What is it about cats that you love, that draws you into their world and makes you decide to share your life, your home and your heart with them forever more? Is it their sensual, sinuous walk as they sashay from room to room? Is it their cute little expressions when they encounter something unfamiliar? The little prrrp or mmrrrroooow as they greet you when you get up in the mornings, or return to the house after some time away?
Whatever it is, there’s bound to be more than one reason – a composite of reasons – why cats feature in your life and why, in reality, you couldn’t possibly live without them.
I’ve been privileged to have had cats in my life for over 30 years now, from Garfield and Biggles, the first two ginger brothers back in 1985, to my resident mackerel tabbies, Casey and Gibbs that share their lives with me now. Cats have their own personality quirks and characteristics that endear us to them. I wonder if they view us in the same way?
I like that cats are independent but not so independent that they spend all day every day alone, by themselves without engaging with us. Obviously, the fact that they DO engage with us is partly because they just want to hang out and have fun, or they want some food.
Casey did something quite remarkable recently. I was sitting watching something on television and tears were streaming down my face. He moved closer to me on the sofa and reached out with his front paw and placed it on my thigh. I looked at him. He had a look of something indefinable on his face. I could say it was compassion but he looked ‘concerned’. I stroked his head and face and tried to smile at him through my tears. He left his paw on my thigh for some time and then decided he either had cramp or enough was enough and it was high time I manned up.
And Gibbs did something equally remarkable too. Usually he likes sleeping in one of the two boxes that are in the front room, or he lies on the ottoman by the window. And sometimes he’ll sit on my lap while I’m knitting. I was wrapped in my snuggly blanket last Sunday having got up at 4.30 am to do a boot fair. It was 1.00pm and I was tired so I thought I’d wrap myself in the snuggly and sleep. I must have gone into a deep sleep because I didn’t even feel him clambering on top of me but I did wake up when his whiskers tickled my face. I opened my eyes to find him staring intently at me – it was unnerving to say the least, like the time Chandler Bing wakes up to find his roommate staring at him in Friends. He had his paws either side of my neck – Gibbs, that is – not Chandler Bing – and he’s not done that before. Did he sense that I was low in energy (as Ollie used to do?) and give me a Gibbs Cuddle to invigorate and energise me?
All I know is that my life would be totally empty without my beautiful and beloved cats who seem to know just when I need that loving paw of friendship.