Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cat Fever

It seemed as if her purr was amplified early this morning, and it was soothing. The purr was guttural. She rubbed her sweet face on my chin, gently pawed at my hand when I stopped petting, and wrapped her tail around my arm. Every movement was gentle and calculated. This is my sweet Zoey time. When I pet her fur, rub her face, and massage her neck, she repays me with gentle, rough-tongued licks and nudges.

I was never a cat person. Being around cats typically left me wheezing, snotting, and itching. Dander is present on the furniture and in the carpet of any home with a cat, even if the cat was locked away. When I planned to visit someone’s home for the first time, my first question was simply, “Do you own a cat?” In addition to the allergies, however, there was also the mystery that I didn’t like. Cats do their own thing, are not predictable, and have razor sharp claws. Dogs are needy, and look at you as if to say, “I love you, momma.” Cats look at you as if to say, “What are you looking at?” Also adding to my distrust of felines was that my uncle contracted a staph infection from his own house cat’s claws—cat scratch fever. “What is the allure of a cat?”, I would question.

For whatever reason, be it mmune system changes or heavy doses of zyrtec over the past few years, I have no problems being around Zoey. She is gentle, laid back, and loves attention. She moves through the room with grace and stealth. She gets mad and turns her butt to you. She loves to snuggle. And if she’s feeling exceptionally loving—and this is rare—she will lay in your lap. My dog fears Zoey, and avoids eye contact. But Zoey is never aggressive with the dog. She simply stands her ground, hisses, and then sits back down as if it was all a big bother to her nap schedule.

I love her independence. I love her gentleness and size. I love that her poop and pee is confined to a box. I love the way she saunters from room to room, rarely in a hurry, and always with purpose.

She has changed my opinion of cats. For the first time ever, I love a cat.

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