85: Baby Socks

85: Baby Socks

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

Baby Socks

He has become a much better cat than I have a person. With his gentle urgings, he made me realize that life doesn’t end just because one has a few obstacles to overcome.

~Mary F. Graf

The gray tuxedo kitten decided he would live with my husband James and me after his feral mother was hit by a car and died. His tiny feet looked like he was wearing white socks so we named him Baby Socks. We fed him and talked to him until he finally trusted us enough to pet him and pick him up. We took him to the vet for his shots and had him neutered. Even with that, he was not an inside cat. He wanted to be outside where he could patrol his domain. However, when I would sit outside, he would jump in my lap, his white feet kneading my legs.

We were also owned by a ten-pound Yorkie-Poo named Sugar. Baby Socks eventually got used to her using “his” back yard and they formed a truce where she didn’t chase him and he didn’t hiss at her. Baby Socks grew and grew. He eventually weighed twenty pounds — twice the size of the dog.

At the same time, Sugar was getting older. By the time she was sixteen years old, she had cataracts in both eyes. But due to her age and numerous health problems, they couldn’t remove them. Despite her blindness she knew how to navigate all the rooms in the house, and we left the furniture in the same place so she wouldn’t get confused or hurt.

However we did worry about her going out in the yard. A slope led down to a creek, and there was the possibility that snakes or raccoons could harm her. We went with her on her bathroom trips and watched while she hunted for the right spot. Then we called to her so she could follow the sound of our voices and find her way back to the door.

Eventually Sugar also lost her hearing. We had to watch her every move when she was outside, and pick her up to bring her back to the house.

It wasn’t long before we noticed that Baby Socks was following Sugar whenever she was in the yard. If she got too close to the slope, he got in front of her and nudged her back toward the house. When she was ready to go back in the house, he nudged her in the right direction and saw her safely to the door. He became her self-appointed “seeing-eye cat”! Sugar died when she was seventeen and a half. Baby Socks seemed to know that she was gone and not coming back, but he watched whenever we opened the back door, just in case.

He still patrols the yard, and when I sit outside he jumps in my lap, even though he takes up all the space and hangs over both sides. I tell him what a good cat he is and that, just maybe, we might get another dog someday. He doesn’t seem impressed, but if that day ever comes, I’m sure Baby Socks will once more work out a truce, and maybe a friendship, with whatever new canine enters his domain.

~Bonita Chambers

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