My cat strolled into my room this morning at 3am. I had deliberately left my door slightly ajar as an unspoken invitation to come in and disturb me anytime he felt like he needed a scratch. I was on my back, reading some romantic chick lit, when I noticed from the corner of my eye, a tiny black and white movement. It was his ear. He often sat, silently and unmovingly, at the side of my bed where he would wait patiently, either for me to notice him, or for him to find a vantage point with which to pounce on me.
It was, admittedly, quite early in the morning, though I reckon it didn’t matter to a cat if it was night or day. I looked at him, and greeted him with an unusually high voice – I tend to do that with him. He blinked slowly and yawned, a sign that he had just woken up from sleep and wanted some TLC. So I lifted him onto my bed and laid him beside me. I started by slowly stroking him down the length of his back and he started to purr, a gentle drilling sound that never fails to bring a smile to my face. He had such a lovely coat; I’m sure he was enjoying the massage as much as I did. When I moved on to scratching his head, he closed his eyes into a look that could only be described as pleasure, then extended his neck up towards me, as if he was puckering up for a kiss. In a show of love, he wagged his long tail languorously, left and right, effectively tickling my chin every time he changed directions. Ten minutes later, after my muscles showed signs of tiredness, I stopped and returned to my book. Bringing himself to his fours and then stretching with his butt up in the air, he jumped off my bed and climbed behind it. That meant he was ready for a deep sleep.
A few nights ago, I had vented my anger on him by chasing him around the house viciously with a wire hanger after he had attacked my dad with his claws. I think I had scared him witless because I have never gone further than a raised voice and a poised finger with him. He got me on a bad night. I had slammed the door in his face and gone to sleep regretting immediately after doing that. The next morning, miraculously, I was woken up by a tiny mew that came from the other side of the door. He has never done that before. I bolted out of my bed and pulled the door wide open with as much intent as a hungry beggar opening a refrigerator door. I looked down to see his big round eyes asking pointedly for his breakfast. Chastened, I hurriedly picked up his big furry body and hugged it tightly to my chest, then kissed his head repeatedly until he pushed me away.
I was forgiven.
And he was the best gift I have ever given myself.