I was sitting here on the loveseat by the window a couple of mornings ago, and Scratchy joined me.
I didn't want to get up to get my camera, because I'd have to move my arm. And Scratchy was already purring loudly. So Bill got the camera for me. He is used to this sort of thing.
I've shared my space with both female and male cats over the years. And while yes, I love both genders, or, rather, I have loved each feline for his or her own unique personality…I have to be honest here, and say that there's just something about male cats.
I don't know what it is…maybe it's the neutering – who knows…but they've all been super affectionate and smushy and, okay, absolutely smitten with me. To the point where walking from room to room or up and down the stairs becomes dangerous, what with the nudging and tapping and weaving in-and-around ankles that goes on.
Scratchy is no different from the others. Sometimes I wonder if we bonded back on that very first day, when he rode in a little cardboard box from his former home in Attleboro to his new home here. He seemed more stressed than his sister did – why else would he have ripped a gash in that man's thumb? – and needed to feel safe. Or at least reassured that, after the car ride, things would be just fine.
He mewed pitifully (don't they all?) in that box, and I kept peeking through the makeshift window at him and talking to him in my specifically designed Soothing Voice. It's the one I use when my kids need to calm down and stop gulping for air when they are upset about something. And it's the one I use to let kittens (or puppies, or any other creatures) know that I am safe and kind and will provide food and shelter and love.
He doesn't scratch much now. Well, okay, let me amend that. He doesn't lash out at people now. He scratches his little cardboard scratching thing…and the scratching post in the basement…and the loveseat (under the slipcover, though) when he thinks no one's looking. But he is more relaxed, more settled than that frazzled little kitten we brought home months ago. And that settling in happened before the neutering, so it's not just the lack of hormonal influence. I think he just feels home.
Of course, home comes with a price.
Around here, we call that price "Julia."
Julia doesn't like to see anyone – cat or person – sitting around in a state of contented relaxation. Not ever. She must poke. Or tap. And Scratchy has accepted this as part of the package.
If he puts up with it a bit, eventually it will stop and he can go back to just sitting. In peace. Content once again.
Until the next round.
Julia loves his nose.
And his soft, soft fur.
And Scratchy loves the attention.
He hasn't stopped purring.