It's hard to believe that Callie's been in my heart for 10 years now. I remember clearly the day she wandered into my heart. It was a miserable day, cold and drizzly. She sat at my back door crying her head off. On and on, "Meow. Meow. Meow! Meow!" My roommate and I had recently moved to a new apartment which had several cats that wondered the complex, so I didn't think anything of it. I figured she was at the wrong apartment and would soon wander home. However, she was insistent and wouldn't go away! "Meow...meow...meow...Love me...I'm scared...I've lost my humans...I'm hungry...meow...I'm so cute...I'll love you forever...I'm thirsty...meow...meow...I'm tired...I need a safe, warm place to live...I'm really sweet...meow...meow...I've chosen you...." To this day, I've never heard her meow as much as she did that afternoon!
I was a dog person through and through. I'd recently lost my precious Boston Terrier, Gabriel, whom I'd owned for 15 years. He was spunky up to the end and my heart was completely broken when we had to have him put to sleep due to old age and a variety of other health related issues. I wasn't looking for a new pet. I didn't need a new pet. I didn't want a new pet. I hadn't put down a pet deposit. I certainly didn't want a C-A-T!! (I grew up hearing the mantra, "The only good cat is a dead cat.") I wasn't ready to give my heart away to another animal. God and Callie had other plans, however.
So began our 10 year relationship of mutual love and trust. Callie was a big-time fraidy cat when she first arrived. She's learned to trust humans, know that food is in plentiful supply, a hand is always near to calm her and rub her tummy, and that she's very well loved. I've learned bunches and bunches about cats with Callie and she's been very quick to forgive any wrongs I have committed, like not cleaning the litter box faithfully (I didn't know you were supposed to scoop daily!), changing foods on her too quickly (I didn't know it mattered!), like not realizing that kitties weren't dogs, but they're just as smart and charming (I had no previous experience or training.), and that the closet door should not be closed with her inside (oops!).
I'm continuing to learn about cats and aging, nutrition for "senior" cats, general health care for "seniors", and the life long loyalty kitties give to those who love, nurture, and protect them. Callie has filled my life with so much constant, quiet, gentle love it's unbelievable. Not much of a talker or an expressive love bug, she has her own unique ways of demonstrating her love and communicating. When she's hungry, she goes and sits where she's fed. When she wants to sit beside you, she sits on the floor and looks up at you, very pathetically I might add, waiting for an invitation. She's stingy with head butts, but gives them enthusiastically, willingly, and in abundance at four o'clock in the morning when she's hungry (and I'm sleeping!!). She LOVES to be petted and groomed, but don't tell anyone! She will lay on the floor, or the couch, or the bed and let you pet her, rub her tummy, or brush her until your arm is worn out. She loves laying in the sun and cuddling up next to a nice warm body during the winter months. Of course, you must pet her when she snuggles up to you! When she walks by you, a little flick on the tail or a body slam let you know she's acknowledged you and that she loves you. An enthusiastic thump of the tail on the floor when speaking to her tells you she loves you and is happy and content with the world.
I know that we won't have many more anniversaries to celebrate, as Callie's now approximately 12 years old. Although she's in relatively good health, she does have some kidney issues that have to be monitored closely. For now, I treasure the days we have together and celebrate the times she shows her "tortie-tude". I also treasure the times we share loving each other and celebrating small victories, like jumping up on the bathroom counter for a drink or getting over an infection.
Thank you for loving me, Callie-bug, and introducing me to the wonderful world of cats. I'm so glad you wandered onto my porch that cold October day!