My moggy and I, celebrate our mutual adoption anniversary in May.
Our relationship and wonderful seventeen years together exceeds the duration of many marriages and certainly of most less significant social relationships.
My experience of interspecies relationships is way more positive than that of human dating and extended “love matches”. Animals don’t play games with human emotions, nor leave you in any doubt as to where you stand, or how much you mean to them. Their patience and capacity to forgive is extraordinary.
I have chosen my moggy as my Valentine of 2014!
He’ll be content without my spending copious amounts of money on cards, flowers, let alone a trite advertisement in a newspaper.
Whilst he once inadvertently joined me for a hamburger in the car from the Ballarat Hamburger Cart, that was because we were on our way home from a trip to the vets. He will not expect me to dine with him tonight at an exclusive restaurant, but be uncomplainingly content with his humble meal at home, whilst I do indeed dine out, with a group of friends.
Later, he will sit with or on me on the couch as we watch some television, until such time as he indicates it is time for bed and make his way to our room, where he will wait until I join him. Then, he will curl up at my side, snuggling against my back.
Whilst initially rather out of sorts when I decided to introduce a pup into our lives last year, he has slowly warmed to whippet boy, realising his place in my life is as vital as ever; dog or no dog. There is love a plenty for us all.
My beloved moggy has comforted me through a series of painful losses due to deaths of family members and close friends. He was at my side as I dealt with knee surgery, following a serious injury and well over a year’s rehabilitation that involved learning to walk again. Throughout it, he never once jumped on, nor did anything to cause me aggravation as my knee healed. Unfortunately, the dogs in my life were not quite so astute, or sensitive!
This darling fella chose me himself. He had been dumped unceremoniously at the school I worked at, no doubt under the assumption some kid would take him home. He was just reaching sexual maturity and would soon need desexing. This was the usual age cats found their way to us. Worse still; the pregnant queens, about to give birth to a litter of kittens, discarded to fend alone, at the very time, in an ideal world, if she were to breed at all, she would have maximum love, support and security. I wish I could count the number of cats that have found their way into school grounds on that basis over all my years of teaching. Most, ended up at a rescue centre. Only once did a school child ever get permission from their parents to actually adopt a cat dumped at school. Occasionally, a staff member would be in a position to take on the unfortunate animal.
As for my moggy, it truly was love at first sight the day we met. Luckily I had recently purchased a home and had kept some of my cat gear, from my previous cat, with whom I shared a joyous nineteen years!
My blue grey tabby left a huge gap when he died. One that I never imagined could have been filled, but my Valetine boy has done his best, leaving room still for fond memories of his predecessor and other significant cats who have left an indelible mark on my being and played no small part in shaping me into the person I am today.
I left some students from my Year 9 English class with him over lunchtime whilst I went home to get my cat crate. The canteen supplied him with some ham and chicken for his lunch. He slept his way through an afternoon of senior English, happy just to be warm and have a full stomach.
Later we went to the vets for a full check-up and microchip scan. Introductions to neighbours and friends that would become part of his extended family and support system followed. His own basket, cat tray and toys, along with regular meals, saw him settle in very quickly.
Sometimes he still reacts to loud people, noises or sudden movements and I wonder about other abusive experiences he was subjected to as a kitten. I find it ironic, that chance brought us together, in a world where, under different circumstances, he may well have given a lifetime of love and devotion to his original human(s).
That he became mine is an eternal blessing!
Yes, my moggy has brought such love and joy into my life. He is the purrfect Valentine and leaves me in no doubt our love is mutual, unconditional and eternal!
Happy Valentine’s Day my darling!