Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted May 19, 2015
I think cats have an unfair reputation of being thought of as aloof, uncaring, and entitled. Owning my cat, Lily, has been one of the best pet experiences of my life. I think she embodies what cats actually are: caring, loyal, and devoted. Let me tell you about my cat Lily.
Lily has a beautiful white coat with grey stripes sprinkled throughout her shiny fur. She was given to my youngest child in 2004 for her 5th Birthday. From early on, Lily was a loving, devoted cat much like a dog, always preferring to be with us for much of the day and even sleeping with us every night.
She has been by my side through some very difficult times throughout the last 11 years. One of the worst times was a brief period of homelessness as my family was displaced for a few months because we fled an abusive situation.
During the day, we'd be together as a family trying to find a safe place to live and spending as much time as we could together but at night, when I dropped the kids off at their friends house because I didn't want them sleeping in the back of our van in the frigid January cold, it was just me and Lily. Alone, I'd make my bed in the back and pile on the blankets and feel the hopelessness and loneliness wash over me.
Nighttime is when you're most aware of life's problems as the distractions of the day cease keeping your thoughts busy. As I lay there thinking how are things going to get better, the inevitable tears just about to flow, she'd meow and come out from under the seat. She'd do her meow thing and make her way on to my hip, her favorite sleeping spot. She'd come out and I'd feel just a little less alone. Lily loved sleeping on my hips when I slept on my side and no matter how many times I changed sides and I'd feel Lily fall off in the process, she'd simply get right back on my hip after my turn was complete - and I have hip arthritis so I am always turning! It would never phase her though, and she never sought a more stable sleeping place. she simply made herself comfortable and drifted off again and again.
At first I was annoyed but after a while, her persistence in laying on my hip countless times after being thrown off made me feel admiration for her. I felt weirdly comforted by the fact that no matter what, she wasn't going anywhere. She wanted to be right there with me and nothing was going to prevent that, not even me. Lily was my constant companion in those dark nights and she's the reason hope stayed alive in my blood. I truly felt loved by her and when you have nowhere to go but a Denny's parking lot at midnight, trust and believe, feeling loved makes a huge difference in whether you succumb to your darkness or get up every morning with purpose. She chose me, so I chose her and didn't give up.
These days, Lily still lives with me, my two daughters (my son is on his own now) and my Grandson. I love her today as I loved her yesterday. Lily herself, has had quite the life, mothering several litters wonderfully and lovingly. I just can't say enough great things about owning cats. They are there for you despite their aloof reputation. I think it's like anything else, it's how you raise them.
I will say for the downside, cats can be too vocal, as my lovely Lily communicates every wish and desire with a meow.
When I get up in the morning, it's to a symphony of meows each with their own meaning. One meow means , 'hey good morning', while another indicates, 'may I have my breakfast?' while yet another meow asks me to put the sink on so she can drink some water.
My Lily is a tad bit clingy but honestly, after how she was there for me when I was down, I would never tell her she's too clingy. That will be our secret.
Yes, cats have a reputation of being aloof, non-caring, and entitled but my Lily possess the exact opposite traits as I think a lot of cats do. She's my Lily.