The problems I’ve had with Cougar and Fenix have been exhausting. But yesterday, as Cougar began to pace and howl plaintively and loudly, I got out my water bottle and gave him a squirt in the face…he hissed at me and ran.
Hissed at me. Ran from me, rather than too me.
It finally broke through. I’ve gotten so worn out by their antics, especially Cougar, that there was little, if any time left in the day to play with him like I used to. And the howls were his way of saying that he missed me and our time together and it was killing him. And what did I do in response? I yelled at him to shut up, and when he didn’t, squirted him in the face. I’m not going to try to justify my behavior. It was desperate and selfish and wrong. It’s hard to describe how special the bond between us was. He’s a very smart cat, and because of his wild blood, he’s unable to make friends easily. He doesn’t trust anyone but me.
Well, he used to trust me.
You see, the younger cat, Fenix, is more demonstrative and insistent. He demands a certain amount of contact every day, and gets it, even minutes after they’ve had a horrible fight and I’ve yelled and forced them to stop. Cougar, not so much. Cougar’s a brooder, so after a spat, he goes up on top of the scratching pole and broods. Oh, he wants my attention just as bad, but he has to feel like I want it back, I guess. And after a senseless squabble, I’m pretty pissed at them.
As I write this I’m sitting in the garage, waiting for the laundry to dry (love the sound of garage laundry drying), I’m sitting on the laundry platform, my tablet in laptop mode on my knees, with Cougar draped over my arms. Every few moments, he cranes his neck back so we can share an affectionate head rub. Like the old days.
Fenix is not allowed to accompany me and Cougar on these little breaks – it’s just me and the old man.
Cats are earned relationships. I realize now that Cougar is not the only one who’s been bad. I’m gonna try, hard, to re-earn that unconditional love that he reserved just for me. It will take time, but day by day, if I’m good, I’ll earn it back.
Who says I don’t have kids?