If you really listen, Nick, then listen carefully. Her name was Yu-yu. Just. Seeing her for the first time with a small kitten, a young man of three years stared with surprise, stretched out his lips with a pipe and said: “Yu-yu.” We do not remember when it suddenly instead of a black-red-white fluffy lump we saw a big, slender, proud cat, the first beauty and the object of envy of lovers. All cats have a cat. Dark chestnut with fiery spots, a lush white shirtlet on his chest, a quarter of an arshin’s mustache, a long wool and all shiny, hind legs in broad trouser legs, a tail like a lamp-ruff! .. Nika, get off Bobik’s rut. Do you really think that the puppy’s ear is like a handle from a barrel organ? If someone were to turn you by the ear? And the most remarkable
And what they glorious fathers and mothers, if you knew. The chicks are incubated one by one – then the female, then the male. The goose is even more conscientious than the goose. If she at her leisure hour speaks through measure with her neighbors at the water-drinking trough, according to the female habit, the goose will go out, take her beak by the back of his head and politely drag home, to the nest, to the mother’s duties.
And it’s very funny when a goose family is willing to walk. Ahead of him, the owner and the defender. From importance and pride, the beak was raised to the sky. He looks down on the whole house. But the trouble is to an inexperienced dog or a frivolous girl like you, Nick, if you do not give him the way: now he will straighten the earth with hiss, hiss a hard beak like a bottle of soda
Or, let’s say, a horse. What about her talk? The horse is stupid. She has only beauty, the ability to run fast and memory places. And so – a fool is a fool, besides that, that short-sighted, capricious, hypochondriac and unobtrusive to the person. But this nonsense is said by the people who keep the horse in the dark stables who do not know the joy of bringing it up from the foal age, who never felt the horse grateful to the one who washes it, cleans it, leads to forge, water and ask for food. Such a man has only one mind on his mind: to mount a horse and be afraid that she would not have kicked it, bit it or throw it off. In his head he will not come to refresh his horse’s mouth, take advantage of a softer path on the way, pop it moderately in time, cover with a paperclip or his coat in the parking lot… For which the horse will respect him, I ask you? And you’d better ask any natural rider about the horse, and he’ll always answer you: smarter, kinder, nobler than a horse, no one – of course, if only she is in good, understanding hands. The Arabs have a horse family member.
So, in Ancient Greece there was a tiny little town with huge city gates. On this occasion, some passer-by once joked: look vigilantly, citizens, for your city, or else he, perhaps, will slip into this gate. She slept in the house where she wanted. When the house began to wake up, – her first business visit was always to me and then only after her sensitive ear caught a morning clean childish voice, distributed in the room next to me. Yu-yu opened the muzzle and paws loosely closed door, entered, jumped on the bed, poked my hand or cheek pink nose and spoke briefly: “Moorrm.” She jumped to the floor and, not looking back, walked to the door. She did not doubt my obedience.
I obeyed. He dressed hastily, went out into a dark corridor. Shining yellow-green chrysolitis eyes, Yu-yu was waiting for me at the door leading into the room where a four-year-old young man with his mother usually slept. I pooted her. Slightly audible grateful “mrm”, S-shaped movement of dexterous body, zigzag of fluffy tail, and Yu-yu slipped into the nursery.
