Aby-a-Day – Day 161 of 365

As I’ve mentioned in the past, a goal of mine is to register Jacoby as a therapy cat. I actually took my first “Human End of the Leash” pet partner training course sponsored by Tufts Paws for People last Sunday. I have the second class this coming Sunday, and on Saturday I plan to take Jake on the T to Petco for a little training session; the instructor told us this was one of the best places to practice for therapy visits.

As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about the bond that Jake and I have, and also about the bond between humans and cats in general. I have had a few very strong feline connections in my life; the first I remember is a little black girl named Crystal I had when I was 8 or 9. Then there was Sgt. Pepper, my cat through high school and college, a Siamese and white (Snowshoe) who was my first real go at having a “companion cat.” Pepper and I had all sorts of adventures, and I even built him a carrier so he could go on bicycle rides with me.

Then there was my Siamese Harri, who was my first cat as an “adult.” I had him for 15 years, and he went to SCA events with me for five of those years. He moved from California to Georgia to Massachusetts with me and was about the only constant in my life. Then Gun-Hee, who left me too soon. And now I have Jacoby.

Bonding with a cat is a tricky thing. You can’t plan it. You can’t go out and get a cat and say “this cat and I are going to be BFFs” and it magically happens. Some cats just won’t form that kind of attachment to you. My other Siamese, Patrick, who now lives in California, I adopted in 1997 when he was 3 years old, and he is now 15-1/2; years old, but he’s never really been “my” cat. He’s fond of me, and he appreciates my presence, but he has always preferred men to women.

So you can imagine the feel of awe and wonder I get sometimes when I interact with Jake. When I come home, he greets me at the door and then gets onto something where he can reach my face to give me headbutts. He follows me around as I do things, and – this really gets me – if I get up and go into the bedroom, he’ll get up and join me, even if there’s nothing really in it for him. The other night, I was talking to my mom on the phone while the basketball game was on, and I went into the bedroom because it was quieter. I laid down on the bed and while I was talking, Jake hopped up, gave me headbutts, and then flopped down on the bed behind me, near my pillow. After I’d hung up and got up to go back into the front room, he got up, too.

This morning, he didn’t want me to sleep. As soon as my alarm went off the first time, he was at my side, purring and rubbing and biting my head and my bracelet, rings and necklace.

The really amazing thing is, he’s always gravitated towards me more than to my husband. I joke that he was “born to be my kitten,” but it sometimes seems to be more than a joke. This photo was taken the second day we had him. It’s unusual enough to see an Aby kitten sleep at all, but I laid down to nap and he snuggled up beside me to nap, too.

We haven’t even known each other a year yet, but I have a feeling we’re going to make a team to be reckoned with!