Our cat Ella has a very strict rule that she likes to be “close but no touching”. She likes to be in our space, but as with any decent cat, she lives life on her terms. So, with the exception of Jacob, her rule is that she will be close to us, but please don’t try and cuddle, pick up or generally touch her. Jacob (whom I might add does absolutely nothing to help look after her) is allowed to carry her upside down, over his shoulder, like a baby, and about any other way you can imagine. She crawls into bed with him and curls right up into his armpit purring away while he talks to her. If Jenna or I even try and pick her up she meow-screams and tries to wriggle away as if her life depends on it. By the way, this is why I also have to have a dog. Otherwise my self esteem would be completely shot.
The only time she changes this “close but no touching” rule with me is when I do yoga. As soon as I roll out the mat she comes running from wherever she is and is all over me. Sometimes she even drives me so bananas I’ve tried locking her out of my room. This does not end well for me as she lies on the other side of the door with her paw sticking underneath it while she meows mournfully until I give up and let her in. I always start with some forward bends. So as soon as I stand and stretch up into mountain pose before bending down, Ella runs and lays at my feet on her back with her belly exposed. She does this because she loves having a belly scratch. Every time I bend down I have to stay in that stretch and give her a good old belly rub. This lasts about 5 minutes.
Then I go on to table position and she jumps onto my back. She stays there while I do cat/cow pose and goes along for the ride when I go back into child’s pose. Sometimes she even stays on after that while I go up into downward dog, climbing up onto my butt to sit for a while before jumping off. At this point she usually buggers off for a while, leaving me alone to do the rest of my poses. Until I get to the last one, which is the reclining double leg twist. I have my arms out to the sides at this point and she comes and lays in a similar pose to me with her head on my right hand and purrs while I scratch her face.
When I’m done my yoga I do 20 minutes of meditation. My back’s been a bit yucky so I’ve been meditating lying down with my legs up on a chair. Ella comes and either sits on my chest, staring at me while purring (this doesn’t last long – it starts to hurt) or she wraps herself around my head and purrs the entire time.
Then, I’m done. She knows it. And we immediately return to our regular routine of “close but no touching”.
My moment of happiness on day 26 of my 44 days came with Ella this morning. Every morning we play fetch (seriously) with her toy mouse while I eat my breakfast and have my tea. Sometimes she likes to hide her mouse in my slippers if I’ve taken them off. This morning she came over to me with her mouse and she was playing with it when I looked away for a few seconds. She started meowing and pawing at my slipper and then looking up at me – very clearly telling me the mouse was in there. I felt around inside and got nothing. She still insisted it was in there. I picked up both slippers, shook them around – nothing came out. I put them back down in front of her and told her that the mouse was gone. She continued looking at me with her big eyes, insisting it was in the slipper.
Suddenly she leapt straight up in the air about 2 feet. As she went up, her body circled so her legs all met in her middle. I watched as she grabbed with all 4 legs the mouse that she’d been hiding under her belly the whole time. She ended up taking it in her front paws, throwing it, and then chasing it when she landed. Little sneak! She totally did it on purpose just to mess with me. I swear she was cat-laughing when she was done.