There is a morning ritual. Yu-yu never begging. But the hour of arrival of the boy from the meat and its steps, she studied to the subtlety. If she is outside, she certainly waits for beef on the porch, and if at home she runs to meet the beef in the kitchen. She opens the kitchen door with incredible dexterity. It happens that the boy digs for a long time, cutting and weighing. Then, impatiently, Yu-yu claws at the edge of the table and starts to swing back and forth like a circus on a horizontal bar. But – silently. The little boy is a cheerful, ruddy, amusing rhetoric. He passionately loves all animals, and in the Yu-yu directly in love. But Yu-k “does not allow him even to touch himself.” A haughty look-and a leap to the side-she is proud! She never forgets that in her veins there is blue blood from two branches: the great Siberian and the sovereign Bukhara. A boy for her is just someone who brings her meat daily. To everything outside her home, outside her patronage and benevolence, she looks with regal coldness. She graciously accepts us. I loved to follow her orders. For example, I am working on a greenhouse, thoughtfully plucking extra shoots from melons – here a big calculation is needed. It’s hot from the summer sun and from the warm earth. Silently approaches the Yu-yu. “Mroom!” It means: “Go, I want to drink.” I straighten out with difficulty. Yu-yu is already ahead. He will never turn back on me. Dare I refuse or slow down? She leads me from the garden to the yard, then to the kitchen, then down the corridor to my room. Courteously I open all the doors in front of her and pass respectfully forward. When she comes to me, she easily jumps to the wash basin, where the living water is carried,
I let a thin silver trickle flow. Elegantly stretching his neck, Yu-yu hastily licking the water with a narrow pink tongue. Cats drink occasionally, but a long time and a lot. Happened to me with Yu-yu special hours of calm family happiness. This is when I wrote at night: the occupation is rather exhausting, but if it is drawn into it, there is a lot of quiet rejoicing in it. Scratch, scratch the pen, suddenly there is not enough of a very necessary word. Has stopped. What a silence! And you will shudder from a soft, resilient push. This Yu-yu easily jumped from the floor to the table. It is not known when she came.
Scratches, scrabbles the pen. Themselves come in fine, clunky words. In obedient variety phrases are constructed. But the head is already getting heavy, it breaks the back, the fingers of the right arm begin to tremble: that, look, the professional cramp suddenly makes them, and the pen, like a pointed dart, will fly across the room. Is not it time? And Yu-yu thinks it’s time. She has already invented entertainment for a long time: she follows the lines growing on my paper, following the pen with her eyes, and pretends to myself that I release small, black, ugly flies from it. And suddenly, with the paw of the last fly. Beat marks and fast: black blood is smeared on paper. Let’s go to bed, Yu-Yushka. Let the flies sleep, too, before the zavtrava. Outside the window, you can already discern the murky shape of my sweet ash tree. Yu-yu turns off at my feet, on the blanket. Ill Ju-Yushkin boyfriend and tormentor Kolya. Oh, his illness was cruel; it is still scary to think of her. It was only then that I learned how incredible a chain a person is and what huge, unsuspected forces he can detect in moments of love and destruction.
People, Nick, have a lot of common truths and walking opinions, which they accept ready and will never try to check them. So, you, for example, from a thousand people nine hundred and ninety nine will say: “A cat is an animal egoistic.” It is attached to housing, not to a person. ” They will not believe, and they will not dare to believe that I will now tell you about Yu-yu. You, I know, Nick, you will! The cat was not allowed to the patient. Perhaps, this was correct. It will push something, drop it, wake it up, frighten it. And it was not necessary to wean her for a long time from the children’s room. She soon realized her position. But she lay down like a dog on the bare floor outside, at the very door, her pink nose tucked into the crevice under the door, and so she lay all those black days, leaving only for food and a short walk. It was impossible to drive it away. Yes, and it was a pity. Through it they walked, going into the nursery and leaving, pushing it with their feet, advancing on its tail and legs, throwing it away sometimes in haste and impatience. She will only squeak, give way and softly again, but persistently returns to her former place. About this cat behavior to me until this time did not have to hear or read. On what the doctors used to not be surprised at anything, but even Dr. Shevchenko once said with an indulgent grin:
Comedian you have a cat. On duty! This is curious… Ah, Nick, for me it was not at all comical or funny. Until now, I have remained in my heart a tender gratitude to the memory of Yu-yu for her bestial sympathy… And that’s what was strange. As soon as in Kolya’s illness the crisis for the last cruel crisis came a turning point for the better, when he was allowed to eat everything and even play in bed – the cat, with an especially subtle instinct, realized that the empty-eyed and bezosaya retreated from Kolin’s head, snapping her jaws from anger. Yu-yu left her post. She slept long and shamelessly on my bed. But at the first visit to Kolya she did not find any excitement. He crushed and squeezed her, showered her with all sorts of affectionate names, even called Yushkevich for delight, for some reason! She turned out deftly from his still weak hands, said “Mrm”, jumped to the floor and left.
