As I’ve been at home more recently, I’ve spent a lot more time with my cat. He’s always been like my shadow but even more so now. He was a stray so its taken him some time to adapt to having a human and live with a human.
He’s always been friendly, he’d come to visit usually miaowing to announce his arrival then rub against my legs to say hello properly. I naturally assumed as he was in good condition, with a shiny coat, that he lived with his owners nearby.
It became apparent though that this was not the case…he appeared a few times looking dirty and unkempt. He let me clean him up, had a snooze then went on his merry way. This happened several times over a week or so before he disappeared for a few days. This was unusual, even if he didn’t come to visit, I’d see him pass through the garden.
One night, I heard a faint miaow. I opened the door to look out and even in the dark, I could see him, filthy dirty, injured on the garden wall. He jumped down and padded into the house. He’d been in a fight. He was covered in blood and dirt and looked exhausted. I cleaned him up, he was so patient and trusting and as gentle as I tried to be, I could see that he was in pain. I fed him and for the first time he hopped up on the sofa and fell asleep beside me. Exhausted. But he knew he was safe.
He’s been with me ever since. Poor boy then got cat flu and lost his miaow for a week or so but thankfully not permanently. I wouldn’t be without him now. His purr is so soothing, it really calms me down. He also gives me someone else to focus on. He needs to be fed and loves his belly rubs. He also loves his sleep – he’s asleep next to me on the sofa as I type this.
I’ve really seen his confidence increase and seen him relax into his environment. He’d never seen stairs before and was very tentative at first. I’d use treats and a soft tone to help him…he’d climb up 2 or 3 stairs, enjoy being petted but then he’d go back down and stay there. I was so delighted one night when I was getting ready for bed and heard him miaow to discover him sat on the landing, his first time ever. He then went from taking a few tentative steps into the bedroom to being perfectly comfortable sleeping beside me. When I’m out at work, he sleeps on the bed and then comes down to greet me when I come home.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that even when life is stressful, its so important to spend time with those you love, to not lose faith or trust in the world, to relax, to spend time doing things you find relaxing and enjoyable, to eat well and try to get enough sleep. Be more cat.