Velvet Loved Our Old TV

It all started when my sister called my husband and me to tell us about a “really nice cat” in her neighbor’s garden. Little did we know that, in a few short days, the part Persian mass of black fur would become part of our household–and our lives.

No one knew where she had come from, but she had obviously belonged to someone.  The veterinarian my sister took her to disclosed that she had been fixed, and he surmised that she was about a year old.

Knowing she wouldn’t want to meet our Siamese, Coco, right away, we put her on the breezeway when we brought her home, and she immediately ran behind the washer. No amount of coaxing would bring her out, so I finally placed some food on the floor. Before   I could exit the room, she appeared and became my instant friend. (She must have thought anyone who would give her food must be okay.)  Just minutes later she allowed me to pick her up, then she half-reclined on my lap on the couch, seeming accustomed to such pleasures.

We decided to call her Velvet, since that’s exactly what the top of her head felt like, but       I noticed it meant nothing to her at first when I called her name. But after two or three days, she responded immediately, thrilled that someone cared enough to spend time with her.

As we gradually introduced her to Coco, also one year of age, we realized how different she was from the melancholy Siamese.  Instead of having a love for classical music, as he did, she was enamored by anything mechanical or technical. Over the years, she had a habit    of overseeing work done by professionals, and listening to the dishwasher in fascination. We decided if our two cats could become people, Coco would be a poet or artist, and Velvet would be a handyman.

After the two matured to the age of about fourteen, we lost Coco to illness, making Velvet the only cat.  Since we lived in an apartment at the time, her outside privileges were limi-ted to a tiny balcony which overlooked some woods. There were occasionally birds and squirrels for her to watch, but she liked to be out on the grass, flat to the ground, stalking them (at least in her mind).

Without her companion to help her wile away the hours, she took note of the words     running along the bottom of our television screen.  She was especially interested in sports scores.  After awhile she became excited by craft makers whose hands looked enormous, and that moved so quickly. She would jump up and try to catch their fingers, batting the screen with her soft paws. Eventually she started watching sports–especially golf and basketball–sitting right in front of the set, following all action with rapt attention.

But as all good things must come to an end, our seventeen-year-old console TV died suddenly one night, much to the chagrin of our household.  We knew we couldn’t find one just like it, with the wood-grain covering, but we did the best we could, elevating the new set slightly.  And while my husband and I appreciated the newly-found colors that had disappeared from our old TV, Velvet refused to acknowledge its presence. Gone was the request, first thing in the morning, for us to turn on the box of energy she had  grown accustomed to.  She seemed to think we had taken away her toy because she like it so much. (Or that it was with Coco at the mansion he now lived in.)

After a couple of months, she started glancing up at the impostor from the floor, realizing that she didn’t have to sit right next to a television to view its images.  Next she seemed    to watch from a chair.  We had been concerned about having her so close to the other set, so that part worked out well. However, she never completely warmed up to the new TV. Somehow it just wasn’t the same as her wood-paneled friend who sat with her on the floor.

Velvet watching a Western

Velvet watching a Western

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About dalesittonrogers

I live with my husband, Rick, and our two Siamese cats, Mocha and Choco. I write articles and poetry, fiction for all ages, and tv scripts. Follow me on Twitter! @DaleSRogers
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4 Responses to Velvet Loved Our Old TV

  1. stephanie710 says:

    Awe…two cats with very different personalities. Isn’t it wonderful to see how different they can be? Anyone who thinks of our dogs or cats as “just pets” needs to spend some time with us. :) I love watching their different personalities and traits as they navigate through their world. I bet nothing was the same as that good old TV sitting on the floor or that happy face who enjoyed watching it. Great post, Dale.

    • Thanks so much, Stephanie! I’m sure if anyone understands, you do. The cats we have now are exactly the same breed of Siamese, but they’re really different too, as I’m sure your dogs are.

  2. Good story Dale. None of the cats that I have had in my life cared much about television. I guess they were too smart to waste time on the boob tube.

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