my protector + national delurking week

I really should have titled this post, “Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady,” but I don’t like to be too obvious.

This lovely feline goddess is Cleo. She is nine-years-old, and she is my protector. She and I have always been close. In fact, I knew I wanted her before we ever got her. I told J one day (nine years ago) that I wanted a female black cat. We searched high and low, and we finally found her amidst a huge litter of kittens living at some hippy girl’s home (when we got her, we also took her twin sister, later named Indy, whom we gave to a good friend of ours). As a kitten, she had ears that made her look like a bat, and she could fetch at just three months old.

Our first cat together was Pierre (the handsome gray and white boy you often see on this blog). This was also J’s first cat, and she has always been madly in cat love with him. I have too, but Cleo stole my heart in a special way. I have always sort of understood her neediness. She has the biggest heart of any cat I have ever known. If I cry, she comforts me. If J and I argue, she stands between us and meows. Cleo is special.
Let me offer you an example: For years, I suffered from really horrid carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain’s syndrome (another painful wrist ailment). There were times when I couldn’t use my hand at all, the pain was so bad. It wasn’t uncommon for me to cry from the pain. On one particularly difficult day, Cleo sat down next to me, and she started licking my wrist, precisely where it hurt. She then did the weirdest thing. She bit my wrist, then threw back her head, as though she had tossed a bit of food into the air and she was catching it. She did this a couple more times, then continued to clean my wrist. And my wrist felt freakishly better.  The pain had been reduced by about fifty percent. Since then, I swear she does little check-ups on my wrists. If they’re doing poorly, she’ll chew on them where they hurt, and she’ll clean them. I don’t necessarily attribute my healing to her (I went through expensive physical therapy, made lifestyle changes, lost weight, etc.), but she certainly has helped me on my worst days.
It shouldn’t surprise me, then, that Cleo would intuit that something is different about me now. For the past few days, Cleo has been treating me differently–almost gingerly. Normally, this behemoth (she’s something like fourteen pounds!) will walk all over me if I’m lying down until she finds a comfy spot–the closer to my face the better. She would use me as a bridge or springboard if I happened to be in her path. But not now. She walks around me, even if this means going well out of her way to get to her destination. She won’t step on any part of me. When I sit on the sofa, she now takes up residence on a cushion behind me or on the arm next to me, insisting on touching me with one of her paws, and instead of the hard scratchy, frantic kisses she used to force upon me, she will nuzzle me or clean me in this mama cat sort of way. When I move to a new room, she follows me. This morning, when she came in to our bedroom (we lock them out at night to preserve our sleep), J picked her up, and Cleo kept looking concernedly at me. She wanted to check on me first.  She simply won’t leave my side. We have concluded that she smells something different about me, but I swear she knows what’s up.
It’s so strange and yet so sweet to have this little attendant–my own furry guardian. I couldn’t be happier. (Nor could she, when it comes to nap time.)
Do you have any good dog or cat (or horse or ferret or bird) intuition stories? Share them with me! I love a good pet story. And, since it’s national delurking week, this would be a great time for any lurkers out there to chime in with their own stories. Come on–you know you want to!


Filed under cats

12 responses to “my protector + national delurking week

  1. giggleblue

    now that you mention it, hiker hasn’t been walking all over me either!!! pretty amazing!

    scooter on the other hand, wants nothing to do with me since i have became with child. he’s not become TL’s attachment and snuggles with her every chance he gets.

    scooter though is an amazing comforter. he knows when you are sad, even if you aren’t crying or sobbing, and he will come and rest in your lap and demand that you rub him, which always makes me feel better. he’s an awesome little guy!

  2. When i was preggers,my pug Erwin who is normaly a very quiet old fart of a dog, would bark at every person that came near me while I walked him. He knew that I was pregnant. He just did…. and he was very protective. He even kept a sly on the hubs to make sure he didn’t get to close.

    Once my daughter was born, he was and still is very protective of her. She is almost three now, and she can jump on him or pull his tale and he could care less. He knows she’s little…and he takes the abuse graciously… I can see them being great friends as she grows older.

    Here the two of them are when Rowan was a baby 🙂

  3. The photobucket link i entered didn’t work. Here is it again 🙂

  4. A

    Cleo is beautiful! Animals are like family. They know when we need them and what is going on. Last year I was very sick. Laying in bed shivering so bad that I couldn’t stop. My two dogs layed across me for days. They never moved. Nothing beats the love of an animal.

  5. tbean

    Cleo is special! 🙂
    My cat and dog are wonderful companions but after many years (3 for dog, 7 for cat) they STILL do not come lick my tears when crying. We keep trying to teach them but no dice.

  6. vee

    Pah! My cats and dog noticed NOTHING different about me. Even now, at nearly 31 weeks, the cats only seem disgruntled that there is less lap to sit on, and perch, arse in the air, back end on the bump with grumpy faces. I so wanted to have spooky animal intuition stories to share.

  7. I can’t compete with Cloe’s story…she is one amazing cat. A couple of weeks ago though our “smart cat” got up off the couch, where she had been sitting next to me and jumped to the ottoman. She stood there staring at me…at my belly, I swear, and then started meowing, loudly. She definitely knows….the other cat, quite clueless.

  8. this isnt my story but one of my high school friend. she was born in spain and she had a german shepherd… her parents divorced when she was little, maybe 9 or 10yrs old, and she said she would come home many days and the dog would sit and my friend would knee beside her dog and hug the dog while she cried and cried and cried… and the dog would let her hug her for as long as she needed to. i never knew that dog but i loved her so much when i heard this story!!!!

    animals are amazing. so glad your cleo is taking good care of you!

  9. Clemency

    Aw, I don’t have any animal intuitition stories to share really, although Gertie does have this amazing range of meows that I swear, anyone could understand. You know, the feedme meow, the letmeoutside meow, the happytoseeyou meow – all different. I just wanted to say that Cleo is identical to Gertie, and so I love her just for that!

  10. jay

    lol cute! i think our dog is farting worse at the moment. does that count?

  11. I’ve heard of this phenomenon. You are not a crazy cat lady! You and Cleo have a deep spritual connection that I think is beautiful!

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