While I miss having a dog immensely, being loved by a cat is f*cking magical. It took five years of force cuddling and putting up with nips to my ankles to appreciate the complexity of human animal and cat animal love.
This week I celebrate five years since I adopted my feisty feline Freyja (adopted on a Friday and therefore honoring the goddess of love). As if almost by possession state I wandered into SPCA unsure why I was there. Only to find all the cats sleeping except my future roomie. She meowed at me and when I went into her room she rolled around and started purring (cat flirting).
The night before I had a dream about a cat with orange stripes on its face whispering “I’m yours.” I was looking then for an orange tabby who would have stripes, though upon closer inspection of my cat’s fur, there are of course stripes on her cheeks and I just know it was her in my dream world.
Living in a single room/studio apartment with a cat, I’ve learned a lot. I know her moods and patterns of relating. I know that when she sleeps at the bottom of the bed she wants to be close, but not accessible. I know that when she sleeps right next to me, our dreams will likely merge or she will make a cameo in mine. And when I annoy her she sleeps in the closet.
It wasn’t always this way, in the beginning I had a very difficult time understanding what she was saying. Now, with patience and several sessions with an animal communicator (thanks Marti Joslyn) I’m finally understanding the subtle of Freyja’s communication. Though not so subtle ones would involve her hiding under the bed when I have kissed her too many times on the top of the head in one day.
Here is a compilation of several cat language behaviors and how I know she loves me:
Ankle biting means I am ungrounded, she wants to play or eat.
4 a.m. nose nuzzle or face scratch means one of three things: I’m hungry, I’m bored, I’m lonely.
Meows have several tones, one is for agitation, time to eat and I haven’t noticed, or when I have been gone most of the day and she wants to know where I was.
Tail twitch means she is excited, nervous, or has a lot of energy and wants to play.
Nose bump when I come home is a sweet hello or slow eye blink from across the room.
Dog love works well for feeling loved, cat love reminds us to trust connection and distance that love isn't a constant it has an ebb and flow. Freyja drives me crazy and sometimes I wish I didn't have to worry about taking care of another being, but she grounds me and takes care of me, just like I take care of her. And I'm grateful for her teaching me her language, even though I seem to be a slow learner.