[Fey lying against my leg with her head resting on my ankle.]
Me and Fey snuggling. I’m worn out. Following tech support directions earlier today was like trying to run with your legs submerged in a marsh or something. And the directions were easy. My brain feels all blank.
More Fey hiding under her cat stairs. At least she’s relaxed enough to lie down. But she still looks terrified. :-(
This is Fey hiding under her cat stairs. We are both in the bathroom during a nasty thunderstorm that I didn’t want to keep having to monitor visually for the weird cloud movements that happened in the last one and were beginning to happen a little in this one. She ran in here after a particularly loud thunderclap and I followed. You can see how terrified she is with those big eyes. :-/
[Fey sitting in my powerchair. In one photo she is stretching, in the other, kittyloafing.]
Fey likes to rotate through a bunch of different sitting spots in the house. Right now, she’s using my powerchair. I don’t blame her, the gel cushion is very comfortable. (She doesn’t get to sit on my air cushion, or she’d destroy it with her claws.) It works great until I have to use the chair. At which point it sometimes takes the Incoming Arse Of Doom before she’ll get out.
[Me and Fey snuggling in bed with my hair over my face.]
[Two photos of Fey tilting her head into my face so that one ear gets squished.]
She was purring too!
We have a closeness I can’t even approach with most humans, and I appreciate her being alive every single day. I know 13 is the low end of their average lifespan these days, she could easily live to 17 or longer. And I long ago learned to appreciate her presence rather than freak out about her potential absence — freaking out just bars you from being happy about what you have right now.
I have to say my biggest concern isn’t me outliving her, it’s her outliving me. I know she’d adjust, but she would have a hard time after living 12 1/2 years with me. And with the amount of chest infections and intestinal blockages I get, I’m way too aware of the possibility. I don’t fear my own death, I just fear the consequences for people if leave behind. Especially her, since we haven’t even been apart for more than (total) a few months at most. I don’t have a job so I’m nearly always at home every single day with her. More so now that I have trouble getting out of bed.
But worrying about that solves nothing too. So I’ve got a plan, and a backup plan, for her already. Anyone with a cat should have a plan, even if you’re healthy. They deserve a new home with someone who can love and respect them, not the trauma of losing you and going to a shelter at the same time, unless there is no other choice. (And if you think you’re the only one who could ever love or care for them, then I’m not going to mince words. One, you’re wrong. Two, you’re a danger to your cat. Learn otherwise. People who think they’re the only one who could ever care for someone, have a habit of doing really destructive things.)
When we are not snuggling, I find we often do this thing that’s hard to describe. I will be lying in bed facing one way. She will be down at the end of the bed facing another way. But we are both acutely aware of each other and broadcasting that awareness with every aspect of our posture and movements. It’s hard to explain, but in its way it’s at least as intimate as cuddling.
This aspect of feline communication gets overlooked by most humans. It’s intense, and yet to the eyes of the average human, it can appear subtle. A lot of cat communication works like that. It’s either visually fleeting. Or else it’s hard for a human to pick up in terms of body language. But when I volunteered at the pound I would go into one of the cat rooms and see a bunch of cats mostly facing away from each other but communicating volumes, and often seeming to form patterns where each cat’s posture and position is part of a larger pattern between the cats. Fey and I do this all the time but I’ve only seen one or two people pick up on it.
There’s a lot that goes on in a cat’s life beyond being cute.
[Fey washing herself in my wheelchair. Her tongue is visible.]
[Fey rubbing my face, which is in profile, with her forehead. I’m pale with black hair in purple cat’s eye glasses, a small mouth, a nose that turns up, and fat cheeks. Fey is a grey and white tuxedo cat with a white stripe on her nose and forehead.]
This is a good example of what a staff person years ago used to refer to as kitty lurvin’. And she’s doing that thing where she just sort of exudes exactly who she is in every movement.