A Cat Chooses to Allow an Adoption
In my life, I’ve loved many cats, and grieved them sorely when their time came to leave. I know with each one I chose, the choice was always a two-way street, with the cat’s decision far more binding and valuable than mine.
Some have chosen me overtly. Dylan put his paws on my shoulders and licked my cheek, thereby claiming me for his own. Snuffy reached out of her cage, grabbing my shirt and refusing to release it until I picked her up and promised to love her forever. After spending several weeks outside as a garage cat, Mulan started meowing at the back door. Though she was reluctant to give up her freedom at first, getting stuck in the house when I slammed the door shut to retrieve my little escape artist, Munchkin, turned out to be the excuse she needed to come in out of the cold and rain to become the pampered, adored house cat she was meant to be.
Others have been more subtle. Scrappy Doo simply melted into my arms when the staff member at the shelter placed him, cone of shame and all, into my arms. He continues to show that unquestioning trust by curling up in my lap, his excessively loud purr running non-stop, or sitting on the arm of my chair, using my hand as a pillow. Munchkin claimed my lap whenever I sat down, and slept on top of me part of the night. When she passed, I felt a cold, empty hole in my life that Mulan has been only partially able to fill.
A Cat’s Trust is Precious
I adopted my first cat, Snowy when I was 6 years old. Even when I was living in dorms or apartments, I found a way to have a cat or two in my life, or so I believed. I know now they sensed something in me, and were the ones who made the choice. Even Cinders and Hailey, who came to me as semi-ferals to be my environmentally safe exterminators soon recognized in me someone they could trust to not only care for them, but respect their boundaries.
A cat’s trust is a precious gift. There is no equal, nor any I hold in higher regard. A cat isn’t fooled by all the faces humans wear, or by false friendliness. They know, even better than an Empath whether or not you can be trusted to always treat them with the love and respect they demand and deserve.
Some see cats as arrogant or aloof. In truth, they’ve never been invited into that sacred trust, and likely never will unless something changes dramatically. Sure, there are one-person cats. My ex and I adopted a lynx point Siamese we named Mei Ling, or Missy for short. She was supposed to be his cat, but rarely paid him more than minimal attention. When we divorced, Missy stayed with me. When he’d come to pick up the girls, the mere sound of his voice sent her running for cover, where she stayed until he left. The only other person besides my daughters she ever tolerated was his sister. He might have chosen Mei Ling, but Missy chose me.
Our other cat at the time, Phangue, showed his regard for me and disdain for him by walking up his chest with claws extended, and down mine with them retracted. Did I mention cats perfected the art of sarcasm? If you ever saw Pyewacket, my Panther/Dragon lying on the bed with everything extended to it’s fullest; body, feet, and excessively long tail, there’d be no question he was making his feelings known after I’d so rudely removed him from his preferred spot amidst the pillows on the unused side of the bed.
You Can’t Fool a Cat
Many’s the time I’ve said I prefer the company of cats (or any animal for that matter) to people. In recent years, I’ve learned it isn’t all people. Just those who fail to recognize and respect boundaries the way cats do. The rare few my cats accept on sight remain in my life through all its twists and turns. Dylan, who greets anyone who enters my house has made it clear a time or two even he has his limits. The few he’s rejected weren’t in my life for very long.
I trust their judgement implicitly. Though there were a couple they accepted who later had to be ejected from my life or my daughter’s, I’ll forever believe my cats simply saw a glimmer of humanity those people never allowed me to see. Occasionally, they’ll err in the other direction, mostly when it’s someone who is on the loud side, and doesn’t allow the cat to do the approaching rather than the other way around. Ultimately, they’re forgiven for their clumsiness as it’s inexperience rather than intentional rudeness.
I refer to my cats as my babies, or my children. If someone finds that objectionable, they won’t make it past the front door. I don’t want their toxic energy pervading the environment my cats call home, and consider a safe space.
The Most Accepting Cat is Still Discerning
I’ve also learned not all animal lovers pass Dylan’s rigorous inspection. Though it’s certainly a qualifying factor, it’s not definitive. There are people who have bonded to an animal, but their bond is an exception, and involves an animal who’s suited to their needs and personality. Cats see through that too. Just as there are one-person cats, there are one-animal people too. For the same reason, most humans don’t bond with every animal either. In fact, most cat people don’t bond with every cat. Unlike dogs who are far more forgiving, each cat has its own standards, thereby limiting who and when they’ll be accepting.
There was a time I worried if one of my cats remained shy of someone I invited into my house regularly. Now, I pay attention to my cats, and if someone is consistently rejected, I, if nothing else, limit their visits to my house. It’s not fair to the cats to have to hide in one of the bedrooms whenever someone they dislike visits. At times, they’re the gut instinct constantly reminded not to ignore.
During 2020, when leaving the house has been risky and stressful; when I’m spending most of my time either inside my house, on the patio, in the backyard, I’m spending more time than ever with my cats. Even during my worst years, I’d leave to go to work, go dancing, or to one of the girls’ events. I was typically home only to sleep and maybe eat dinner most week days, and even part of the weekend. Now, even my dancing and exercise happen in or around the house, so the cats can at least see me nearly 24/7. Is it any wonder I’m noticing their moods and their effects on mine more intensely now?
Proud to be a Crazy Cat Lady
I am one of those cat parents who tells their cats I’ll be back soon when I leave the house, or if I’ll be gone for more than a day, I’ll tell Dylan to hold the fort and be nice to his sisters and brothers. He looks at me with his big, intelligent eyes, and I know he understands, even if he’s not happy I’m leaving. The unconditional love in his eyes, the way he gives my face a thorough washing when I have to move him out of my lap, and the snuggles from everyone are well worth all the pampering, the treats, and the worrying when one of them gets sick, or even horks up a hairball.
I’ll proudly wear the moniker “Crazy Cat Lady”, or anything else people say when they see someone as devoted to their felines as I. I prefer my cats to most people anyway, so their opinion rarely catches my attention. When it does, I smile to myself and say, “Damn straight! No one has ever loved me like my cats do.”
Grateful for Being Chosen
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for every minute I get to spend with each of my furry, loves.
- I’m grateful for the unconditional love I’ve only found in my cats.
- I’m grateful for every single day I get to be Dylan’s mom. He chose me, and has proven how smart I was to respect that choice over and over again. He’s kept me sane through the best and worst of times.
- I’m grateful for my ability to care for all of my babies even when funds are tight. Somehow, I always find a way.
- I’m grateful for abundance; kitty love, friendship, responsibility, healing, challenges, opportunities, peace, harmony, love, health, joy, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.
If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward