I watch my cat slink around our lives, fit into the cracks, ignore our requests, and delight us with her curiosity. I am still often overcome with a rare mix of gratitude, surprise and delight that I finally have a cat living in our family. I have peaceful memories of watching the cats who occupied my childhood. I was as fascinated then with their behavior as I am now. Watching Kira respond to the kitty reinforces my belief that it doesn’t matter what age you are, a cat is fascinating to watch.
Coco epitomizes conceit and selfishness. These are characteristics I avoid in people, but somehow, in her, I am endlessly captivated by it. When she enters the room, I sit up straighter, give up what I was doing and feel compelled to see what she will do next. She can leap without a sound. Whenever there is something new brought into the house she suddenly appears to inspect. When guests arrive and open their suitcases, she’s inside within minutes. When I am packing for a trip she naps in my open suitcase. I have a picture of my white childhood cat doing that. I wonder what the draw of an open suitcase is to the cat. Surely they don’t intend to communicate they wish to travel. I must assume they just like new things. So do I. They also seem to believe everything is theirs for the taking. This oddly trains me to wish to give her anything she wants. My response shocks me because it is counter to how I respond to people. What is it about her that makes me surprise myself?We have had Coco for eight months. It took her four months before she would step onto our bed and sleep the night against our legs. Now, she likes the space between our heads where a third pillow can fit. If I bring her to the bed, she hops down and streaks as far away as she can go. I must wait for her to come to me. I hate waiting. But when I hope for something so much, it is surprising how well I can wait.
She still will not step into my lap for a cuddle or rest. I can pick her up and hold her like a baby with her backbone on my arm, but I can not sit down with her in my lap. She has drawn that line, and I wonder how long it will be before she will erase it. I am at her mercy. I wish even this minute that she would step into my lap while I type, but she’s on the round table in the art room, my desk. At least I can be reassured that she likes to be in the room where I am. Just an hour before now she came as close as she has ever come to stepping into my lap. She stepped cautiously, tentatively revealing how vulnerable she felt. Purring, kneading, and drilling me with intense eye contact she accepted a head rub. I felt chosen. It was like being the prize winner. Though I held my breath and didn’t force a thing on her she changed her mind as quickly she first broke the barrier and scampered over to her safe chair.
She doesn’t mind making me suffer. But I know suffering produces character by perseverance and that keeps hope alive. Hope does not disappoint. So I just know some day she will curl herself up into a ball, tuck in her front feet, and rest her chin down on my lap while she purrs herself into a cat nap. That will be a good day. The way she plays hard to get is what enthralls me. I am helpless to her beauty. It is similar to how Kira keeps us all begging for a smile and a giggle. I wonder how such complicated behavior can appear with such innocence. God really is AMAZING.