I have had a deep affinity for all animals since I was a small child, but none more than for cats. An early picture of me, a child of about 3 years old, shows me sitting in a chair, “reading” a stack of books, my kitty close by watching. It’s interesting that 57 years later, a similar picture could be taken. Me, at my computer, writing, my two kitties close by watching.
I think back over my life and try to remember any time of more than a few months, maybe a year at most, that I did not have a feline companion. Why, you may ask? Let me make a list for you – free writing style (what finds its way to the page from my mind and heart):
Warm, soft, little motor vibrating from its belly
Curious, in a languid sort of way
Loyal – always waiting at the door when I walk in.
Loving but not needy
Zen teacher – a model for “being”
Wise, watchful eyes
Intuitive – always near and vigilant when I feel sick or sad
For me, a cat is a perfect companion. I feel a relaxed synergy with my kitties. Sometimes I need love and cuddling, and they mostly comply. Sometimes they need love and cuddling and, of course, I always comply. That works for me.
A few years ago, I wrote this poem about my cat, Lucius, which was published in a literary journal. I think it sums up what I want to say about loving a cat.
He sleeps on his back, spread eagle. I put my face in the warmth of his stomach, white musty fur, familiar kitty smell. His purr vibrates my lips, my cheeks. Not a paw or muscle moves – utter trust in me nuzzling the most vulnerable part of his body. I lift my head, look at his upside down eyes slanted closed.
Lucius, I whisper.
His purr, audible now.
Lucius, I love you.
Eyes crack open; faint flare of nostrils; mouth opens in a wide, fish-breath yawn. Prickly pink tongue arcs to the back of his throat; spotted brown and white ridges on the roof of his mouth look like a tiny set of ribs. Front paws stretch overhead, as the arms of a baby. Eyes close; rise and fall of his furry chest; asleep once more.
I watch. I want to put my face in his tummy again. Instead I back away, downy cat hairs tickling my nose. I have never felt that safe in this world.
Consider adopting a cat this month. A world of soft, furry love awaits you.