But I was going to. Listen, Nick, how it happened. Kolya got up from his bed, thin, pale, green; lips without color, the eyes fell, the little hands to the light through, slightly pink. But I have already told you: great power and inexhaustible – human kindness. It was possible to send Kolya for an amendment, accompanied by his mother, for two hundred versts to a beautiful sanatorium. Yu-yu with the departure of two of his friends – big and small – for a long time was in alarm and in bewilderment. I walked around the rooms and all poked my nose at the corners. He pokes himself and says emphatically: “Mick!” For the first time in our old acquaintance, I began to hear from her this word. What it meant in a catlike way, I do not presume to say, but humanly it sounded like this: “What happened? Where are they? Where have they gone?”
And she looked at me with wide-open yellow-green eyes; in them I read astonishment and a demanding question. Our telephone was placed in a tiny front on a round table, and beside it stood a straw chair without a backrest. I do not remember which of my conversations with the sanatorium I found the Yu-se sitting at my feet; I only know that it happened at the very beginning. But soon the cat began to resort to each phone call and, at last, has absolutely transferred the place of habitation in an anteroom.
People in general are very slow and difficult to understand animals; animals – people are much faster and thinner. I understood Yu very late, only when, one day amid my tender conversation with Kolya, she silently jumped from the floor to my shoulders, balanced herself and held out her furry face with wary ears for my cheek.
I thought: “The hearing of a cat is excellent, at any rate, better than a dog’s, and much more acute than a human.” Very often, when late at night we returned from the guests, Yu-yu, after recognizing our steps from afar, ran out to meet us for the third cross street. So she knew her people well. And further. There was a friend of our very restless boy Zhorzhik, four years old. Visiting us for the first time, he was very annoying the cat: he beat her by the ears and tail, in every possible way squeezed and rushed with her through the rooms, clutching her across the stomach. She could not stand this, although she never once released her claws in her usual delicacy. But then every time later, when Zhorzhik came – be it in two weeks, a month or even more – it was only the Yu-yu to hear the resonant voice of Zhorzhik, who was still on the threshold, as she was scurrying, with a plaintive cry ran to escape: in summer she jumped into the first open window, in the winter she slipped under the sofa or under the chest of drawers. Undoubtedly, she had a good memory.
“So what’s so complicated about it,” I thought, “is that she recognized Colin’s sweet voice and reached out to see where her beloved friend was hidden.”
I really wanted to test my guess. The same evening I wrote a letter to the sanatorium with a detailed description of the cat’s behavior and very much asked Kolya that next time, speaking to me on the phone, he must remember and said into the phone all the old tender words that he told Yushenko at home. And I’ll take the auditory ear tube to the cat’s ear. Soon received an answer. Kolya is very touched by the memory of Yu-yu and asks her to give her a bow. Talk to me from the sanatorium will be in two days, and the third will gather, settle down and leave home. And the truth, on the very next day in the morning the phone informed me that they would talk to me from the sanatorium now. Yu-yu was standing side by side on the floor. I took her to my lap – otherwise it would be difficult for me to handle two tubes. The cheerful, fresh Colin’s voice rang in the wooden rim. What a lot of new experiences and acquaintances! How many household questions, requests and orders! I barely managed to insert my request:
– Dear Kolya, I’ll now put YU-yushka to my ear a telephone receiver. Done! Tell her your pleasant words. – What words? I do not know any words, “the voice said boringly. “Kolya, my dear, Yu-yu is listening to you.” Tell her something affectionate. Quickly. – Yes, I do not know. I do not do it. And you’ll buy me an outer house for birds, how are they hanging out here for the windows? – Well, Kolenka, well, golden, well, good boy, you promised to talk to Yu-yu. – Yes, I do not know how to speak cat-like. I can not. I forgot. Suddenly something clicked in the receiver, it grated, and from it came the sharp voice of the telephone operator: “You can not speak nonsense.” Hang up. “Other customers are waiting.” A slight knock, and the telephone hissing ceased. And our experience with the Yu-do was not successful. It’s a pity. It was very interesting to me to find out, whether our clever cat will respond or not on affectionate words familiar to it to the gentle “murrum”. That’s all about Yu-yu.
Not so long ago she died of old age, and now we have a cat-vorot, a velvet stomach. About him, my dear Nick, another time.