Growth

what love looks like…

“Love is the poetry of the senses.”  ~Honoré de Balzac

When you’re someone like me (Virgo & OCD), if you’re not careful, you tend to start to think you can control things… you can organize, research, plot, plan & schedule – and you’ll know exactly what to expect & when. You begin to believe you have the ability (power?) to see & interpret all manner of ‘things’ and label them, put them in their nice little uniform boxes, and step back… safe in the knowledge that all is exactly as it should be.

But no… oh no no no.

Because life isn’t like that. Life is messy and unpredictable. ‘Things’ (especially people!) hate to be put in boxes. And nothing is less box-able than love. Hell, half the time we don’t even know what love LOOKS like… can’t recognize it until after it’s happened. Go figure.

So let’s go on a little journey, shall we? Start to recognize the unrecognizable. Might get a little long here…

For years & years, I didn’t have any ‘big’ pets. I’ve had a steady stream of Beta Fishies (all with names like Oberon, Romeo & Othello), and I’ve sat & watched them wiggle about for long stretches at a time… but other than feeding them & cleaning out the aquarium, there’s really not much to a Beta. [However! If anyone tells you fish don’t have personalities, don’t believe it… they absolutely do. And one of my boys in particular was flat-out NUTS.]

The latest Beta, Puck.

Then back last Yule, my bestie (sweet man that he is) knew that I wanted a Robo Dwarf Hamster (I have a long-standing obsession with all things “mini”… but that’s a whole other story) – so he got me one. Had to open my ‘present’ on Christmas Eve because the little bugger was chewing through the cardboard box, but he was just as fabulously adorable as I’d hoped. And he was named Tribble – because that’s really what he looks like.

Little Tribble…

But there again, not really a ‘cuddle up’ kinda pet. Basically just more of the ‘feed & clean’ variety. I loved them, my Betas & my Tribble, but I didn’t love them. And I started to think that was just how it was with pets. Sort of a warm affection, but also a bit of a detachment. I also (being honest here) thought that people were a bit nuts getting all worked up over their pets.

But then…

I got this feeling in my gut a few months ago – it said “Girl, you want a cat! Now!” Strange, that, because for decades I’ve been very very allergic. But then I started thinking & realized that for the past few years, the allergies had only kicked up around long-haired cats. Well then! Sounded like we were good to go.

I had in my boxed-up, organized mind that I wanted to go & get a sweet grey girl-cat. Right. So my uber-researcher self hit the web… and I found an absolutely gorgeous solid-grey female kitten at the Fulton Cty Animal Shelter. We were in business! A couple weeks later, I dragged the bestie with me to go meet the little girl. Turns out, the shelter was having a ‘2 for 1’ special on kitties… One adoption fee & you can take two home.

Bestie & the lady at the shelter both advised: Do it. Get two. It’s better if they have a companion!

So.okay.fine… plans changed. I went peeking around to the other cages to see if I could find another that said ‘home’ to me. And I did. A sweet little boy, all grey-n-white with the cutest little “puss in boots” face. Great! We’re ready to go… Only they have to get fixed, micro-chipped, yadda yadda – you can pick them up next week. Again – fine.

The next week rolls around, I get the call from the shelter… “Your babies are ready to be picked up! The boys are doing great!” Yay! So excited! The — Wait, WHAT?!

Here I was, all set for a boy & a girl (after changing my mind from just one girl) and now you’re telling me they’re both boys?!? What to do… what to do… So of course I called the bestie. “Wow. That’s… wow.” “What am I going to do??” “Did you connect with them?” “Yes.” “Did you like them?” “Yes.” “Then what’s the problem?”

What love looks like.

So I bring the fur-kids home, and almost instantly it’s a mind-blowing experience… SO unlike my other ‘non-snuggle’ pets that I can’t even describe it. The first time the soft tiny bodies curled up on my chest & stomach, I nearly started crying.

What love looks like.

Arthrak… the little luv-bug

Now I haven’t had a cat in many decades, and only had one then, so I was really unfamiliar with the ways they interact. I saw them fighting… rough. They were batting & slashing & rolling about. I started to get worried, but bestie says “Nah… they’re not using claws… they’re just playing – they’re family already.”

What love looks like.

One of the fur-kids, the solid-grey first pick, was really sick for several weeks after the boys came home. I would be sitting at my desk at work, not paying a lick of attention, all my thoughts on that sweet little guy at home, struggling to breathe. And my heart would break.

What love looks like.

My solemn Turk

Same little guy loves to bite… well, nibble actually. At first it was jarring to me & I thought this was not ok. But, and here’s where my researcher-brain DID help, I scoured page after page online & realized that maybe this was a form of affection from him. So I started letting him nibble on my hands, as he’d been trying to do, and after a few nibbles he’d start licking. Go figure.

What love looks like.

It’s not always in the package we expect. It’s not always delivered the right way, or even on time. But if we stay open, if we don’t shut down at the manner in which it comes to us, we can find love in the most amazing ways.

And that’s worth busting a few boxes for.

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6 thoughts on “what love looks like…

  1. I don’t know where I’d be without my fur babies…we had so many growing up the apartments always felt empty…till that fateful day when my little girl and a kitten melted my ex’s heart. Now I have 2 in the house, full grown and spoiled flat rotten. Keeping cats (because one never truly owns a cat) is a unique experince 😀

    • It’s definitely been an adventure so far. 🙂 The condo feels more like home & family already, that’s for sure. And yes… I don’t own them – they allow me to continue living there in return for keeping the food bowl filled & being a pillow when they wish. LoL

  2. Awwwww!!! They are so precious!!!! You are totally hooked. Cats teach us things we never thought we could learn. Enjoy this journey!

    • Thanks, Bunny… 😀 And you’re right – I am hooked. Without a doubt. I’m certainly enjoying it so far! (And I’m seriously considering tiny Halloween costumes)

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