There was a time I was absolutely convinced Loca disliked me. He demonstrated it through almost everything; not just through what he did, but also through what he didn’t. Initially, he displayed some curiosity for this new sitter. He sniffed at my hand, but then continued his way with a disdainful look on his face. It made me feel weighed and found wanting… Cats with no interest in lap sitting was not a novelty to me, but no fuss at all? That never happened to me before Loca!
The second time around, for a month-long sit, I was adamant to steal his heart. With the exception of daily playing and brushing, I had no pre-defined plan. A lot of love for cats and perseverance, that was all I had.
The daily brushing went fine from day one. As soon as I started to work at Loca’s thick fur, he immediately began to writhe with delight. Sometimes his rear went up and he would always be purring to his heart’s content. Within days, I assumed I had succeeded and won him over. Wrong!
On the third day of the sit I came home around midnight. As I had an early start that next morning, I was looking forward to a nice warm bed. As soon as the light in the bedroom went on, I spotted what was wrong. There it was, a big turd on the duvet… Luckily there was an extra sheet against the cat hairs placed on top. It was only a matter of getting rid of the turd and throwing the cover in the washing machine.
It did provide me with some extra concern: what does this cat miss? The answer evidently being: his owner. And to be fair: I wasn’t sure what else I could do to steal his heart. I ended up doing the only thing I could think of: to persist. I kept on brushing him every day. Now this was an easy success, as the treatment was greeted every single day with the same amount of enthusiasm! The playing didn’t really get off the ground, but as the sit progressed, the cats started to move more of their own accord. Perhaps they just needed to get used to me as well?
Finally, I did it! There is no real proof to back this, but I am convinced I owe it all to a present I got for Loca and his friend Izzy. It was a bull’s eye, even though it was no more than a patch of hare fur with a couple of pheasant feathers attached to it and some valerian inside. At the end of the sit, about a month later, both cats were still rolling around enthusiastically with it. And over time, I noticed Loca started to come around. He looked at me with an open expression, I was now allowed to stroke him and he saw no objections in settling down at my feet in the evening. The biggest proof of all was, that at night I started waking up from a heavy weight on top of my feet: Loca’s.
It is true after all: love persists. Love for cats isn’t any different in that.