A strange tale…

Me, I’m very pragmatic regarding cats. Other people’s cats as well as my own. Not so pragmatic about stray cats coming into my house and eating the food I’ve left for my own cats, but that’s another story altogether.

I’ve always liked cats. They’re independent, usually at home, a warm body at best, another breath of life in the house at worst. I’ve never seen them as particularly lovable or loving animals. They’re way too self sufficient for that.

That being said.

Since the loss of my old man, I’ve not really had an animal soul close to mine. Sure, my other dogs are there, but they don’t have, and likely never will have, the bond me and my old man shared. And really, the cats have never struck me as particularly soulful animals.

I have two of them. The black one, Chaplin, that only comes home to eat. He will lightly step into the house and flop down on the floor in front of my feet and start purring like the proverbial tractor. If there’s food, and he admonishes me, I know he wants milk. Once I poured the milk and he’s had his fill, he will go off on his saunters. A real tom. Huge cat, always a streak of blood somewhere, often ticks that I have to pull of. He’s at home maybe twice a day, and then he’s off again – quite like a few men I know!

Then we have the white one. Or rather, the whitish one because he’s not quite white, just not enough of any other colour :-). Anyhow. Data’s been fixed, so he’s usually in and around the house. Never strays far. He will sit with me when I bath, come running to the bathroom so I can open the tap for him to drink water from, sit on the piano when I’m in the dining room – in short, he’s usually where I am. Even so. He does not really cuddle, or even let me hold, him. Unlike the other one. Data hardly ever purrs for that matter.

And here starts the strange tale.

Usually, when it’s bed time, and I have the hot water bottle under the covers, he’s on the bed. Data that is. I can hardly find my own spot because he insists on sleeping on top of me. So, I get in, and wrestle with him a bit and then we settle down. He usually parks off on my stomach or legs. And that’s where he spends the night.

On Sunday night though, I was feeling out of sorts. Worried about the job, worried about money – the usual. Some tears were shed because, truth be told, I was actually scared there for a moment.

I get in to bed as per usual, expecting Data to park off on his usual spot. Not so. He did something that he’s never done before, and has not done since. He almost did not wait for me to get settled before he started nesting. In the crook of my arm, just about on my chest. It was not particularly cold on Sunday, I did not rub catnip on me or the bedding.

The only conclusion I could come to was that he somehow realised that I need a little more than an aloof body on my legs, and proceeded to give me a little more than I expected. Sort of a “Don’t worry. It will all be OK eventually. Just hang in there, I’m with you”

Which I thought was very cool of him 😉

As a PS, and something completely different, my good friend Sam’s mom died yesterday. She was sick, in hospital, and she probably just gave up the constant struggle that she called life. I’m sorry you had to go through this alone Sam. My thoughts will be with you through this very tough time you’re facing. And beyond.

Latin Text

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

English Translation
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and in the hour of our death. Amen.


21 comments on “Cats.

  1. Cats have a very good keen sense of human emotion. I’m glad Data was there for you. And I am sorry for your lost. I will say a prayer today as I go to attend a funeral for a dearly departed.

  2. A cat doesn’t have to purr or cuddle to show affection – in fact when they do that it is often with ulterior motives. A true test of approval by one is if they like to be with you. They are undoubtedly sensitve to mood, and will try to comfort people they really care for when they sense pain or distress.
    You have earned being one of the privileged!

    • It was a strange thing Col, but I appreciated it all the more for just that reason.
      I can only hope the liking he has in me speaks to something good inside myself 🙂

  3. The ferret speaks true! Every time you think you’ve got them figured out – they show they can do more. They just never want to be *expected* to do more. 😛
    I’m glad your “warm body” stepped up when you needed it.

    • Barking dog on the one side, and unexpectedly cuddly cat on the other side – they do make for interesting living 🙂
      But they do make life bearable more often than not…

  4. I`ve had a half-dozen cats over time and each one was indoor, very social and cuddly. Last January, when my current one an I had only known each other five months, I got the flu after the New Year and was in bed sleeping for a week. Guess where kitty was…hanging over my left shoulder watching my face as I slept and as she did for the whole time. I`m glad you had Data close by when you needed comfort.

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your friend`s mother

    • I never expected him to be that kind of animal Tess.
      I’m just as glad that your kitty was there hovering, making sure you were all right 🙂

  5. Nice story about Data – and I love the name! Yes, I think animals know when you need that kind of thing. I remember that when I still had my dogs with me, they would become very quiet when I was feeling sad. No jumping around & barking & so on. Yes, they know.

    • His pupils are pink instead of black – hence the name 🙂
      Since my old man died, I have no had any kind of connection to any of my other animals – this was very unexpected!

  6. I noticed the same thing with my cats – they have no tolerance for self-pity, but when you are afraid or upset, with “good” reason, there they are, watching over you, giving you warmth, and attention. Always kind of unnerves me in that I think, Whoa! I must be in real trouble! Love it though. Grin. I, too, am sorry to hear of your friend’s Mom’s passing.

  7. Cats make me itch and sneeze, so can’t really get too close to them, but I love watching them slinking around like miniature tigers and panthers. I’m glad your cat comforted you. Hee, hee! And who’s a Star Trek fan, calling your cat Data?

    Sorry about your friend’s Mom passing. Lovely pieces of music you’ve posted. I’ve sung both of them at funerals. The most difficult occasion was when one of my friends requested I sing Pie Jesu. This was after the sudden passing of her partner who was only aged 50. She sat in front of me, her eyes full of tears, and I had to desist from cry whilst singing. So hard.

  8. Cats make me itch, but I love seeing them slinking around out of doors like miniature tigers and panthers. Glad your cat felt compelled to comfort you in a timely manner 🙂

    Sorry about your friend’s Mom. Those are two beautiful pieces of music. I’ve had to sing both at funerals from time to time. One of my friends requested I sang Pie Jesu after her partner, aged 50, died suddenly and unexpectedly. It was so sad. She sat right in front of me with tears streaming down her face, and I had to somehow sing this moving piece of music without crying myself. Very hard.

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