Phoenix (as we’re calling him for now) knows he’s my cat. He remembers so much from his life as Leo. He remembers Happy the dog “Why is he so big?” He repeats so many behaviours that I think is unique to Leo. He plays in the bath tub even though Griffin hates to get wet. He grabs my hand and draws it towards his head when he wants a rough scratch. He tunnels under blankets repeating his favourite game of Cat in the Sheets!
Griffin, by the way, rolled on his back last night, showed me his back end and said “Look! My butt is clean!” He knows that’s important. Good job, buddy!
I am careful to give Griffin as much attention as Phoenix, but Griffin knows he belongs to Sweetie. He asks to get down when I pick him up, and he goes out of his way to engage Sweetie. Griffin is a very different personality – more deliberate, full on. Phoenix will hang back, evaluate, strategize.
And Phoenix gives me hugs and kisses every morning. This is what Leo did when I found him at the humane society in 1999. Now, as Phoenix, he does it every day.
It’s like he’s saying, “I remember you. You are my person. I am your cat. We are together.”