He sits on the top of the couch, straddling the ledge and reminding me of a tight rope walker. You see, he’s not a small cat, he’s quite the opposite. At 18 pounds, his presence is known, in a very big way. He has been in my life for the last five years (hard to believe that time has passed so quickly) and has grown into quite the “cute, little baby kitty” that I affectionately call Roo. His given name is Hunter Mahoney, but much like the Winnie the Pooh character, Kanga, her little son, Roo, follows her around everywhere she goes, and that is exactly what my little Bubbie does to his mama (that’s me).
Hunter is not an overly affectionate cat. He has never really liked being held or snuggled. It’s nearly impossible to pick him up, not because of his weight, but because he hates it, and upon lifting him off the ground his claws come out and he is ready to fight. He screams, he wiggles and he makes it impossible to hold. When his feet hit the ground, he expresses his displeasure with a loud hiss and he walks away.
However, he does show affection. He will sit on the top of the couch and stretch his massive body out while I am laying on the cushions. I keep a small blanket next to my pillow and this is where he sleeps nearly every night. When I take a nap on the bed, he curls up next to my legs, and snores right along with me.
So why all this about my cat? He helps me feel less stressed, and he makes me feel loved. I have never had a baby, and since I have had him since a kitten, he is the closet thing to a baby that I have ever had. I am his mama and he is my Roo. He shows me that he loves me because he just wants to be near me. He is there making me feel like I am wanted and needed.
He made me think of my support network.
I have some people who I talk to daily. I have others who I see on a somewhat normal and regular basis. There are friends I don’t see as often but when we do get together, it is like no time has passed and we pick right back up from where we left off. I have people that I provide support to, and then I have other friends who provide support to me. There are people who know all my story, others who know some of my story and then some, that know none of my story. I have my family, the ones that live with me, the ones that reside within this state and then other members of my family who are dispersed throughout the United States. Each person adds value to my life and helps me in a way unique to them. I could not be where I am today if it were not for each person that I consider to be part of my support network. And for this, I am incredibly grateful.
Whether I receive support and love from my cat, or my friend. Support is support and I feel supported. I am blessed that on any given day I know I have people, or cats, that I can turn to that offer me what I need in that moment. A shoulder to cry on, an enjoyable lunch with conversating or a little orange and white cat that allows me to be in his presence. These are the things that are on my mind today, and what makes me incredibly thankful.