When my cat Mini was three years old, she was taken to a veterinary clinic where her owners said she was no longer wanted, and would shortly be on her way to the local humane society. The staff at the clinic must have seen something special in the very small calico cat that day and kept her at the clinic for several weeks, hoping to find her a loving home. I really wasn’t in the market for a cat. In fact, I grew up hearing terrible things about them; that they were too independent, too aloof, and didn’t care much about their owners. So, it was surprising to receive a phone call from my sister saying she knew of a little kitty that needed a home and thought I might be interested. At the time, we had a sweet border collie/beagle mix named Poppet we had adopted from the shelter who looked like she might be in the market for a companion, so I hopped in the car with my dog and headed for the clinic.
After arriving, and being escorted into a vacant exam room, a vet tech walked through the door with Mini in her arms and set her on the floor. To my amazement, Mini sauntered calmly up to Poppet and began brushing against her, while Poppet stared in fascination at the amazing little animal at her feet. I picked Mini up, and at once she began to purr. I stroked her soft fur as she curled into a ball and nestled into my arms. Needless-to-say, we brought Mini home that day.
Since then, I have discovered cats are not aloof, independent, or unattached. Far from it. Mini is a loyal pet who regularly jumps up into my lap to say hello, nudge my face, and purr her soothing purr. She comes when I call her to give her a treat, and is extremely neat and tidy, never once having made a mess outside her litter box. She is shy when people come into the house, but in relatively short order comes out of hiding to say hello the guests. Mini is playful, and loves to bat gum wrappers around the house, or hide behind the Christmas tree waiting to pounce on unsuspecting passersby. When I’m sitting at the computer, she jumps up on the back of my chair just to say hello and see how things are going. And, contrary to those who say you can leave a cat alone for days and they won’t care, she is overjoyed to see me after we’ve been away on vacation, and follows me around the house for days like a furry shadow asking to be stroked.
Mini is not only a playful companion, I’ve learned life lessons from her. She has taught me how to relax and simply be in the moment. When life gets overwhelming, or circumstances defeating, and I see her curled up by the fireplace or stretched out on her special perch, I am reminded life is too short to waste on things I can’t change. I need to slow down and stretch out on the sunny front porch of my heart and simply take a moment to relax.
It was seven years ago we brought Mini into our home. Since then we lost our dear Poppet to cancer; a loss that continues to bring tears to my eyes, but have rescued an Australian cattle dog named Sheela who gets along with Mini superbly. Different from Poppet, Sheela and Mini actually romp and play with each other, and are frequently found grooming each other’s eyes and ears. They often sleep on the same bed together and both come running when I walk in the back door. Their antics have brought a smile to my face on many days and reminds me what true friendship looks like.
I love Mini more with each passing year and can honesty say I am a complete cat convert. I'd adopt another cat in a heart beat. For those of you who were led to believe they are somehow less-than dogs, or are inherently distant and uncaring, I suggest you open your heart and let them teach you what how sweet their love can be.