Longtime readers of my blog know Torvald well, but Marc-Andre over at Katzenworld suggested putting his whole story in one place. Here it is. For hardcore kitty Internet addicts, I’ve embedded links to several of the embarrassingly large number of posts I’ve written about him.
I am Torvald Einar Magnussen. That means the one who can vanquish Thor (he’s a very tough God), the first of men, son of the great. You mess with me.
I was not always called Torvald. The first I can really remember, I lived with some people who had a little girl and she called me Pablo. People brought their broken-down cars to the back yard to get fixed. Very loudly. I didn’t mind the noise. A warrior never minds.
I did occasionally go exploring, since I am also an adventurer. My favorite place was only a few houses away, a big yard full of overgrown shrubbery and a vegetable garden that attracted lots of tasty little creatures. The man who came to work in the garden used to pick me up and put me in his lap when he stopped to rest.
And there was this lady. She would come out of the house and set down food and water dishes when she saw me. I wasn’t really that interested in the food – but then! I saw that inside a strange forcefield there were two other cats! I wanted to meet them so badly, I didn’t know whether to be happy or upset. All I knew is that it was fascinating. There were lots of adventures to have, so I didn’t come every day, but when I did the lady always put out a water dish and petted me. One day she took a flower on a long stalk and let me pretend it was a bird or mouse I could catch. Good practice.
A couple of summers went by and it was getting cool again. One day I followed the lady up to the door and she opened it and let me in. New places! Smells! It was so exciting it almost tired me out. I went back outside and she said “Torvald, you can come in whenever you like.”
Well, I liked that name. It would be beneath a cat or a warrior to come to his name, but I liked it. I came back several times in a row – even on a day when there was so much rain, the lady’s basement was full of water and my paws got wet! I could see the other cats’ paws under the door! I knew they would want to play with me!
And then one day, after a lot of fuss at my house, it was closed up and I couldn’t get in. No one came. All night and the next morning. Finally I went up to the lady’s house because I knew where she kept the food by the door, and pushed over the jar and pulled at the lid. The lady heard me and gave me food and I could tell she was surprised I ate so much.
A few more days went by. The house was still empty and no one came or went! Then – it was raining a little – I came up on the lady’s back steps and found a bowl of food, and while I was eating she picked me right up and took me inside! Next thing I knew I had visited an obnoxious place with steel tables, but she came and got me again at the end of the day, and put a collar around my neck and said my full name. I think that is what warriors wear.
Now I lived with the two other cats. Really, I tried to be friends – I chased them everywhere and tried to have a good exciting fight! I don’t know why they were so scared all the time.
I had to stay downstairs with the staircase door closed. I was warm and had lots of food and toys and attention, but I was lonely and I used to sit at the door to the upstairs hoping they would come out and play.
And then one day another cat came to the window! Oh she was pretty! I knew it was a she because of how she was behaving. We talked and talked. And a few days later the lady came in with a box that smelled like the steel table place, and out came the pretty tortie girl.
Well, I am a man and I knew what she needed. By the end of the day we were best friends. We still are, even if she never asked me to help her out like that again. (Well, sometimes I chase her and jump on her, but she knows I’m playing.)
Now I didn’t feel so bad about the other cats not wanting to be friends. But I still go up there if I can, no matter how they yell. I know they are warriors too. When more cats came to stay last fall (along with a bearded man who had a new name for me, “Dick”) I was very very curious, but they act the same way! Why doesn’t anyone but my tortie friend want to be buddies?
One night not long after they came, I was on the screened porch looking out in the yard. It was dark and – something big was out there! My buddy and I stood up against the screen. The lady came to look too. I was so ready to fight, I went for the first thing I could reach, and – oh! I bit my lady and scratched her everywhere! I was so upset I didn’t know how to act. The lady was gone all night. When she came back I heard her say that I was not only a Viking but a berserker. I wasn’t myself for days, until she had a friend come to do something that made me feel calmer. “Animal communicator” was what I heard her called. That is not nearly as fine a name as Torvald, but she did help.
This spring, I heard the lady and the bearded man say that I was growing up and slowing down a little. Then one day I started to feel a little tired. The next day I was more tired, and the next, I got up from my cat bed and fell down! I couldn’t get my breath. There was a lot of fuss. The next thing I knew I was in the steel table place again — for a whole night! A couple of days later they took me to another place that smelled about the same way, and I got looked at and turned over and checked until I was very tired of it! But I already felt better. The lady and her bearded friend were making me open my mouth and swallow a little pill and some nasty drops every day, and I can’t understand how that could help, but I think that is what did it. So I am as good as I can be about swallowing every time, even though I am a warrior and it is undignified.
They fuss over me a lot now and don’t let me on the porch when it’s hot. I don’t know why. I feel fine now. And I am still a mighty Viking.