Sunday, November 15, 2009

Love and My Cat

This morning, I woke up too early to be awake, but too late to solidly fall back asleep, so I just let myself drowse in and out for awhile. Ichabod saw that I was stirring and immediately crawled on top of me to be held.

Several years ago, I trained him that if he would paw at me (he has no front claws), I would rub him. It's kind of cute. We don't do that quite as intensely any longer and sometimes I forget that he's there. But, this morning, as I was drifting in and out of sleep, I realized that he was pawing at my face - just a single paw rubbing my cheek. I giggled and put my hand on his back and rubbed him.

Then, my mind began drifting about considering ways we ask for love and how love transforms us.

You see, when Ichabod first came into my life, he was an angry, selfish, mean cat. I spent hours daily with him encouraging him to accept me and accept love and affection from me. It took several years for him to begin to interact with me fully, but now we've gotten to the point where he constantly asks for me to love him. He'll sit on the floor and beg to be picked up. If I don't, he'll lay down and make lots of noise in annoyance. Sometimes I just drop an arm down beside the chair to rub his head, other times I'll simply speak to him and look at him and that will be enough.

My mean cat just wants to be loved. He's figured out different ways to get me to show him affection and I try my best to respond when he does that because it was so alien to him when he first came into my life.

Dad was a great one for showing affection, sometimes the best way to do it in our family was to start a wrestling match with everyone ending up in a pile on the floor. My brother calls it gerbiling. His kids will end up in one pile on the sofa surrounding him.

We all learn what we need and we learn different ways to ask for it. This morning it was fun to watch Ichabod attempt to stir me from sleep so that I could show him that I loved him.

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