May 5, 2015
The Many Ways of Love
I had a huge shock this week as one of my two cats was suddenly quite sick. Berlin and his sister Pele have been with me since they were adorable kittens 12 1/2 years ago.
At his base he is a cat who thinks he is a dog- he runs to greet anyone at the door and demands to be noticed and loved- and really, who could not love this huge black and white giant with the loud purr. He is often not what you would expect – he can chase after a twist tie like it is a wild mouse and bring it back to you to play again. Alternatively he will gently head-butt you when he feels he is being ignored. Bare legs send him into a tizzy and he can not resist a (sort of) gentle nip. He seems to really prefer the hairy legs of my sons.
When he was a kitten I had to childproof the kitchen for him (something I never had to do before, even when my two sons were young). I had to put locks on the floor level cabinets because if I did not I would come home to all of the food from inside the cabinets in a pile on the floor and Berlin proudly sitting in the cupboard. Watching him I was impressed with his dexterity- he would stand on his hind legs and hook the cabinet door with a front paw to swing the door open. He was not really after the food- just the space. He has always liked confined spaces. He could often be found in a clothes closet (left closed) perched on a pile of clean clothes, just snuggled in.
He has great chase instincts and takes great pleasure in running after mops, sheets as you try to make the bed, or anything else moving. e is also a nature lover- clicking madly at birds he sees, nibbling on stray bugs that wander in his path, and chasing moths and bees with glee.
Berlin is a people person and while he does not stay still on laps for long, he likes to be where the people are. He also has a fondness for water and has been known to jump in showers or baths before the original occupant is finished. Berlin is also a climber and being an indoor cat did not keep him from having fun. He was often on the top of high cupboards just enjoying the view. Berlin is a sun worshipper and will climb in the gap in the curtains to get to the most sun.
In some ways Berlin is also like a typical cat- he has to be the one to come to you and he plays hard to get sometimes, but he can always be lured with a rub under the chin or the promise of a brush and he is patient with nail clipping.
To see him suddenly so sick is heart breaking- he is so quiet, and while he still wants to be nearby he is most often sleeping in his carrier crate, which seems to give him comfort. He is not able to run and chase and his poor sister is confused, but supportive and is giving him his space. He does not like taking the pills that he must now twice daily, but he does not hold a grudge- he is steady in his love and patient as he sits and watches the small world from where he is lying. It is ironic that a cat so filled with love now has a heart that is failing him. I hope that however many last days he has, he can feel the love coming back to him