My perspective of cats and their dispositions has changed. . . once thought to be aloof, and detached unless needing to be fed, I have determined that this is not in fact the case at all.
Mira was about a week old when I found her. Living in Houston, Texas at the time on a bayou littered with water moccasins and gators, I rarely went beyond our back fence for fear of what was slithering in the wreeds.
One morning however, standing in the backyard with my cup of coffee, I heard what sounded like a small “mew” from the grassland beyond the back gate. Curious, I ventured out to find the source of the cries. Close to the bank of the bayou I discovered her.
Frail, tiny and barely born, was this tiny creature that fit in the palm of my hand. She could not have been more than a week or two old. Searching the wreeds and wetlands I found no sign of the rest of her family, though I will say there was a rather satisfied alligator on the other side of the bank watching me intently.
Scooping her up, I took her into the house. This was the day my whole life changed.
Learning of the new addition to the household, my next door neighbors showed up later that afternoon with a “kitten shower”; bottles, formula, collar, toys……. and so life began with Mira.
4 years later, we have since moved off that bayou to the Rockies and Mira has become an integral part of my life and the household. My children claim she is the “favored child” as the world seems to stop for this cat who is far from despondant and independant. Like that of a duckling, it seems she has imprinted me. Meaning, if I am out of sight, she goes into terrible separation anxiety and begins to quite literally call me. The meow sounds like the kids when they called that long “Moooooommmmmyyyyyyyy???”. Just as I could not use the bathroom alone when the kids were toddlers, I cannot go into the bathroom and close the door on the cat either. She sits on the other side beside herself that I am out of sight. When I am gone overnight I have to hire someone to come stay, or she cries all night long. So much so, the apartment neighbors report the most painful cries coming from behind my door.
When I come home from the day, she runs to greet me. She has much to say, and will insist on being in my lap for the first 30-60 minutes I am home. Groceries to unload? FORGET IT. Its all cat, in my face until I relent and give her my undivided attention. If I move rooms, go to the kitchen, or my office space she follows me. Always an eye on me and a paw on the pulse of where I am. At all times.
Bedtime has it’s ritual as well. As the lights go out and television turns off, she follows to bed to be “spooned”. This position is the inside of my chest in my sleeping fetal position. My arms wrapped around her. The purring becomes deep and the stretch long, draped and possessive over my arms. Together we snuggle in for the night of sleep and except for the occasional feeding or catbox requirement it is there she sleeps all night long.
Mira might be an exception to the rule, but I now think very differently about the feline and the disposition of the masses that they are distant and aloof. I have come to believe that a pet, like a child, is a reflection of the investment. If time and attention are given to your four legged family member, even a cat, the result is a love and attachment like no other. Its loyalty is absolute. Mira loves no one like she loves me, and the truth is it’s very mutual. I adore her with every fiber of my being almost in the same vein that I love my own children. She feeds my soul with unconditional love and an attachment that oddly completes me.
Don’t discount the aloof cat. There is more to that concept than we give credit for. They are not aloof and detached by nature, instead they just need the same love and nurturing we give a dog, or moreover our children.