It’s hard to believe that it’s almost two years since that fateful day when I followed a “free kittens” sign into a trashed apartment and saw Escher giving me the stink-eye from behind the fridge. Within hours, three mistreated abandoned kittens had a new home. It’s been a slow and patient process of building trust, of learning to love and be loved. And I want to tell you something vulnerable (since we seem to be on that theme today) and true. Sometimes it’s hard. Even now, sometimes it’s hard.
I’ll stumble across adorable videos of someone playing with their docile, loving kittens and think, it was never like that for us. When I see loving, peaceful, gentle cats being picked up and cuddled, when I see head butts and paw taps and cats curled up in laps, all those beautiful moments of cat love, a deep longing stirs inside me. We have some of these moments but they are often few and far between.
This is not to say that I don’t love these three. If you’ve been around for the journey you know how fiercely I do. I love discovering each of their personalities – Scout’s sweetness, Shibumi’s irrepressibleness and Escher’s deep presence. I’ve cherished helping each one feel secure enough to eat, to sleep, to relax and to be at home. It is an extraordinary thing to help a cat learn what it is to be pet, to help them receive love.They are my muses and they live in a deep place in my heart.
It’s also not to say they haven’t come leaps and bounds from where we started. They have and I believe they will continue to do so. Scout regularly offers up his belly for pets. Shibumi purrs as soon as I talk to her. And Escher… well… even Escher now brings me his toy and comes to me for pets. There are a million precious moments I treasure.
But I don’t want to romanticize what it means to rescue abandoned kittens. I want to tell the whole story, a story of the kind of love that meets and stays with the truth. The truth is these three are still a little wild and maybe they always will be. The truth is I’ll probably always love that about them, even as I wish they would be tame.
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