In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge “Fierce”
This was Bamboo, one of two Siamese cat brothers we adopted as litter mates in 2000. Bamboo was fierce. Fierce about chasing flies and mosquitos. Fierce about commanding his daily deep body massages which we called his “treatments” and fierce about trying to escape outside to eat grass, the last time, an antic that took him too far and into someone’s shed where, we believe, lived as a trapped captive for nine days. We were fiercely upset when he went missing and combed the neighborhood for him. We feared the worst. Did a hawk or other predator pick out his high contrast body for a meal? After nine days of tortured imaginings, we began to resign ourselves to the worst-case scenario. Bamboo was gone.
Much to our amazement, he returned on a September, Saturday afternoon. We live in a resort area, and we concluded that someone in the neighborhood returned for the weekend, opened their shed and released a scared, traumatized cat eager to bolt free toward his home. He was much thinner. Still, I think of what went on in his little cat mind as he lay imprisoned for nine days. Did he subsist on crickets, and maybe rain water seeping through a shed door? We will never know, but he must have had a fierce will to live. He returned home in a mad, fierce rush, ricochetting from room to room at high speed, his adrenaline fiercely coursing through his veins. It took a month for his brother, who did not recognize his smell, to accept him again.
But Bamboo was the true embodiment of the term “pussycat.” He couldn’t have had a sweeter personality and did not possess a hint of meanness. He was the cat who hid under the bed when company arrived. This photo, showing the slanted eyes, curled tongue and bared fangs of an angry cat, illustrates how split-second capture can distort a portrait. Taken by my daughter with my Nikon, the shutter snapped Bamboo in mid-yawn, a fierce yawn, granted, but a innocent yawn nonetheless.
Bamboo passed in 2014. Our love for him, and his brother, who died six months ago, was fierce. They returned the intensity of emotion to us. Together, we were a fiercely loyal, loving family.