Ode to Emily the Cat

I lay on the floor of the livingroom, watching you pace back and forth, looking for something to rub your nose against, belly flopping, purring, and I am in awe of how far you have come.

When I first met you, you cowered in a corner of the shelter, observing the other free-roaming felines around you, opting to not participate in the parade. I thought, yeah… I’m an introvert too. If I were forced to live with THIS MANY other people, I would probably find a corner to hide in. And then I walked on by, looking for someone to take home.

Standing in the middle of the room, amidst the mayhem of braver tails swishing in the air, I felt a soft tap on the back of my calf. I turned to see what was going on and there you were; big, green eyes wide looking up at me that said it all – ‘please… please get me out of here…’

Your sides were lacking a few layers of fur and your belly was completely bare. The stress you must have been under – wondering when someone was going to love you, feed you, give you a home to call your own. You wouldn’t allow me to hold you. You were an adult so I had adopted someone else’s training – or lack thereof, but I was not going to go through this again – have someone in my life that wasn’t comfortable being held.

So, imagine one day when I noticed that you had grown back your stripes. Imagine one day when you draped your body over my shoulder and just purred away, looking out the window, not struggling to get free. You trust me to fill your food bowl, ease your pain, provide you with a warm place to lay your head at the end of a strenuous day of bunny hunting and cricket whispering.

You lay beside me as I type this, curled so tightly, it’s hard to see where ears begin and tail ends, and I am in awe of how far I have come. I am grateful for being your guardian in this lifetime and the lessons we have both learned.

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