Our cat, Playful, has not spoken to me for six days. My crime? I switched my full sized futon mattress for a twin bed. I am guilty of thinking of the health of my back over her need for personal sleeping space. I am a rotten animal provider.
The crimes against Playful have been many over the years. She has endured a lifetime with a litter mate, two boys who thought nothing of chasing her for their own pleasure, and a dog. It has been a gruesome and grueling existence.
And now, finally, in her old age of thirteen, she had her life at a pleasant state. The dog has become her companion for nightly walks, litter mate has become tolerable, and the boys grown enough to stop the chase. But then we pushed her too far.
It started with the puppy. Yes, you heard me correctly. Our family had the nerve to take home a tail chasing, high energy, scampering, inquisitive young animal. Did we think of Playful's needs? Did we reflect for a moment on her deep desire for peace and tranquility in the home? Her love of a non-changing environment? If we did, it was only scoffed away as a 'She'll get used to it' attitude. Mean, selfish, that's what this family has become.
Even then, that selfless cat was going to brave that bothersome baby. She is that much of a beautiful, forgiving being.
Until the bed change. That became the deal breaker in our relationship. She is done with us. No more will she sleep on my pillow with her fur topping my head. When I feed her, Playful waits until I leave the room to eat. If I stay, she will lick her paws and glare at me. I have been ungrateful for the time she has bestowed on me over these years together. Time and again I thought of others over her needs. How can I ever live down the shame of my neglect?
Are there enough years left in her cat life to make it up to her? Enough tuna in the world as bribe for her favors? What can I do?
For starters, we will return the puppy to the animal shelter and get rid of the litter mate and old dog. The new bed will be tossed into the street. Who cares if the old futon was causing me immense lower back pain--this is Playful we are talking about. Finally, we will buy a new carpeted kitty condo for maximum restfulness at nap time. Should I hire a cat sitter to come over and pet her when I am gone for the day? Yes, that is a good idea.
Maybe, just maybe, if I do everything in my power, I can get that cat to love me once again. All I can do is try.
Callous Cat Companion