It is days like this I am very grateful to be a lover-of-cats.
I sat still with my mind pinging all over the universe this morning and our cats decided to put on a little performance (I think it was) just for me.
They sat face-to-face and stared each other down. One lifted their paw and swiped at the other. I don't remember who threw the first 'paw' but I do remember that the other reciprocated in kind. I saw the look in Senior Cat's eyes and I could tell by his look of satisfaction that he had won that round.
Junior Cat was not so easily beaten this morning. He had a lot of pent up kitten begging to come out and play. So a short while later, he came up behind Senior and initiated a wrestling move. Senior did not look impressed and turned around and pinned Junior to the ground and moved on. Only this time, Junior did not walk away. He chased Senior down and the tussle was on.
They wrestled for a while and Senior's usual look of passiveness took on a new form. I believe it was a look that my mom has honed. Just 'a look' that says "Do NOT push me any further!"
I watched closely to see if Senior was in any discomfort and unable to defend himself against his partner. Like my mom, Senior can take care of himself.
Eventually they retreated back to the sitting face-to-face position and the paws started swinging again. Senior's eyes told me (and Junior) that he had had enough.
Soon thereafter the battle was over and all that was left was a tuft of black cat hair on the floor.
I turned back to the computer screen and tried to 'clear the desktop', on and off of the computer before I officially started my day.
One of my items on my to-do list was to reply to an email.
What started out as a quick "Thank you for the words. Your timing was impeccable.", turned into a future blog post. It is far too serious for today.
Suffice to say, I was thinking serious thoughts and feeling grateful for 'my old and comfortable shoes' (the moral of the story within that email was my gratitude for where-I-am-at within my life and the knowledge that I simply can't know and cannot even fathom the idea of walking in anyone else's shoes).
People are hurting out there. Some of it we can see. Lots of it is buried behind the facade that people wear. We have no idea what is going on under the surface unless we are in a place of trust and someone gives us a peek at their story.
I don't internalize and take ownership of other people's stories but I definitely empathize with them and feel their pain as I listen.
I was channeling some of that pain this morning, when Senior Cat came down and sat beside me. He gazed up into my eyes and I knew that he was willing to allow me to hold and snuggle with him.
I am concerned about our Senior Cat. It was a year ago that we noticed his symptoms that have abated with a bi-daily dose of prednisone. He appears to be living a comfortable life (where cat wrestling is not high on his list on priorities) and we hit a nice holding pattern. In fact, if one didn't know him the way we know him, you wouldn't guess that he has a thing wrong with him. Thanks to his Gold Nugget cat food, his fur is soft, shiny and healthy looking. He walks slowly and tentatively at times but this could simply be arthritis (to be expected at his age).
It is the little things that I am noticing that are a concern. I can feel his backbone again; I think he is losing weight. He can barely meow. Dr. Google tells me there could be a tumor causing this. I can hear him breathing across the room. He is losing the hair on his 'wrists' again. His fur is coming out in tufts.
My heart broke a little when the veterinarian office gave us a two month supply of his medication and I (unconsciously worried) "Do we have two more months?"
Senior doesn't tolerate my touch much of the time these days so when he allows me to hold him and snuggle, I know it is a sacrifice that he bears with love. There is mutual gain for this discomfort.
As he nuzzled in and could barely contain his love for me, he started to lick my face with abandon.
It was as though he sensed the ache in my heart and was doing everything in his power to let me lean on him during my moment of need.
My heart exploded with love and appreciation for this little bundle of black fur on four legs that gives so much of himself. He lessened my load. Simply by being there.
I hope that I am paying his kindness forward with those who touch my world. I may not lick your face but I would purr for you if I could.