Day two of #the100dayproject. Thinking about companion animals.
I had numerous family pets as a child, and had always thought of myself as a dog person (WUT) until one summer I had a boyfriend with a cat. Don’t get me wrong; dogs are wonderful and I love them, but for me nothing compares to the companionship of a kitty.
The first cat that I had of my very own was Hunter. He was white with grey spots, and PAINFULLY anxious and shy in the weeks following his adoption. But it wasn’t long before he began to let his guard down, and soon we we became the best of friends. He kept my shoulders warm on long late nights while I pounded out the last papers of my undergraduate degree, and kept my heart safe while I cried through the most torturous breakup of my adult life.
What I didn’t know at the time was that while my little kitten friend was helping me to heal only the way a kitten can do, his own body was fiercely attacking him in the form of the Feline Leukaemia Virus. Within only a few short weeks of his diagnosis, Hunter had lost almost half of his body weight, and with a heavy heart, I carried him for one last ride around the neighbourhood in my purse and took him to the vet, where I laid his tiny soul to rest. It is, to this day, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and to be honest, I’m still overwhelmed with emotion every time I think about it. That cat gave me comfort in a horrible time in my life like nothing and noone could. I loved him fiercely, and will remember him fondly for the rest of my days.
EMOTIONS! Holy moly. I didn’t start off this post thinking that I’d write about Hunter much at all.
I have two new cats now, Rosemary and Thomas, who have lived with me for the past seven years. They are skittish, but loving, and I am happy every day that I decided to bring them across the country with me to Toronto instead of finding a different human for them to live with in Vancouver. Companion animals are lovely and strange, and it’s incredible how attached we get to these tiny creatures that live in our homes, and the funny habits they posses.
Rosemary, for instance, looooooooooooves running back and forth between a few different cardboard boxes in my apartment. I keep what is essentially garbage lying around my home, because she loves it so. I can’t get out the door to work in the morning unless I have spent a good ten minutes running back and forth between these boxes with her, playing a hybrid form of cat hide-and-seek meets tag. She will meow at me vexingly, and without end, while I am getting ready if I don’t.
Though Thomas is more stand-offish than Rosemary, he is not happy unless I scoop him up in my arms as soon as I get home and hold him tightly in a bear hug for a minute or two before he remembers his skittishness and runs back to my room to hide under the covers.
I love these funny cat rituals that we share, and I hope that I am making their little cat lives more enjoyable and comfortable, the way that they have added joy and comfort to mine.