Yesterday, I was working in the studio when I heard a bit of a bump and shuffle downstairs. As any cat mom would, I flew out of my chair to have a look. As I went down the stairs, I heard a scrambling and thought, “Who is in the sink?” Then I saw Shibumi, holding herself up by the paws on the frame of the kitchen window, the window above the coffee maker. Her feet were trying to find purchase. Clearly she had tried to jump up into the little window edge and hadn’t quite made it. I could see where she had tried to touch down on the table but had hit the top of the sugar container instead, flipping it over and giving her nothing stable sto stand on.
I reached out.
With her level of tension and her past, I knew I might be in for it. She would likely use my arm as a safety ledge and spring/tear away with vigour and speed.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead she came to me easily and leaned in, her poor little heart beating a million miles a minute. She stayed in my arms, letting me pet her until she calmed and even began purring. Then she was ready to be off on her next adventure.
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!
We all have different love languages, including cats! For Shibumi, love is understood through play. When Justin or I take the time to throw her ball (again and again and again – and particularly up or down the stairs), she lights up! She runs over, purring madly, rubbing up against our legs in between each throw. This lively girl needs action and adventure to feel alive and loved! (Have you thought about your love language? What makes you understand you are loved?)
Escher and Scout are very close. Often we find them not just curled up with one another but connected to each other in all kinds of ways, including holding hands.
I have to share that for the first long while I really thought about finding Escher a different home. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him. He always had a special place in my heart. With his introverted and reserved ways, I wondered if he would blossom being the only cat in the house. Maybe that way the playing could always be at his pace and perhaps he would be more open to people if it was just him and them. But then I see moments like this and I think we absolutely made the right decision.
It’s been two years since the kittens came into our life and Escher still skedaddles if you come too close too fast, if there’s too much hubbub and if you even think about picking him up. Still, we have made enormous progress.
One of the lovely things about him now is that he loves to be near. When I was very sick this winter, he was my daily companion, curled up right beside me in bed. He’s been letting me pet him for quite some time now but mostly he walks away as I try. As a result, I mostly pet his tail, LOL! In the past couple of weeks, he’s started figuring out that if he alters his approach, he can get his head and neck pet, which he loves. In those moments, he’ll purr deeply and even start kneading. Bliss!
My heart just booms when this happens and all of this gives me hope that our trust will continue to grow, that we will get closer and closer and that one day, he may even sit on my lap.