Sometimes I find it hard to slow down. (Who am I kidding? I always find it hard to slow down.) But today Scout helped me begin Cat Meditation, simply a practices of allowing oneself to simply relax, breathe and enjoy cat time, close and cuddly.
As I held Scout over my shoulder, feeling his purr against my heart, I could almost hear that yoga instructor voice in my head, “For this moment, there is nowhere else you have to be, nothing else you have to do. Breathe.”
The first time I thought that maybe Escher liked me was when I found him sleeping on my clothes. This was back when we couldn’t get close to him at all and I took it as a great sign of hope. Now, when I get up in the morning, he’ll quickly find his way right into my spot, still warm and cozy. It’s so adorable that I just can’t kick him out. (Did I mention I am actually allergic to cats? Achoo!!)
I haven’t read it yet, but apparently Shibumi likes it
We should all be worried!
We had a wonderful breakthrough with Escher this week. Justin and Escher have had a tentative relationship from the beginning (We think it’s because Escher had such a tough experience when he was left with an unpredictable man.) but over the past year it has improved dramatically. In fact, last week Justin was able to get Escher to offer up his belly – a first!!
This week, he was petting Escher gently, remarking that he didn’t think he would get the belly again when suddenly Escher just relaxed and opened up, not only offering up his belly but also “kneading the air”!!
Until that moment I hadn’t realized that we had never actually seen that familiar contented cat move from Escher. Not ever. I’m so thankful that Justin has had the gentleness and patience to build trust with our introverted boy.
This week Shibumi also had a moment when she was over the moon – the temperature got high enough to open the window. She was there in a shot! All outdoor creatures best beware because #shibumiwins!
She sure beat me when it came to making the bed! I was just getting that duvet cover one when – BAM! – she found her comfy spot. And no, I didn’t have the heart to kick her out of the clean and cozy sheets. Yep. On occasion I’m a #softie.
Scout and I have been hanging out together a lot this week. In fact, he even sat on my lap for some of Journal Club! This is me trying to teach him how to take a selfie. Um… I don’t think he quite gets it. We’ll keep working on it though!
Whether I am working on the computer, watching something on TV or trying to get to sleep, this often my view, Escher just sits there, expectantly, waiting for something. The question is… what?
On this day, I crunched up a paper ball and tossed it and he chased it. After a minute though, he was back with this look, so obviously I hadn’t quite gotten it right. I reach down to pet him and he walked away (as he is wont to do) so I went back to work. He resumed his spot. I reached down again and he walked away but this time I followed him. He walked into the bedroom and, after a moment’s hesitation, jumped up on the bed and looked at me. I couldn’t believe it. He wanted cuddles.
So I curled up with him and petted behind his ears. I rubbed his chin until he “stopped, dropped and rolled” by the pillow. He purred and we had this beautiful moment. This is a first from our reticent wee boy, our shy one, our edgy one.
And that’s not all! At Journal Jame, he actually sat in the room for a few minutes with us all! Usually when people come over I don’t see him for hours after they’re gone!
I think all the love, the safety and the well wishes are working their magic on this one. I am so glad we brought him home.
Ever since we brought the three little rascals home we had a lot of questions about the future. Would they ever let us pet them? If they did, would they ever like it? Would they ever let us pick them up? (Shibumi, yes. Scout, sometimes. Escher, not a chance – at least not yet.) Would they ever sit on the couch with us and watch TV? Or sit on our laps maybe – wouldn’t that be the best?!
This week Scout really kept me company. He sat by me when I was writing and working in my yearbook – though he did make that a bit hard by sitting on it! He sat on my lap while I was hard at work getting Planning Day ready to go. He even sat cozied up in the studio chair while the workshop was live, being our unofficial mascot for 2018.
And then this happened…
That is Shibumi sitting on my legs while I’m trying to have a nap. So wonderful! There is something about the way she fully relaxes her body that instantly makes you feel at ease.
And even Escher, our nervous and shy boy, comes looking for attention. Um, yes, it’s unnerving to try and sleep with a cat staring at you but, you know, that’s being a cat mom!
Just like having your picture taken all the time is a part of being a studio kitten!
We’ve come a long way over the years and still we notice and celebrate every bit of progress. Progress can be slow but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Sometimes I need a reminder. I thought maybe today you might need it too.
Scout is looking particularly dashing this morning. I think he’s a bit like Aragorn. When we first saw him, he was a scruffy ruffian but he has turned into a prince. We may need to find him a kingly name too. Though for now, I often whisper to him in French and call him Monsieur. His purrs say he approves. Or, on occasion, as he rolls around having his tummy rubbed, I call him Mr. Wiggles. (PS If you look closely you can see the tip of his fang!)
If there was ever a cartoon cat that came to life, it’s Shibumi! I think she’s this burly bruiser ready to tussle but who secretly has the superpower of melting hearts. You pick her up and something happens. You just feel better! Now, you just have to figure out how to get to the point where you can pick her up!
Every week Escher gets sweeter. The big step this week is he jumped up on the couch and sat with me while I was watching TV. Yes, he was right at the other end of the couch but we were unquestionably on it together. Will he be a lap cat one day? Stay tuned!
Escher made another big step this week. This handsome boy is shy and awkward and still gets frightened very quickly. If he’s lying all cozy on the bed, he’s okay if Justin or I walk into the room but if it’s both of us – he bolts. When the doorbell rings – he bolts. When company comes over – he bolts.
This week, my sister Shannon came by for some visiting. The kittens have known Auntie Shannon since they came to live with us but still, sometimes she won’t see them at all, especially Escher. Not this time!
One day, Shannon looked at Escher and Escher looked at Shannon and something amazing happened; he walked right over to her to say hi!
That was already swoon worthy but then he did something else, something that is his own odd little quirk, something that doesn’t sound very pleasant but is in fact a wonder: he gave her his bum. That’s what we’ve come to call it. When he turns around and offers up his butt, it’s an act of trust. It started when the kittens were wee. Whenever you reached out, Escher would quickly move away. He was always leaving. If you got lucky, you might be able to pet the very end of his back before he was gone and so that was the first place he got used to being petted. Knowing this, Shannon reached out and was able to give a little pet to her furry nephew to the delight of us all.
You never know when or how the magic is going to happen. But if you are patent and you pay attention, the opportunity for magic will arrive.
(Luckily it doesn’t always look like a cat’s behind!)