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Forest the Transformer

August 31, 2011 by Tracy Ahrens in Home, Tracy Ahrens with 0 Comments

One night a windstorm whirled through our area, breaking large tree limbs in its wake. A Golden Rain Tree in my backyard, which I planted when it was 2 feet tall, was snapped off at the top by my neighbor’s dead tree that fell directly on top of it.

The next day, when Forest trotted out into the backyard to explore, he rushed to the scene to inspect the foliage. Forest liked to climb up into the Golden Rain Tree and sit in a small crotch to watch the neighbor’s yard. This day he couldn’t figure out a way to scale the bark to his post. Instead, he put his front paws up on the trunk and seemingly tried to shake the tree. I had my camera and took his picture, a picture that to this day makes me laugh.

Forest -The Tree Shaker

I title the picture, Forest the Tree Shaker. His little stubby form is dwarfed by the tree’s size and the image appears that Forest shook the tree so hard – like a grizzly bear – that he knocked limbs, leaves and a birdhouse from it.

That’s my little Forest – the Transformer.

From grizzly bear to an insect as he plays “bug-in-the-rug” hiding under area rugs, Forest has superpowers to become a number of creatures. Or, at least he believes he can.

Since I adopted Forest, who was found as a kitten on the streets of Chicago, people have ooo’d and aaah’d over his beauty asking, “What is he?”

I ask them in return, “What do you see when you look at him?”

I joke that he resembles the soft, fuzzy navel lint of a polar bear, and that he’s part raccoon because of his bushy tail.

The serious consensus is that he’s Norwegian Forest Cat for his beautiful markings and long- to medium-length fur. Then again, he looks somewhat like a Maine Coon coupled with the intelligent, active personality of a Turkish Van and a talkative Siamese. He has the traits of all of these breeds: affectionate, confident, calm, water-loving, inquisitive, friendly, lively, extroverted and social.

I also like to say that Forest was a circus performer who fell from a truck with a travelling circus that passed through Chicago. He’s an entertainer – a little clown.

Among creatures Forest morphs into are:

  • A sea otter, when he’s sleeping upside down in the middle of a doorway or room, white belly exposed, back legs stretched out flat on the floor and front feet tucked gently over his chest. He looks like a sea otter floating on its back in the water.
  • A monkey, when he’s running wildly through the house in spurts. I affectionately call him “Monkey Butt.”
  • A mole, as he burrows between boxes in a dark crawlspace.
  • A squirrel, as he scurries up the tree in our backyard.
  • A gopher, when he secretly shimmies his stout body under the fence in the backyard to explore the rest of the property.
  • A salmon leaping through the air during spawning season, as he flies through the air in the house after stray moths and through the air in the garden after unsuspecting butterflies.
  • And my favorite is his transformation into an owl.

In the early morning light I often see his form sitting on a railing near my bed or a nightstand, staring at me while I sleep. He watches for signs of my eyelids to twitch, ready to pounce and nibble on my ears, my nose or my eyebrows; ready to lick my face; or ready to stick his nose into my hair to pull out my hair tie with this teeth until I rise from bed to feed him.

Forest - The Sea Otter

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