As you may remember, back in January we got a kitten. We went through sickness and the tedious introduction of old and new pets, and everything seemed to be going great. The dog adores her and the older cat tolerates her.
But it’s not what I wanted - what I needed - in a cat.
It’s not that I don’t like her. On the contrary, I love her dearly. I adore watching her antics,and just listening to her gallop from one end of the house to the other brings a smile to my face.
But I wanted someone to provide what my beloved Oops provided. I had her for twenty years, and she was the best companion I’ve ever had. She was beside me when I woke up, and snuggled in next to me when I lay my head down at night. I knew that she would be in my lap or on my shoulder as soon as I sat down. I loved that little cat more than I thought was possible, and losing her will always be one of the biggest loses of my life.
When we first got Lily, we didn’t know she was sick. For the first couple of weeks, she would let me hold her while she slept, and she felt so good and sweet in my arms. I almost felt whole again.
But it didn’t last. As she recovered, she pulled away from me more and more. She simply doesn’t like to be touched or held, unless she’s asleep. If you come up to her quietly when she’s asleep and stroke her gently, she chirps and coos and flexes her paws, and immediately tries to groom either herself or my hand, depending on which she can reach. She’s learned to come up to my chair beside me and wait for a treat. You know the old joke about tying a pork chop around an ugly kid’s neck to get the dog to play with him? I’m the ugly kid. I break up treats and put them on me, just so she’ll hesitantly crawl up on me to snatch them away and I can oh-so-lightly stroke her fur before she runs away to eat it.
I feel so needy and pathetic. I’ve never had a cat that didn’t want to be held and petted, and I can’t help but feel rejected. I ache to hold her, but I might as well be waiting for her to read to me. I waited years to get another kitten, making sure it would be the best time for everyone else in the family, and now it seems I’ve screwed up. I hope I can learn to accept the situation, but I hate having to settle again. I’ve settled for being a fat cripple, I’ve settled for being trapped in a loveless marriage, I’ve settled for getting berated by a belligerent coworker, I’ve settled for being in debt to my ears - so now I guess I’ll settle for a pet that sees me only as a food dispenser.