Squirrel Queen's blog "The Road to Here" has just informed me that it is World Cat Day. So I thought I'd take a minute out of my Saturday to introduce you to Jacques "Jack" Cousteau, fittingly named after my childhood hero. Jack is one of those rare cats who you can say has a good soul. He's super smart, lovable and seems to think that my head makes a great pillow. He has a rich personality, so much that when friends come over one of the first things they often do is look for Jack.
One of the most amazing things this 12-year-old creature has done happened when I brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital ten months ago. At first he was wary. And then he accepted that mommy had a kitten and it was here to stay. Within three weeks he went over and licked her face and purred.
Now he lies down in front of her and lets himself be used as a standing platform, hitting post and tactile learning center. Often the baby stands up holding handfuls of his hair. And yet he just purrs and takes it. At night if I check on her he'll jump in her crib, sniff her as if to make sure she's OK, and then jump back out. Her first word at nine and a half months was kitty cat, although it comes out more like "itty at!"
What's amazing to me about all of this is until Lizzie came home he was so afraid of children he'd hide under the bed for hours until they left, and sometimes for hours after that. And he has a heart condition. I seriously thought the baby would be the last straw. Yet he continues to dote on Lizzie and allow her to play with him a lot more roughly that I would expect he'd take.
I am so thankful that I picked him that day at the MSPCA twelve years ago my first summer out of college. I wanted an orange male cat and he was the closest thing. I really lucked out with him. And when Jack is gone I will mourn him more than I have ever mourned another pet. I am so fortunate that my husband fell in love with him as fast as I did. Jack has some annoying habits like purring so loud in the middle of the night he wakes Brian up. And chewing on my hair while I'm sleeping, or drooling in my ear. When I first brought Jack home he spent the first month suckling on my neck all night since he wasn't completely weaned. I spent that month with a sheet wrapped around my head trying to keep him away. But I would do it again. He's a special animal and he has given me so much love and seen me through so many bad breakups. Until I met my husband a few years ago he's the only guy that ever stuck around.
So I hope you have enjoyed meeting Jack, and I hope he lives another year so Lizzie can continue to enjoy playing with him. I get unbearably sad knowing he's at the end of his life, and it's hard to see him slowing down and losing weight. I doubt I'll ever have another cat quite like Jack. He really does have a good little soul. I hope I gave him the best life a cat could have.
This blog started out as a place to post fiction about not feeling grounded. I quickly realized that I prefer writing essays about living mindfully, living green, ecology, motherhood and looking for ways to feel more grounded, hence the "holdfast". Thanks for visiting!I hope you found what you were seeking. -kate
Save the children, Save the planet. click on these links for my easy tips on how to do it: