Velma (the cat) is a special, special kitty. Owen likes to think of her as the feline equivalent of Odie, Garfield the cat’s witless sidekick. She’s happy (and dumb) as they come and she loves everybody. She’d have curled up on Mussolini’s lap if given half a chance and a modicum of encouragement. She is the friendliest cat I’ve ever known. Toddlers in the golf shop routinely pick her up by either her head or her tail or some combination thereof and she never responds with anything more than gleeful purring.
Yesterday, as I was sitting on the couch, I saw one of Owen’s customers for the golf shop drive in. Not 5 seconds later, like a shot fired from the pine trees in the front yard, Velma was sprinting across the grass, our furry little welcome wagon. This is what she does the minute she sees ANYBODY drive in. It could be animal control and she wouldn’t care. She has been hard wired in her furry little brain to present herself immediately to anybody in the yard and make sure they know that a.) she loves them very, very much (whoever they may be…and they don’t even have to give her food) and b.) she would love it if they would reciprocate her sentiments by petting her.
It is because of this that we have nearly lost her on several occasions. I don’t mean lost her as in “Velma the flat cat,” although that happens too…mostly in our own driveway. She has determined that the best way to force us out of the car to pet her is to lie down in front if it while it’s moving. What happens next happens almost every single time. We honk. She pops up and trots about 6 feet and lays down again. We pull forward and honk. She pops up and trots about 6 feet and lays down again. This cycle repeats itself all the way down the driveway.
No, when I say lost, I mean lost as in “where the hell is Velma? Have you seen her?” What follows is a true story. Owen has a good friend and customer who is also the managing something-or-other of a golf course about 30 minutes away. He came over one day to pick something up and brought his golf bag into the shop with him. Velma proceeded to go through her elaborate welcoming ritual of rubbing and purring and, unable to resist the temptation, he picked her up and pet her for a minute. When it came time to conduct business, he set her down and went about his task. Velma continued to rub on his golf bag in his absence (are you beginning to get a feel for the kinds of bodily assault the poor gargoyle on the deck must suffer?).
When it came time for him to leave, he zipped up the bag’s various compartments, tossed the bag (literally) in the trunk, and hit the road. About half an hour later we got a call from him, back at the course. Apparently, Velma had climbed into the ball compartment of his bag and he hadn’t seen her when zipping it closed (she was much smaller then). He’d closed her in the bag, thrown it (and her) in the trunk, and driven her all the way to the golf course only to discover her in the bag when he went to tee off. He unzipped the compartment and out she popped, happy as a clam.
He asked us if we minded if he finished his round first, to which we replied “of course not.” And so Velma goes on record as being the first cat ever involved in a Golf Shop Study Abroad Program, however brief her trip. She hung out for the evening and he brought her back later that night when he was finished.
So you see? She is, without a doubt, a special, special girl.