Loving a cat is just, well, different from loving a dog.
For one thing, you never own a cat. A cat always owns you.
No matter how loving and affectionate your cat is, he still thinks of himself first.
That said, Brenda and I once again have a cat dwelling in our home.
We first met Maxx when our client Miss Jean Ann brought him in as a stray. Her plan, from the beginning, was to get Maxx through his kitten series of vaccinations and neutered, then find him a good home.
Ever since we lost our precious Martha our hearts have been open to the possibility that God might send us another cat, so we were in no hurry to force it to happen. There was never any doubt that our time with Martha was meant to be.
While I knew Maxx was “available,” on the first kitten vaccination visit nothing about him touched me.
Likewise on the second visit. He was cute enough, but, well, plain. There was nothing special about his coat, his coloring or his personality.
However, on the third visit it was time for his preoperative laboratory testing prior to anesthesia and neuter surgery. When we held him to obtain his blood samples, he cried a low, little whimper, just enough to let us know he wasn’t particularly happy about it, but never did he squirm or ramp up his complaints.
Plaintive would describe his soliloquy.
Somehow, it was that little whimper that spoke to me. That, and the courage he showed in being brave for his phlebotomy. He showed me a side of himself I hadn’t gotten to see before.
A willingness to allow himself to be in a human’s hands and have faith that the human would only do things that were for his good.
So, with Martha it was finger kisses and with Maxx it was a display of unlimited trust.
I took him home that very night.
That continues to be an ongoing source of endearment. Any time we pick him up he is willing to be turned onto his back and let his tummy be rubbed.
And he extends the same courtesy to us. With Martha, more than a few strokes of physical attention and she would respond with teeth. Not Maxx. “Pet me as long as you like,” he seems to say.
Of course, his constant purring is yet another endearing quality.
Within the first 24 hours Maxx and Willie had checked each other out and come to the conclusion that they should be lifetime playmates.
And, as the photo below shows, sleeping partners.
Life is good again. When the wound begins to close and the hurt lessens, it certainly feels good.
See you next week, Dr. Randolph.