Something wonderful is happening in my life. My adopted felines have started to trust me.
This is a gradual process filled with ups and downs. My babies are Buzz and Smokey. They had only been with me for a week when Buzz had his horrifying accident. I was getting ready for our pledge party with my back to the cat tree playroom. I heard a heart-stopping cat scream. My first thought was that they had somehow turned on one another. (When kittens play, the wild beast within them, literally comes out. You can see it in the tenseness in their bodies and the intensity of their gaze.) These two neutered boys were from the same litter. They had been playing rough for awhile. So although my first thought was a catfight, part of me knew that wasn’t possible.
Did you know that in the cat/kitten world, a high-pitched squeal is the signal to stop?
I have been learning a great deal about my new family. I had been hoping for the kittens to sit on my lap and purr contentedly. Since they would not let me get close enough to touch them that dream seemed far away.
Many people encouraged me to get them to associate me with food. They assured me that my kittens would soon be purring.
I began by trying to get them interested in treats.
They were only somewhat interested. The treats had a hard outer shell. Through the evidence that they had chewed through a pair of speakers, I found out they were teething. They are teething so biting down hard on a crisp something was not that attractive. Buzz, the most skittish, liked the treats but he would not take them from me. I had to drop them close to wherever he was. Often, this meant that Smokey would swoop in for the treat.
Awhile later, Smokey started to let me pet him. When I petted him, he would purr. So it was a start. He allowed me to get close enough to pet him, but forget about sitting in my lap
Then a seeming miracle occurred.
I noticed that Buzz was quite verbal. Early one morning, I heard a soft little “mew.” When I opened my eyes, there he was looking up at me, and mewed again. I could swear that he was saying something like, “Please sir, could I have some more.” It had been 8 hours since he had eaten and he is a growing kitten. I lowered my legs over the edge of the bed. He was right there and he let me pet him and he purred and purred.
Of course, his Oliver Twist impression was adorable.
The next morning, Buzz woke me with the same routine, including the purring. But that morning, I went back to bed after I fed them. Back he came. Same little mew, but he wasn’t interested in more food.
I think he discovered that his motor worked and just wanted to try it again.
Now just before I started writing this blog, I thought I would do some research: Why do cats purr?
It turns out that contentment is probably one reason but there are many others;
- A cat may purr when it is hungry
- A cat may purr when it is sick and needs healing.
- A cat may purr when she is giving birth.
- A cat may purr because she is communicating with her babies
But I am convinced that my kittens purr because they are content, they now trust me.
That’s my story and it is sticking to me.
Because I am filled with love and contentment when I hear my kittens purr, I know the consciousness in which we live is filled with love and compassion.
Like many of you, I have had a few difficult relationships. But one of the things my furry friends are teaching me is that persistence and love are powerful forces.
Years ago, I memorized this poem by Edwin Markham:
“He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle and took him in”