Thoughts with Richard Bleil
They say that dogs always love you. It seems like instinct. Oh, sure, there are individuals that they don’t like, but it’s not hard finding a dog that will jump on you and love you any time you look at them. A cat’s love has to be earned.
In the past year, I’ve dealt with two cats. Star was a rescue from the local humane society. When I met her, she didn’t even want me to pick her up. When I settled on adopting her, they put her into my cat carrier, which she hated, perhaps because she’s a big girl and it may have been a little bit small. There was only one working cashier, and somebody was ahead of me who was taking a lot of time. It couldn’t have been fun for Star to be in the carrier that she hated for so very long.
Coming home, she didn’t immediately jump into my arms. It takes time for a cat to get to know you and trust you. I showed her the water, food and litter. Then she hid. It didn’t take her long to feel at home, though. My understanding that the people who gave her up for adoption had two dogs, three cats, and children. I suspect that this was a very stressful experience for her, which is probably why she was overweight. It was very quiet here, and I think she liked that. Plus, a lot more room for her than the cage at the humane society. If I’m remembering correctly, the first night she crawled onto the bed and slept, well, at least near me. Today, she jumps on my lap when I’m sitting, paws me to get my attention and frequently asks for cuddle time. Well, not cuddle. She still doesn’t like being held (I’m working on it) but she does love her lovings.
Mooch, on the other hand, was an outdoors cat. Mooch didn’t trust coming inside and was never happy when he was. Star certainly liked to flirt with Mooch when he was outside, but let it be known that he did not belong here when he was inside. He started to let me pet him, just a little bit, when bribed with food, and did sleep near me a couple of times, but never climbed into my lap or asked for loves. The last time I let him outside, hoping he would be an indoor/outdoor cat, was the last time I saw him. I suspect he might no longer be with us, although, it’s possible he already had a family and is now with them. I’d prefer to believe that.
So, I’m batting about .500 for this house. I’m actually quite good with cats. I had a date once (yes, I had a date), and she wasn’t quite ready when I showed up. Sitting on her couch, her cat peeked out from its hiding place. I know a little trick that will often attract cats, and if they start rubbing on you, you really can’t reach for it. It has to explore you, decide if you’re worth knowing, and if so, will start rubbing on you to get its scent on you. Which her cat did, before jumping onto my lap. By the time my date emerged from the back, I was petting the cat and it was purring like mad. She looked at me, shocked. “How did you do that?” she asked. “My cat hates strangers!” Yeah, well, I’m the kitty whisperer.
The fist cat I lived with was in Boston. The family with home I lived in exchange for watching their child after school had a cat that lived in the basement, where my room was. Eventually the cat decided that I was her human and started sleeping with me. I was much younger then, and for my readers who are not aware, young men have certain appendages that will, at night, often move on their own. The problem is that, with a cat on top of you, cats don’t like mouse-like objects (or, in my case, armadillo sized) moving under the covers. She would attack it as it moved on its own, unfortunately, with her claws.
My friends (yes, I had friends) used to go on extended vacations and would ask me to watch their cats for them. With two cats, they had two very different personalities. One was a homebody, always inside (yes, they had a cat door), and would want me to sit down and love it when I was inside. The other always met me in the driveway. He would lay down in front of my vehicle so I would have to stop (which I would have anyway). I would get out of my vehicle and sit on the driveway, and let him rub on me, and show me affection as I returned it to him. He was very kind, and just needed his fix. I definitely have a great love for cats, love that continues to grow as I get to know them better.