I’m a crazy cat lady. Actually, my husband and I are both crazy cat people. We started with one each that we brought into our relationship and have lost both of our original babies, and somehow over the last year ended up with 3 cats. I’m not really writing about cats. The cats are a vehicle for the message, so be patient.
We lost an old cat to age and disease and went to the local shelter to donate all his old meds. While there we decided to “browse” the kitty section. HA! You know what happens when you browse the kitty section? They offer you two for one. Michael immediately picked up a little black kitty, who was of course adorable and purring and playful and wouldn’t put him down for the rest of the afternoon. They bonded immediately.
I took a look around and after playing with several cats, decided I really liked the style of this monster of a cat – the largest cat I’d ever seen and he was sitting half in and half out of the cat door leading to the outside play area, blocking everyone else from having fun. What a guy. Obstinate and funny. He had a squinty eye like John Wayne does while glaring at bad guys atop his steed. He was aloof too. Mine! All mine! Gimme that cat!
So we bring him home and named him Caesar. He’s as tall as my knees and his paws are about half the size of my palm. He’s HUGE. And while cats do take a while to get acclimated to each other and figure out the balance of the pack, this guy didn’t even try. He just sat in the garage all the time and would only come in to eat. He’s about 3.5 years old and had been a Tom until he was at the shelter for 2 months, so I guess he wasn’t social in his younger years. The middle cat (the one that had been in our house longest) would spat at him and hiss and chase him around every time he tried to come inside even though he is easily 2 times his size. I couldn’t figure out if he was chicken shit, or just didn’t want to put in the effort. He always curled up in the back corner of our garage and would stay there unless he was eating or the other thing that cats do.
Finally when it started to get cold, I decided to give him a bed. I found an old comforter that I folded up and put in his corner and for the first time, that cat showed appreciation. He even purred. He stomped down into a comfy spot and then wouldn’t leave that spot except to eat or the other thing that cats do.
2-3 months in the territorial fighting stopped. 3.5 months in, every once in a blue moon Caesar would come inside to lay on the living room floor in a sunny spot and I would throw him a toy. You should see this big boy with toys. He is SO HAPPY to have a toy. I hate to compare my cat to a human orphan, but his eyes weren’t much different than a child that received his first toy. But still, no love, no affection. Still won’t sit on our furniture, still won’t sit in your lap. Just reaaaaalllly happy about his toys.
3 weeks ago he got into one hell of a fight with another cat down the way, during the middle of freezing rain. When he came inside, scratched and bleeding and muddy and soaking wet, he let me towel him off, but went back to skulk in the garage.
Fast forward to two days ago (about 5 months since we got him), and I walked into the living room and he was laying BELLY UP on our love seat. Laying there sleeping away like he hadn’t slept in years. I pet him, I loved on him and he purred his ass off. It was crazy. I had to take a photo and send it to my husband. Unreal! Then last night, as I’m sitting on the love seat reading email and wasting time, he comes running up and jumps right onto my lap. Again – unreal! After all this time…and here we are, he’s finally part of the family.
Which got me thinking. I’m not the most patient person in the world. I don’t wait for a lot of things. But I’d given up on this guy ever bonding with us, and just gave him space. Sometimes, things (and people) might just take a while to come around to our love and affection. Sometimes, I can’t make it happen or force it, and all I can do is be patient. It’s the lesson of my life – I swear God put me here to learn patience. Maybe I’m finally getting somewhere.
Here’s Caesar this morning. Curled up with the little black cat we got the same day. (You’ll have to ask me for his name, it’s hilarious).