This morning started like most others – with a body slam.
I am a crazy cat lady. The crazy part might be debatable, but the cat lady part is all kinds of true. I love my two big, black dogs; however, in my heart of hearts, I’m a cat person. After I had to put down my 19-year-old Isabeau, I didn’t seriously consider getting another cat for five years. Then, my son brought this adorable grey kitten home. We named her Boudicca – Bodhi for short. Then we found out that this fearless she was a he and we named him Bodhidharma. Still Bodhi, this ferocious jungle kitty now tips the scales at about 18 pounds. He’s a monster, but he’s no body slammer. That would be Link.
Last summer, three adorable, fuzzy heads poked out of the flashing around my air conditioner – feral kittens. I had been feeding the parents (Mommie and Black Kitty) for weeks and was relieved to finally see the kittens I suspected existed somewhere. I got to know the kittens who became Wallace (with his brave heart), Smudge (a little grey puff ball) and Link (with his over-sized, pointy ears making him look like the elf from the Legend of Zelda).
After Smudge disappeared, I took Wallace inside to socialize him with my other three pets. Even with Black Kitty and Mommie around, Link looked bereft without Wallace. When the two played through the glass of the front door, my heart broke and I doubted that I had done the right thing bringing Wallace in. But, I had done it to save him after the dogs nearly killed Link. They caught him in the backyard and were in the process of dividing him when I pulled them off. A few anxious days passed with no Link to be seen. I was just sure the kitten had died of his injuries. I literally sat in my car and sobbed when I saw him in the trees afterwards.
My feral colony eventually numbered at least fourteen individuals (I told you – crazy cat lady) when my sister came up to help me trap them for spay, neuter, vaccination and release. We caught The White Queen, Twin, Mommie, Raj (who later became Lucy), and we caught Link. We re-released all but Lucy and Link.
I worked on socializing them with morsels of progress. Then, one day, after weeks of hissing, spitting and swiping, Link just decided that I was okay. He’s not a gentle kitty and is still easily frightened, but he trusts me now. He often sleeps alongside my leg and he body slams me for affection last thing at night and first thing in the morning. The White Queen, Mommie and Twin show up each morning and night for food. Black Kitty has been gone for months; Lucy still won’t be petted. But Link, well, Link is my love bug.
I am humbled and honored that this once frightened little guy trusts me, seeks me out to give and take affection in his little kitty way. What a privilege to have his or anyone else’s trust! Too often, I take that for granted.
Now, twice a day, I am reminded with a ten pound body slam.