It Was Love at First Sight
You walk into a room. You come upon a total stranger. And then in an instant, your eyes meet, and then lock. You are still moving ever so slightly, but your eyes are locked in that vise like grip. Seconds, it was only seconds, not minutes, but the intensity felt like an eternity. You, my friend, found your soul mate.
"Twelve years ago I walked into the Arizona Animal Welfare League in Phoenix and fell in love with the very first cat I saw. This little bundle of yellow fur huddled in the "cat log" position in a cage all by herself. A stray that seemed not to get along with other cats, Chloe (then named Speckles for her "calico-colored" nose) had been at the no-kill shelter for several weeks. I knew immediately she was the cat for me; she needed me and I needed her. I took a quick look through the rest of the cat rooms, but not one other cat caught my attention.
Chloe and I went home to a one bedroom upstairs apartment. I opened the cat carrier and Chloe hopped right out, sauntered into the kitchen, pawed open a cabinet door, slipped into the cabinet, and stayed there for three days. My dismay after a day and a half brought me to tears after water, food, toys, and treats did nothing to coax Chloe from her little cave. Fine, I thought, I will take her back tomorrow and find a cat that will do what it's supposed to do: sit on my lap and purr. But when the next day came, I realized how selfish I was being; Chloe would come out when she felt comfortable with her surroundings. My role was to be the best cat owner I could be. I gave her fresh food and water that morning and again that night. Hmmm. food and water disappeared at night, litter box showed signs of use, toys made their way around the apartment.
After several days of nighttime exploring, Chloe started to feel at home. And finally one evening, she curled up on the arm of the overstuffed chair where I sat reading. I spoke to her softly, but didn't try to pet her; I thought I should wait for her to let me know when she was ready for a touch.
And then, one lovely evening, Chloe moved from the armrest to my lap and she's been there ever since. Wherever I sit, Chloe curls up on my lap or shoulder. In winter, she sleeps tucked up next to me; in summer, she claims her spot at the end of the bed.
My nieces renamed Chloe because they felt that "Speckles" wasn't cool. But had we heard her meow before her name change, we might have chosen "Kate" or "Miss Hepburn" instead. Chloe's meow wobbles just like Katherine Hepburn's voice did in her later years. And little miss Chloe is not afraid to use her voice to keep me in line. Whether she wants food, a lap, or to let me know it's time for bed, she warbles continuously until I comply.
Chloe has been a complete delight for 12 years… she was about three years old when we found each other. I can see her slowing down, crazy cat episodes happen rarely, but she still rules the roost and lets me know what she wants me to do. Although being awakened in the middle of the night never thrills me regardless of the reason, I still smile when Chloe decides she needs some TLC in the wee hours. In our early years together, Chloe would awaken me by meowing softly and staring at me as I slept. But, I learned to sleep through that, so she figured out that purring and putting her wet nose in my ear got instant attention. She would curl up on my chest and I would massage her ears and forehead until we both fell back to sleep. But now, this sweet little kitty of mine has had to resort to a wakening technique that works every time: she sits on my chest and bites my nose! And she sticks with it until she has my full attention! A little massage and a few soft words will settle Chloe down and she falls back to sleep… I am not always so lucky!
I often awaken in the morning with Chloe draped across my chest like a furry pageant sash, or molded around my head, her chin on my forehead, and her tail a diminutive boa around my neck.
As Chloe reaches her sixteenth birthday and our thirteen anniversaries, I count my blessings to have such a sweet little angel in my life. I look forward to a couple of more years of nose nibbling and warbling with my sweet Chloe. W. Hansen – Phoenix, Arizona"
Love at first sight is a beautiful thing. And so is patience. Chloe, needed time to feel totally at home and her human parent gave her the time she needed. And, now, they are two peas-n-a-pod. Lovely.
And, remember, if you are feel that your life could stand for a little companionship or if you really have the urge to meet your true soul partner, then check out your local animal shelter for true unconditional love.
Until next time…
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