Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekly Gratitude: My Cats, and Cats In General

Fair Warning: I love cats.  I've loved cats for as long as I can remember.  I am a cat person.  In this post, I gush about my own cats at length.  If you're a crazy cat person, read on.  If you're not, this post may make you roll your eyes at the sentimentality of cat people and go talk baby talk to your poodle, Fifi.

This week I'm giving gratititude for my cats.

There are a lot of things I love about my cats.  They're both incredibly well-behaved, with never a litter box problem from either one of them.  They don't shred the furniture.  They don't bite or scratch.  For that matter, neither one of them has even so much as hissed at me in the 16 years we've lived together.  They really are great cats.

I really, truly enjoy my cats' personalities.  They differ dramatically from each other, and complement each other perfectly.  First, there's Piglet, a mellow, affectionate, 16 lb Maine Coon mix.  If I want a cat in my lap, I can just pick her up and put her there, and she'll start purring like a motorboat.  For that matter, she likes being picked up and held on her back like a baby (most cats hate this), and purrs like a motorboat the whole time.  My husband can position her on his chest and fall asleep with his arm around her, and she'll stay there for hours ... purring like a motorboat.  She even allows herself to be used as a pillow.  Did I mention she purrs like a motorboat?

Fortunately, Piglet is so mellow that she doesn't mind being bossed by our other, much smaller cat.  CC is a 9 lb blue tabby.  If she even looks at Piglet in a certain way, Piglet will make a long detour to go around her.  If both cats were dominant personalities their relationship would be a real problem.  But Piglet is happy to back off when CC gets obstreperous.  The cats aren't friends, but they live in peaceful, mutual tolerance.

As for CC can be affectionate, but it's always on her own terms.  She expects obedience from her human minions.  The back door is opened when she asks (she trained me to open it when she rings a bell on a scratchy toy that hangs from the doorknob).  She demands a certain amount of play time every day.  She's sparing in her affection, but if she wants some lap time, she simply takes over my lap.  If she doesn't want cuddle time, there will be no cuddle time.  Until she wants cuddle time again.  Which is usually at 3 in the morning.  Because CC -- disdainful, independent CC -- actually sleeps snuggled in the crook of my arm, and purrs all night long.  (Though possibly this is simply due to amusement; my partner and I frequently wake up to find that we've somehow been crammed onto his half of the bed, and CC is in the exact middle.  CC weights 9 lbs, remember.  My partner and I weigh about 330 combined.)

It's a lot of fun to have one cat you can always count on for some love, and another cat you can tell great stories about.

My cats do have one thing in common.  They both take care of me when I need it.  When my mood begins to crash, Piglet butts her head against my legs until I start petting her.  She crawls into my lap and rests her head against my chest.  CC normally hates to be picked up, but when I start crying, she rubs against my legs and yells at me until I pick her up.  My cats soothe me.  They remind me that I am not my failures.  When I'm feeling useless, they remind me that they depend on me for survival. I feed them and love them and take care of them, that's good enough for them.  I'm good enough for them.

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