Once I read somewhere that it pays to pet pets. Stroking and cuddling at least 15 times a day will make you a lot healthier. Pets increase our levels of serotonin and oxytocin (a hormone associated with feeling good and confidence). I think I can even say that it also saves you a visit to a psychologist. That’s why I grew up with dogs, because even my parents knew it would bring them a lot of good things to them children.
These days I live with cats. Since a dog wouldn’t fit very well because I was out of the house.
One day I suddenly took over this set, feline friends, from a pregnant neighbor, whose partner started to get annoyed by their hair loss. I understood that they had given each other this set for Valentine’s Day. And that it was a hitherto non-sterilized brother and sister. The word “sister” made my heart jump for a moment.
My previous set, of which the red tomcat died quite young (with 13), had been two immensely large Norwegian males. Not very cuddly. Actually, I was the only one who could safely caress them. The rest got a bite and were shed.
The moment I took over this brother and sister, Sammie was already 18 years old. So I picked him up unsuspectingly and took him to the vet to ask if I would make him happy with the arrival of a new set of and younger cats.
On the other hand, the vet was very enthusiastic right away. And so I let the two newcomers in. But the lady of this team, who I soon called “The Diva”, had to endure a lot because of her enormous distance and grandeur. Not from her brother, who almost immediately felt like the Lord of the house, Sammie, but indeed Sammie was not accessible to Diva at all.
That took about three weeks, during which I had my hands in my hair several times. Sammie rightfully showed Diva all corners over the house. Literally. She even climbed into the curtains, which I only realized when I noticed a gigantic tear in the morning.
Until the day I thought that this man / woman relationship was definitely not working or was going to work, there was suddenly peace on earth. Still, Diva wasn’t allowed to bump into Sammie, but the sudden attacks and that venom were gone. They suddenly tolerated each other. Much to my happiness. And even when I had to put Sammie to sleep at 20 from old age, Diva kept looking for him. In every nook and cranny.
This set of cats will still not sit on my lap, but they are always in my immediate vicinity. And the Diva always knows how to warn me again when the litter box needs to be changed, she wants a freshly opened can of meat, or even better: those delicious cat treats. She talks to me in protest when I put on my coat to go out. She also meows when I stroke her and gives a lot of cups as a sign of intense pleasure.
In the morning when I open my eyes, the Diva is invariably staring at me from a distance. And she crawls next up to me for a moment, to claim her daily portion of cuddly and cuddlyness.
The party would be even better if my best friends lived the same age as me, because I can’t imagine what life without them means. Although I do know that the next set of feline friends will only consist of ladies. After all, that cuddlyness has definitely stolen my heart …