Ha ha ha ha! That’s a good one, isn’t it? Not only are there not 10 ways to know your cats love you, I’m not sure there’s even 1. But I’ve owned more cats than any other animal, so here’s what I’ve experienced in my more than 40 years of having kitty companions.
1. No two are the same, even if they look like it on the outside.
Here are Stella and Luna. They were abandoned and we adopted them in May. They are sweet little girls who wreck havoc in the most innocent way possible. Luna tends to cuddle with me more, but Stella has taken to coming in my room and jumping onto my bed and purring and pushing on me until I acknowledge her presence, even at 4 in the morning. Yea. That’s kitty love. Stella vocalizes more, and is the slightly smaller of the 2. She was diagnosed with a heart murmur when I first took her to the vet.She hasn’t had any issues since. Luna is a master lizard hunter and will growl at you if you try to take away her catch.They are virtually identical in looks, but different in personality. Luna likes to be in or under something at all times. I can almost always tell which is which by what they’re doing. Unless they’re sleeping. Then they’re identical.
2. Even one who loves and trusts you can inflict pain.
Before Luna and Stella, we had Oreo. Oh my, what a big lover he was. He would snuggle up with me every night and curl himself into the curve of my body. He was big and he was rough and tumble. He loved to lie on his back with his belly bared for all to see. That was his favorite position. But don’t rub that belly or he’d dig those fangs into you in a second! He died unexpectedly 2 years ago yesterday. He was the first cat my kids knew from kittenhood. He was 17 weeks when we got him from a friend whose son wasn’t taking care of him as he should.
3. Even when you care for them their whole life, they’re not always going to act the way you want them to.
The first kitty I had when I moved away from home and started my adult life was a 5-week old little black ball of fluff living in the bushes where her mom was a stray. She fit into the palm of my hand. Ashley lived to the ripe old age of 18. She was kind of crotchety and would growl at my husband if she was on the bed and he moved in a way she didn’t like. That didn’t go over very well with someone who doesn’t like cats in the first place. But she was my baby, totally devoted to me. She’d been known to scratch people on a regular basis, but as seen in the photo, when she was quite old, she let a toddler be her friend. She loved tuna, windmill cookies, and smoked turkey. Sometimes she would crawl all the way under the covers to the bottom of the bed. I always wondered how she could breath.
4. You never forget your first love.
My very first cat was Meshach, a Maine Coon. I only have very bad printed photos of her, so forgive the quality. I got her when I was 13 and she passed away after I went away to college for my junior and senior years, about 7 years later. She was my baby, so she was devoted to me. She would sleep right on top of me and was with me all the time. It broke my heart when I learned she had died and I wasn’t there for her. It’s funny that though I very distinctly remember my sweet kitty, I don’t remember the fine details of life with her. But I remember the love. I remember that she would frequently get these sores on the bottoms of her hind legs that we could never figure out. We had to keep them bandaged and she walked funny while the bandages were on. Had Instagram and Facebook been around back then, I’m sure I’d have much more of a chronicle of her life.
So those are my feline friends, Meshach, Ashley, Oreo, Stella and Luna. I miss each one and never go very long before getting another after one passes away. It may be hard to say how they show their love, but somehow we just know they do.
I’d love to hear about your fluffy loves.