Comfort Cat

The cat settled on my chest right over my heart.   Whenever I pick up a book and kick back to read, she becomes annoyed and demands my full undivided attention.  She goes belly to belly with me, purring loudly and placing her head over my chest, stretching her white paw up to touch my neck. 

“I know you’re here” I say to her and place one hand on her back while I juggle the book with the other.  I could shoo her off but I don’t.   The warmth of her little belly is soothing.   Her purring reaches deep into me, my body rhythms match her vibrations, gently massaging my soul.   I love that she insists on sharing a book with me and sometimes I read a passage or two out loud to her.  Her eyes lock with mine and her purring lowers as she listens to the words.   It doesn’t matter what I read, what matters is that we are both content.

My previous cat, Mojo, passed away four years ago while I was on vacation in Spain.   I boarded her at the vet and for the last few days of that trip I made a daily phone call to check on her progress or lack of it.  Usually she stayed with my daughter whenever I was gone, but Jill and I were taking this trip to Europe together.   I did what I thought best for little Mo.   Advanced in her years, I thought who better than the vet to care for her during my time away.  She must have felt abandoned.  Her little heart gave out the day I returned home.   I went to the animal hospital to pay the bill and came home with her empty carrier and my tears.

After Mo’s death, I decided I would not have another pet.   Too much work, I was too busy.   My move into my new condo coincided with my daughter’s transfer to Florida.   Her new apartment would not be available for a month. Jill begged me to take her cat,Bennie, during the transition .   I protested.   Moving myself, I worried that Bennie might scratch my new wood floors or pee on the new rug.  

“He knows you!   You’re the only one I trust.”  Jill said and so I relented.   The perfect houseguest, Bennie waited for me each day to come home, rubbed against my ankles, curled on my lap for a snooze.   When Jill finally came to take Bennie to his new Florida home, my heart broke a little.   Jill laughed at all the new toys he accumulated during his stay and the bag of organic food I supplied to go home with him.  Still I resisted bringing another pet into my life. 

Three years later, I adopted this new cat on a whim, calling her simply Kitty.  I rescued her from the shelter and it took awhile for us to get to know each other.  Now she is my companion, my comfort.    She recognizes my footstep down the hall.  I hear her soft meows as I turn the key in the lock.  She flops down on the rug, exposing her soft thick furry belly for a quick scratch.  Kitty entwines herself around my ankles as I prepare her food.  She supervises as I write, sticking her nose in front of the computer screen.

Her special language, the different meows, purrs and stares, is now the music of our routine, our daily dance.   A soprano’s meow for attention, a soft mew as I pet her back, a tiny impatient cry for food, she sits next to her basket of toys when she wants to play.   Kitty is demanding and particular, assertive in her need for attention and just as assertive when she wants her nap.    But it is when she sits with me as I read that I feel our connection most, our lives dependent upon each other for daily sustenance.  Her presence has brought joy to my life.  How had I forgotten the comfort a cat could bring?     

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Susan Kozem

    Posted on July 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I love this sentence, “my body rhythms match her vibrations, gently massaging my soul”

    anyone who loves their pets, knows this. Nice story.

  2. Comment by Susan Kozem

    Posted on July 29, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I love this sentence, “my body rhythms match her vibrations, gently massaging my soul”

    anyone who loves their pets, knows this. Nice story.

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