Anything for My Cats
Lola and Toby have been best friends since they were two or three months old. I was living in New York City at the time, and there was a rescue organization called Angelical Cat Rescue. I grew up with cats and dogs — and turtles and rabbits — and I had been thinking of getting a cat or two. ￼￼￼￼ My sister was visiting and we went to meet some of the cats. I fell in love with Toby first, because he’s super sweet and social. He wanted us to hold him and wouldn’t let us go. Lola was also very sweet, and she clearly loved the attention even though she was a little shy. I was ready to take them both on the spot!
Lola took a while to get used to living with me, which worried me. I spent a lot of time on the phone with my mom trying to figure out what to do to make her come out of her shell. With cats, it’s a waiting game. I just tried not to force anything on her, so she could get comfortable. I put out food and water and waited patiently. She hid a lot in those early days, under the bed and under the couches. But when she did come out, I made sure to give her lots of love and reassurance (even though Toby got jealous that he was not the center of attention). It took a couple of days, but now she’s just a love and super snuggly.
Lola usually takes longer to warm up to people. Toby, on the other hand, is like a dog! He greets people at the door, he runs up to them, he follows them around. He’s a super social cat who loves attention. Lola is a little more reserved. She’s the kind of cat that will run and hide and slowly come out when the coast is clear.
Toby is the one I have to go out of my way to please. He is very loveable, but in an obnoxious way. He constantly begs to be held, and at night he kneads me when I’m trying to sleep. I have a stressful job that I have to be alert for, yet I let this crazy cat knead me to his heart’s content most nights. What can I say? Whatever Toby wants, Toby gets.
Cat lovers are a strange breed; we go out of our way to cater to these small, high- maintenance creatures. I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but Toby needs so much attention that he no longer considers me taking a shower or using the bathroom to be a solo activity. If I don’t crack the door for him to come in, he’ll cry and scratch at the door until I give in. I don’t think that falls into the realm of “crazy cat lady”, but it is a little out- there that I can’t have privacy in my own house.
I guess the biggest way I’ve catered to my pets is when I moved them across the country on a plane. I moved from New York City to San Francisco and actually had to pay for a ticket for Lola to sit under my seat. Toby was perfectly fine to sit with the other pets in cargo, but Lola wouldn’t have it. The airline wouldn’t let me take both cats through security together, so I had to walk through twice, holding a cat each time. Picture, if you will, an already stressful and tedious pre-boarding security line. Then add two antsy cats and one woman frantically juggling each of them as a surly TSA agent swabs her for explosives. If that scenario doesn’t spell “unconditional cat love,” then I don’t know what does.
For all I do for Lola and Toby, they do give back to me every day. When I come home from work I always know that two cats are happy to see me. They welcome me every day with snuggles, and it makes me happy to be loved that way.
Lola especially can always tell when I’m having a bad day. When she senses I’m feeling down, she comes over and sits on my lap. She purrs as if to say, “It’s all going to be OK.” And you know what? If I keep catering to my cats and they keep taking care of me, I think it really will be.
If that story of catering to kitties reminded you of things you do for your own furry friends, let us know in the comments!