I’ve lived alone for over 20 years and am used to my own company. I don’t miss a roommate or a man or children but I never knew what a difference it would make for me to have a cat own me.
Tessie has been with me for just about 6 weeks and I am totally in love with her – and comforted and de-stressed by her furry presence. When I’m home, she keeps me within sight, following me from room to room, though she isn’t interested in trying to shower with me, thank heavens. Her toys litter the floor and I don’t care – why pick them up when she plays with them? It’s not as though I entertain lavishly and need to provide a tidy place for other people to walk.
When she first came home, Tessie wanted to sit on me almost every time I sat down. Now that she’s more settled, she lets me pick her up to cuddle and sits on her little stool next to my chair where I can reach down and stroke her but she has some space. Much as I’d love to hold her more often, having her sit close by instead means I can do other stuff like read and type on the computer.
I have friends whose cats wake them up in the mornings or who hog the bed. Tessie is well behaved and has her spot at the foot of the bed near the door so she can look out (not that there’s anything to see but then, what do I know about what she finds interesting to look at?). In the morning when the clock goes off, and I pat my tummy, she climbs on top to purr and knead her little paws and we have a few minutes of bonding time. Since it’s 5:45 am and I not awake – and the light is still off – this is a pretty intimate time that lasts, oh, about 2 minutes. Then it’s time for me to get up and feed her.
When I get home at the end of the day, she’s waiting for me and hops on the bed before I can get my coat off so we can go nose to nose and tell each other about our day. I love that her first move isn’t to the food bowl, although that definitely comes next.
I can’t really imagine leaving her but of course I know I will, to travel for business and vacation, and I’m trying to figure out that best way to have her cared for. Possibly a cat sitter rather than trying to board her, though I haven’t decided yet. My first trip will be in February so I have some time to decide how to manage. I know that I’ll miss her terribly – and I’ve only had her for 6 weeks out of what will hopefully be many years together.
What I didn’t really expect was how much having Tessie be part of my life would make me feel more settled, more calm. She listens to me patiently when I talk, and purrs when I hold her and cuddle her close. Tears are absorbed in her fur and she senses when I need her nearby. She is a warm live furry person to keep me company and touching her reminds me that I’m not alone in the world, something I know but it’s nice to have a physical reminder. Tessie doesn’t judge me, she just is there and loves me back.
We woke up this morning to the sound of sleet pelting the windows and will go to sleep warm in/on the electric blanket. We are a little family.