Today I decided to stay a while at my parent’s house.
My room is still there with lots of my stuff too.
I never bothered to move all my books and magazines to the flat. Partly because of storage space considerations but also because I have always felt that space and time are always joined together and one should not seperate the two – that is to say, if I can’t go back in time to when I bought and stashed all these things in my room then I should not remove them from there in the present.
It would feel wrong, like trying to cheat your way out of the flow of things.
As I lay on the bed reading a book I bought – which I wanted to throw away a while ago but now I find myself rather engrossed in it – the house cat comes in.
She claws the carpet here and there until I speak to her.
“Come” I say while making eye contact with her.
As soon as I utter the words she jumps on the bed in an instant.
This particular cat always goes straight for the head. I don’t know if all cats do that. I have to bar her determined path by putting my arm in front. She puts her legs over it and tries to climb over it. Failing that she tries to crawl under it. In the end she accepts defeat and settles for the waist.
She crawls in a circle making sure her upper side touches my side. I move a bit to test her. She gets up and crawls again, making sure that the physical contact is maintained. I pet her a bit and she moves her head to follow my palm, rubbing her nose on my fingers a few times.
She goes to sleep after a while and I continue reading. I get up trying not to upset her too much but she wakes up and gets off the bed a few minutes later. She sits quietly on the floor while I am writing this post. I shout “girl” at her and she walks towards the chair, getting another pet for her troubles. Then she goes to my parents bedroom waiting for when they come to meet her.
I’ve read what people say about cats, that they only care about food, that they are cold and calculating.
I never felt that with this cat.
I rarely fed her when I was living here, nor did scenes like this take place in the past – in fact I used to make her get off the bed as soon as I she got on it.
After all these years she doesn’t hold a grudge. And she still likes me.
Call it gratitude or some kind of love.
Call it consolation for a lonely soul.
But what it is, and what it is for all animals that offer it is this:
It is unconditional
Have a good new year’s evening.