From an email to my sister recently:
A new word – this morning Julia was hanging out on my bed for a while, before I took my shower, and the cat was on there, and she (Blur) stretched out one paw to touch Julia, and I guess a tip of a claw made contact with skin, because Julia pulled away and said "She’s trying to get me with her THORMS!"
In case I’ve never posted a picture of her before – this is Blur:
She’s about sixteen years old, and yes, she only has one eye. When she was a kitten – not too long before I adopted her – she was hurt somehow and a friend of mine who, coincidentally and fortunately, worked at a vet’s office, nursed her back to health. She’d had injuries to her radial nerve in her front left leg and to her right eye. The vet was afraid she’d lose mobility for good in the leg, but actually that healed quickly. But I am jumping ahead a bit.
At the time I already owned four cats. I was waitressing a lot and that was basically my life at the time. A friend of mine waitressed with me and she knew I had some cats…one Sunday – it might have been Easter, actually, she told me about this kitten – they’d named her Blur because before the accident she would hide under the furniture and dash from one hiding place to another. She was just a tiny gray blur…
Anyway, at this point, Blur had been hurt and was recovering at the vet’s office. My friend couldn’t keep her – the place she was living didn’t allow pets. So she figured, since I already had four…
Well, she worked on me all shift, in between serving meals and collecting tips, and by the end of the day, I had caved. We agreed to meet the next morning and she’d introduce me.
Blur was just a little thing, around 8 weeks old or so – who knows. She was a foundling. She lay in the cage and showed no interest in me or anyone else, that I can remember. We opened the door to the cage and I very slowly reached in and let her sniff my fingers. She didn’t shrink away or bite me, so I started very gently rubbing her cheek.
Bit by bit, she accepted me. I moved on to scratching under her chin, and smoothing the top of her head, and petting from head to tail, and by the end of an hour, she had rolled onto her back and I was rubbing her white tummy. She had adopted me.
I think I brought her home a little later in the week. I kept her shut in my bedroom while she healed, and while I tried to keep her right eye lubricated with the drops the vet had prescribed. But the tear duct had been damaged beyond repair, and since I couldn’t put the drops in around the clock, the surface of her eye got dry and ulcerated. So the eye was removed. She healed from that, and then it was time for her to get acquainted with the other cats.
They all certainly knew about her – they would hang out at the door to the bedroom, sniffing…one of them would reach a paw under the door to try to touch this new thing I was hiding.
One day I shut the other cats in a bathroom or somewhere, and let Blur out to explore. She crept slowly through the house, sniffing everything, getting familiar with the layout.
I think I did that a couple of times, and then it was time for all of them to meet. On someone’s advice – I don’t remember if I’d read it or if someone told me to do this – I put the cats’ breakfast down on the floor in the kitchen, and while the original four were eating, I opened the bedroom door and waited.
Blur came slowly down the stairs and followed the smell of food. She really didn’t seem interested in the other cats at all. She just marched in like she owned the place, and started eating.
And that was the beginning.
Now, we only have one cat (and two lizards and a bunch of fish) and that’s plenty, since the two small humans are more than enough to handle at the moment.
Blur’s been great with them – very tolerant of the rough handling when the kids were little (okay, they’re still little…but when they were LITTLER.) and quite comfortable with them now. The kids, in turn, have learned to be gentle. They carry Blur around, they pet her, they hug her, they kiss her – she gets all the attention she wants, and they have a real live furry animal to love.
Blur likes to snuggle up next to Alex when he goes to bed. She lies there and purrs…there is nothing that says "contentment" more than a happy cat.
Blur would snuggle up next to Julia, too, but Julia is still leery of the thorms.