In our world, the components which make up a family are quite diverse. Sure there are our parents, our spouse and our children. However, who inhabits those roles are quite varied and that is a great thing. When I think of my children, I think of my kitties, Allie and Melia. My little balls of fur. Sure, at the ages of 7 & 10 and weighing in at 10 pounds each, they are no longer little, but they will always be my children.
I found Allie on the streets of New Orleans when she was about 1-2 weeks old. She is black as night with a tiny patch of white. She has the most amazing yellow eyes. And when she sits, she is so perfectly poised with her two front paws lined up and what she has left of her tail wrapped around her. It is quite adorable actually. When we go near a faucet, she is right there to take a sip, no matter that we just gave her a fresh bowl of water. And when we head out the door, she stands a few feet away, mewing. It pulls at my heart strings really. I tease my husband that she is his part time lover. When Gilbert gets into bed, she is right there at his side. She kneads on him and after awhile curls up next to him.
Melia was born in 2003. At the time, I had her mother, Trouble, as well. It was most amazing to see the birth. No matter how domesticated a cat becomes, they never lose their natural instincts. Trouble made her way to the box in my closet and for three hours gave birth to four kitties. Melia was the last one born and was the runt of the litter. The other three are alive and well today. Melia is quite something. She maintains the feisty attitude of her mother while also displaying a gentle soft side. She does intimidate Allie at times, making sure that her territory is marked. Allie submits to Melia almost every time. However, Melia is my part time lover. She takes cover with me at night and when I wake up she is still there…not moving until I get out of bed. She makes biscuits on my belly, and I still wonder how something so small can bear such weight.
Sometimes I wonder after they follow me into the kitchen for snacks or prey upon my cup of ice water, if it is me they love or the my ability to keep them nourished. But their behavior indicates otherwise. When I am watching TV they curl up next to me. When I was indisposed after back surgery, Melia slept next to me and would not move from my side, not even when I got up to use the restroom. So I do think that our furry friends do have the ability to sense when we are in need and accommodate us during those times. I think that they are empathetic, sensitive and intelligent. To come home after a day of work or to arise from sleep and see those cute little furry faces awaiting me is such a delight.