Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pondering Cal

This morning after I was ready for work, I straightened the covers on the bed and looked at the cat.  He was sleeping on my boyfriend’s side of the bed.  Almost a year ago I looked at my girl cat, probably in the same position as he was in at that moment.  I remember this because less than a week later she had died.  That morning I may or may not have walked over and scratched her under her chin, which she loved, and I do not feel guilty if I didn’t.  I loved that cat so well, and she loved me back just as much, so if I left her alone it was because I knew it was ok. 
But this morning I went over and scratched his head.  He woke up and did his little “Why are you touching me?” meow, and I scratched a little more.  He’s come a long way in a year, and I’m glad he has, but I still miss her every day and want that closeness back. 
Cal has always been weird, for lack of a better word.  My daughter brought him home from somewhere in town.  She said a woman was giving kittens away in the park.  He was too young to leave his mother and we had no one to give him back to, so I ended up feeding him by hand, literally.  He licked formula off my finger because I couldn’t get him to use a bottle, and he wouldn’t use a dish for another week.  I thought that this would be great because it would form a bond between us, but he never warmed up to me.  When my boyfriend moved in with us he would sit with him, never with me.  I was kind of jealous but I also know animals and they have their own people.
Cal has always been in pain.  Whether it’s been his back or his skin, we have always had to be careful with him.  Cuddling has never been an option.  However, there were minutes where he let me hold him, not long but usually long enough to get a photo.  Shortly after AJ passed I noticed Cal sleeping on my pillow.  He used to do it sporadically, but now it’s almost an everyday occurrence once I am in the shower.  He’s moving into her territory.  They used to argue.  She only had the upstairs of the house because one of the dogs wanted to eat her.  When Cal entered she would sometimes hiss or yell at him and they would swat each other.  She probably intimidated the hell out of him, all four or five pounds of her to his whopping thirteen.  Now that she’s gone, Cal’s skin has cleared up.  I’m able to hold him for probably four, five minutes tops.  That’s good enough for me.
He doesn’t bite as much as he used to.  He talks to us more, like she did.  He comes when he’s called and seems to enjoy our company.  He’s learning to hunt.  He’s coming out of his shell.  Sometimes I think she is guiding him, but most of the time I think he is just learning to love us.
Do I miss her?  With all my heart and soul.  Do I wish she were home with me, safe and sound?  Absolutely.  But I am so glad that Cal is still developing and moving forward every day.  He’s ten years old.  He’s got a lifetime ahead of him and as long as he keeps progressing, I’ll keep trying.  Every once in a while I think about getting a new kitten, one that would be like her, but I have a huge fear as to what it would do to him.  We’ve come too far to back track now.  I think we need to be a one cat house for a bit longer. 
I know Cal would agree with me on this.

Cal in his younger, thinner days