I have never been a cat person. Ever. When I was real young, I saw one of my mom’s cats be hit by a car. Then when I was in the first grade, I was attacked by our cat at that time. I was holding the cat, so when my mom answered the door, it wouldn’t run outside. We have no idea what triggered her to go nuts or what made that day any different than the others (as we’d opened the door on numerous occasions).
The cat tore my face up. I could feel the warm trickle of something on my face. I knew the cat got my eye and I was petrified that my eyeball was on the floor somewhere and I was going to have to start 1st grade, one eyeball short. Honestly, that was my main concern there. I was gonna be the cyclops at school.
To make a long story short, I didn’t lose my eye, but I did have scratches on it. My mom was tore up quite a bit and to this day, 22 years later, still has the deep scars on her legs.
Since then, I’ve always been a dog person. Around 5th grade, we got a dog and she was with me for 17 years. She traveled with me, even moved across the country when I was at college. Sadly, she passed when I was in my mid 20s. I thought I’d never have a pet again. I was too heartbroken that my best friend was gone to even imagine getting another pet.
But, even though we say those type of things, life doesn’t always work out that way.
A couple years later….I was living in Washington (the state!) and shared a duplex with a friend of mine and her husband. While living there, they lost one of their cats. So after hunting for another one on Craigslist, they found one, by the name of Mr. Whiskers.
All they knew about him was that he was a male tabby, he came with his own litter box, and the dude getting rid of him, hated him (it was his wife’s cat). Not much time passed before Mr. Whisker’s was dumped off at the house. He hid in a closet for a few days. Eventually, he moved to hiding in one of the kitchen cupboards. He stayed all the way in the back where he couldn’t be reached.
I was home all the time. I was taking classes online and working from home. So when I had a free moment, and no one was home, I’d get down on my belly on the kitchen floor, open the cupboard, and talk to Mr. Whiskers. I never made an attempt to touch him or anything. I just talked to him for a couple minutes, then I’d close the door and go on my day.
Now to give you an idea of how scared this little dude was, he lived in the cupboard like that for, jeez, 2 weeks?
One day, he grew brave and stepped out, just with one paw, and he sniffed my hand and let me pet him a little on the head. At that exact moment, my friend’s husband walked into the kitchen and saw us.
He ended up yelling that the cat was a little asshole (plus a few other names) for seeing me and not going to see the two of them. He punched the wall and walked off in a pissy mood. (I’ll hold my tongue about this ‘man‘, for I have despised him ever since I met him. And thankfully, he is not with my friend anymore.)
Mr. Whiskers was scared by the whole interaction, ran deep into the cupboard, and I didn’t see him for a couple days.
Like I mentioned, I worked from home and most of those days, I stayed up late. With everyone else asleep, I’d leave my bedroom door open to get some air (my door opened directly into the kitchen).
One night….I found Mr. Whiskers wandering around my room. I just sat and watched him. It was that night he decided that he wasn’t going to live in the kitchen, he was going to live in my room.
Now, it’s not exactly all lovey yet. He was still scared of everything. He usually stayed under my bed or on the floor under a big crocheted blanket. He was still afraid of everyone. My friend and her husband would come in and try to bribe him to come out and see them with treats and catnip. But he wasn’t falling for it.
As the days went on, Mr. Whiskers grew closer to me. He would lounge on my desk while I worked. He’d let me pet him. He was so beautiful. I never thought I’d love a cat until I met him.
I will say, at this time in my life, I was in a dark spot. I was very alone. An ex would call me at all hours to fight. I felt as though I had lost my friend (the one I was living with) because of her controlling husband. I just felt I was floating in a state I wasn’t really familiar with with absolutely no friends.
On a couple occasions, I’d hug Mr. Whiskers, tears running down my cheeks, and pray to anyone that was listening that all I wanted, more than anything in the world, was for this cat to love me back.
Not much more time later, my friend’s husband f-ed things up in a BIG way in the house, which got us evicted. Well, technically they were evicted, and I got to live through the end of the lease, but after that I had to go.
They ended up packing up their belongings and leaving. I helped with a lot of the moving. It wasn’t until I was in the house, relaxing on my own for the first time…when I realized they left Mr. Whiskers behind. They never came back for him. Just abandoned him. Our relationship was strained, so I didn’t call to say anything about it. They knew.
All of a sudden, I had a cat. I had to decide if I was going to rehome him or adopt him. Of course, I had to keep him. <3 He had been through 4 owners now (including me), it was apparent he had been abused by a male somewhere along the line – I couldn’t give him up.
I hated his name. So first thing was finding him a new one. I tried out many different ones, none of which I remember. He actually helped pick his new name out. He started talking when I’d say it. So I figured he knew best – and from then on, he has always been known as Mao.
He’s different than most cats. He’s very docile. Most cats would defend themselves or let someone know if they were doing something he didn’t like. Not him. He’ll sit there and take it, if running away isn’t an option. He was scared of even his own shadow when he first came into the house.
I can’t really say that’s all gone, he’s still afraid of many things, but he’s calmed down a lot. He does have a lot of anxiety problems, he gets super stressed if I leave the house for too long. He’s started having seizures this summer, so I’m always on alert with him.
I hug this boy every day. I tell him how much I love him. He’s the sweetest old man-baby I’ve ever met. I call him a ton of nicknames – currently I lovingly call him Boogs or Mae-Mae. At night when I’m trying to go to sleep, or in the morning when I’m just waking up, he rests his head on my arm, kneads the blanket, and has me rub his belly. He love his belly rubs! He’s my snuggle bug / cuddle bug.
He puts up with me putting dumb crocheted things on him. He has no problem dipping his gross potty paws into my food, as if he thinks I’ll be cool with it. His favorite toys ever are yarn and cardboard scratching things. He thinks he’s sly by stealing my desk chair when I get up – I even have to get a 2nd chair for him, so he’ll give mine back.
He’s 13 & 1/2 now. I’ve had him for 5 or 6 years and not a day goes by where this handsome man doesn’t get a hug from me. And with each and every hug, I am more and more thankful that the universe answered my prayers.
I hope you all hug your cat on June 4th to celebrate the loving holiday, Hug Your Cat Day!!
Do you have a special fur baby in your life? Have you had a good experience adopting a cat? Or maybe, were you adopted by a cat? (hehe that’s what I think I fall under :p )