Saturday, January 21, 2006
On Being Alone
We are cat-sitting a friend's cat, Laika, this week. She often stays at our house while he is out of town. We LOVE her. She is more like a dog than a cat in that she is super affectionate, wants to be with us all the time and follows us around the house. And she is an eater. She loves to eat. None of this, "cat's know when to stop eating" business.
There is only one thing that drives me a little crazy about her. She scratches on our bedroom door periodically during the night. I'm not a big fan of pets sleeping with you or animal hair in your sheets, so she isn't allowed in our bedroom.
Today, Saturday, was particularly bad. She started at 4 AM. So I got up, used the bathroom, gave her a pat and went back to bed. 6 AM. More scratching and mewing. I got up and decided that it was late enough for breakfast and filled her bowl. 8 AM. I got up and changed her litter hoping that was what all the mewing was about. I was awake at this point and my husband had left for work so I started reading Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. I'd been waiting to have time to read it all week. More scratching at 8:15, 8:30, 9:00. I just want to read in bed (my favorite luxury), but she kept scratching and crying. I got up and showed her the pink spray bottle I use for such occasions and she ran away before I could use it. 9:30. I sprayed and she ran. 10 AM she started again. I called my husband.
"I think she is lonely," he said. Of course, her scratching never wakes him up.
I felt terrible. Mean old human being keeping love from a 13-year old kitty.
I got up and used the bathroom. She pushed open the bathroom door I'd left ajar and sat in front of the toilet with her back to me. Always polite.
I'd only finished the first hundred plus pages of Obama's book where he talks about his struggle during his youth to discover his identity as a person with a White American mother and a Black African father. Many times he felt very alone.
Feeling alone can bring the most excruciating pain. Even to an old cat.
I went in the linen closet, pulled out an old sheet and put it at the end of our bed. I picked up Laika and put her in the middle of the sheet. She promptly fell asleep.
Sometimes it takes so little to bring peace to another being.