Monday, May 9, 2011
This evening, Bug reminded me just how lucky I am. Somewhere along the line, I banked some really awesome kitty karma.
Bug, who started life as "Frankie", lived in a very small steel cage for six months of his life. He was less than three months old when he was put in the cage; nine months when I took him out of that cage. In the interim, he shared that cage with his brother, Freddie, who was adopted long before Bug was, and then with an adult female who was immensely obese.
When I went to that shelter, I was looking for a female calico who could be a companion to AJ when Amber, who was sick, left us. (Amber was seventeen and suffering with a tumor in her sinuses; Amber and AJ had been together AJ's entire life). The female housed with Bug was a calico, but when I picked her up, she struggled and hissed... plus, she felt pregnant. I know she was just obese, but, gosh, I couldn't see bringing her home if her first response was to hiss at me.
As I put her back in the cage, Bug, still named Frankie at that point, turned those golden eyes on me and put a paw out to touch my hand. I ended up pulling him out of the cage and holding him for a moment.... A moment was all he needed to steal my heart. He rolled around in my arms, purring like no other cat I've ever known, and then head-bumped me. He came home with me that day.
Within three days, he had full run of the house. He was respectful towards Amber and, towards the end of her life, would dash up to her, toss a paw over her neck and groom her head. In those last two months or so, Amber wasn't able to groom herself very well, so seeing him do that... wow.
Bug's treatment of AJ wasn't quite so respectful. Of course, AJ was a Diva and expected he'd treat her that way. He, however, wanted to *play!* And to him, play meant pouncing, tackling, rolling around on the floor, then jumping up and dashing into the bedroom. AJ did not appreciate this sort of play and wasn't shy about letting Bug know that. When AJ got sick, though, Bug adjusted his play and started treating AJ much more gently.
His relationship with me has been ...an exercise in adoration. Just this evening, he demanded space on my lap. He doesn't curl up in my lap the way most cats do; instead, he reclines in my arms, sitting like a small child might, and leans into me. Tonight, he kept looking up at me and reaching up to paw my face, to get my attention (he was sharing time with the laptop). He has me well-trained: each time he did that, I snuggled him closer and kissed his head and face, something he seems to love.
This is a common thing for him. Also, that look of adoration? Hugely common:
Did I mention he's also a complete ham?