Normandy went at him like an enraged lion. The dog was shocked, but stood his ground until she flew into his face hissing and spitting. She chased that incredulous dog away. Once again, I had to retreat to the house before she would leave the poor dog alone.

Soon the neighbors were talking about that crazy, dog-chasing Siamese cat. I didn’t know what had gotten into Normandy. She only went after dogs when we were outside together. After a couple of weeks of this unusual feline behavior, I found out I was pregnant. I don’t know how she knew, but Normandy had known for weeks that I was pregnant and was protecting me.

Normandy was just as protective with my two daughters. When they were babies, she would meow to notify me when they woke from naps. She would hold vigil if they were sick. Wherever they were playing, she would be near keeping a watchful eye on them. She watched over our family for more than fifteen years. We loved her and she loved us.

When fate brought that needy kitten into my life, I never knew how much I would end up needing her.

~Deborah Wilson

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