Not so remarkable is it? A cat on the bed?
Kelly on the bed, though, is truly remarkable. In the past few days she’s gone through something of a change and I’m so proud of her. From her background you know that she is sweet and affectionate but timid, and though she accepted each foster cat who came in after her and grew to love especially Peaches, the Fantastic Four, and even Mimi, were a little too much for her. I did my best to introduce them very, very slowly and make sure we all had time together and time apart, but once they were no longer kittens and were permitted all over the house full-time, Kelly felt very intimidated by these boisterous and very physical cats. Since then she’s found one safe spot after another and huddled herself there for most of the time. While Cookie was still around she stayed with Cookie, and therefore with me, but when Cookie became ill last year Kelly just fell apart, and even before we lost Cookie she was frantic and frightened. I thought more than once I’d lose her too.
Since then I’ve done all I could think of to ease her back with special spaces and special time indoors and out and special food and flower essences and a few reiki treatments. I’ve even featured lots of photos and sketches of her trying to bring her happy, loving energy. Slowly, she’s come back, from hiding all day in the back of a bottom shelf in a kitchen cabinet to hanging in the kitchen, to my desk, finally revisiting my studio which she had always loved. She’d been up there most of last week and I noticed that each day she was reacting less fearfully to any of the black cats and even settled down with a few while I was working up there. I had always put her in the bathroom overnight so she could get a break, have a snack and use the litterbox without interruption, but over the weekend she was actually cuddling with Mimi on top of a box in my studio. I left them there. They were still cuddled together in the morning. The next night Kelly came into my room and braved all the black cats to come to me and sleep next to me for the first time since Peaches was here. Last night she slipped in under the covers, purring, as she always used to, though she was on the pillow next to me in the morning, no stress, or growling or fear.
Then today she decided to spend the day in my room, in a corner carefully hidden, but later when I went upstairs there she was, sleeping in the middle of the bed as if she’d been there all along. It was always one of her favorite spots but she would never have dared sleep there alone.
Kelly was the youngest cat for years, and in the past five years has lost all her friends and I’ve felt her loneliness, at 18 and no friends of her own kind. I’ve considered finding a compatible senior cat for her but with Kelly’s timid nature and the Four I’d hate to adopt or even foster and have it not work. But Kelly took it into her capable little tortie paws and decided she could be a big girl all on her own, for the first time in her life. I’m sure everyone’s comments on her photos and sketches helped her along!
Kelly is amazingly healthy and physically fit for an 18-year-old cat. Most of my cats live to their late teens and are generally well, but Kelly seems hardly changed from when her age was single digits. I’m sure she has many years left and I’d hate to see her live them hiding in a kitchen cabinet. So here’s to many more.
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