The cat in the lap
Those of you who keep up with me on facebook know that my cat, Sneaky, has been very ill. I don’t say a lot about her—there’s just not a lot to say—but she’s always there, quietly near me. I thought some of you might like to hear the story of how Sneaky came to be my cat.
My brother-in-law adopted Sneaky from a rescue as a kitten. He’s told me what year she was born, but I can never remember; therefore, I’m not quite sure how old she is. When a situation came up in April 2005 that prevented him from keeping Sneaky and his other cat Gigi, we took them into our menagerie, with the hope that he could someday have them back. He had a definite preference for Gigi, who didn’t like Sneaky, and he felt that Sneaky was aloof and distant. He actually made the statement to me once that she would “never be a lap cat!”
She spent the first couple of weeks at our house hiding under the bed in the guest bedroom. If you were willing to stand on your head or crawl under the bed to pet her, you were rewarding with a resounding purr—but she didn’t come to you. Between Gigi, our two cats, and our Rottweiler, she wasn’t really sure she wanted to leave her hiding place.
Soon, however, she began to venture out to the populated rooms—always keeping to the fringes. Over the weeks she gradually crept closer… first sitting on the back of the couch at the other end, then nearer to me (but not beside me). One day, she startled me by jumping into the recliner where I was sitting. She didn’t sit in my lap, but was willing to sit beside me in the chair. Eventually, she decided that the best place to be was my lap. She would curl up and purr loudly. It was wonderful!
When our family split up, the pets were split as well, and I had to leave Sneaky with my ex, because my dog Baik wouldn’t be happy with anyone but me, and I couldn’t afford both. When Baik died in October 2009, Sneaky came back to me—to stay.
Now, although she maintains her cat independence and still hides from strangers, she will come out for a select few, and even solicit petting from them. When it’s only Kyle and I, she comes and goes according to her tolerance for our puppy, Ling Ling. If Kyle and the dog are gone, she is with me almost all the time. She watches out the bedroom window for me so she can greet me at the door when I arrive, and at night, she comes to bed when I call her. Her preferred place to sit is either in my lap, or on the couch to my right, and she generally sleeps next to me on my bed. When I’m stressed, my favorite soother is to rest a hand on her back and feel the steady rhythm of her purr. That purr has been a blessing on many difficult nights.
She is my Sneaky-poo, and she changed my life forever when she decided she loved me.