Tiffy this morning watching the birds out of the window as the crisp fall air dances with the leaves.
Gratitude to Chessie and Tiffany!
Thanksgiving is a day about giving thanks for everything and everyone…but I believe we can continue that gratitude all year long. So for today, I have to take a moment to give thanks for my sons (this is an old picture of them) and my ‘daughters’ who give us amazing comfort that we call fur therapy in our home.
My ‘girls’ are 2 cats who freely give such amazing blessings simply by being present for me, day in and day out. My elder daughter is Francesca Maria but we call her Chessie. Originally she was named Mary and was a stray found in a field 16 years ago when we adopted her. Chessie was COVERED in fleas at 3 months old and very skittish. My husband had finally agreed that we could get a pet, but he conceded with the caveat that he really wanted the cat to be white. I went to the cat adoption agency and looked at the white cat that they had advertised…but as I walked past the cages of cats, this one little one meeped (my word for a small meow) and it caught my ear. I turned to see our darling Chessie in a cage with many cats. She pushed her head against the cage so that I could put my fingers in to pet her head. Just then, the woman in charge asked if I wanted to hold her…my sister had come with me and we laughed knowing that this kitten only had a small spot of white on her chin ~ the rest of her was pure tabby colored!
Well, so the story goes, when I held her for the first time, our hearts beat together, she purred into my shoulder and chest and I knew I was her Mommy. My sister then held her and the same happened…when my hubby arrived, I was holding her and he asked where the white cat was ~ to which in my infinite charming way I answered that she was indeed white…on her chin! I passed her onto to him and as he held her, she purred into his shoulder as well and home she came with us!
Chessie and ‘Daddy’ are best pals and have been since she came home with us 16 years ago. She’s been Daddy’s girl since the first day when they played ‘tag’ on the stairs in our first home. We found out that she was part Maine Coon and part Tabby which explains why she topped the scales at 15 lbs at one point. She adores ice cubes, hopping in the shower after my hubby and sleeping on us at night. She became Mama’s Girl when I endured breast cancer and napped my way through chemo. She stayed by my side as I slept away the hours, her trusty purr rumbling in my heart as she slept on top of me, keeping me warm and comforted. I was never alone ~ she made sure. Now at age 16, she is slower these days, but still enjoys the water, sleeping on all of us (boys included) and has lost most of her weight as she’s aged. She’s now everyone’s girl, enjoying being pet by whomever wants a snuggle.
Almost 5 years ago, the white cat finally made it to our home and with her entrance, our cat family was complete. Tiffany is an American Bobtail whose enthusiasm for anything ribbon or shoelace has made our home cat proofed. No longer do ribbons adorn presents in our home as Tiffany has a sweet tooth for them ~ certain types of shoelaces also are a kitty treat which has disgruntled hubby a few times when his dress shoe laces disappeared as we realized they were chewed down to the actual shoes. But barring her puppy chewing tendencies (I think she may be a bit confused), she has brought joy to our family in her own right. She is very vocal, calling “Mama” from the other side of the house when I’ve dared to go into another room while she was sleeping. She can do tricks as taught by my younger son. She can sit, stand, beg and stay. She’s very food motivated and she’s topped the scales at 15 lbs as well. I guess you could say we like our cats stocky! 🙂
Tiffy, breeder born, is more wild-cat than Chessie who was actually born in a field. Tiffy scratches by her food everyday, burying it instinctively so that nobody else will find and eat her portion. In fact, I believe she thinks I’m foolish when I leave my cup of coffee unattended on the coffee table in the living room as everyday, she will jump on the table and ‘bury’ my coffee cup so that nobody else can sip it! Because it makes me giggle, sometimes I do it to see if she will ‘take care of my coffee’ and she never lets me down!
I would love to say that my girls get along fabulously, but alas, that’s not truly the case. While Chessie tolerates the little upstart in our home, Tiffy tries to get Chessie to play and keep her young. At least, that’s my take on the situation. Occasionally we’ll have a little ‘cat fight’ where the girls bat at eachother and then chase eachother with a little hiss here and there, but for the most part, they are friendly. As the weather cools, most likely you’ll find them up on our bed, each on a side, curled up warm and happy. Because you know, we are only their servants here!
Fur therapy is that special happiness we get when we hug our pets…their unconditional love and happiness upon greeting us when we enter our home everyday makes their cat brand of love special. I know people talk about how wonderful dogs are, but cats have it going as well. Yes, they are independent, but they are also comforting. As I walk into the house, I always call for my girls and they come to greet me ~ unless of course, they are cat napping on my bed and are dreaming of catnip and laces!
Do you have a pet? Have you gotten any fur therapy lately? I highly recommend it!
I saw this card and it reminded me of our Tabby/Mainecoon mixed cat Chessie ~ aka Francesca Maria…who, in her infinite wisdom and love, never left my side while I was in bed since I was diagnosed. Chessie became my constant companion and was always ready to snuggle on the bed with me when I was there. To this day, she will still lay on top of my legs or snuggled on my side and her deep throaty purr reverberates against my body and I can feel the vibration of love that she sends straight to my soul which she emits with her constant purr.
I realize that the dog lovers are not believing this situation (and I love dogs as well) ~ but I will tell you that I think she helped to cure me with her constant companionship.
We coined the phrase ~ FUR THERAPY ~ in our home from this phenomenon and now with the addition of our other cat Tiffany (an American Bobtail) who is even more affectionate (and verbal), we are all enjoying our animal connections.
We can take a lesson from our fur family ~ luxuriate in the warmth of sunbeams ~ naps are good for your health ~ chasing your tail is for the dogs (pun intended!) ~ be yourself ~ enjoy the moment ~ snuggling is heartwarming ~ do your own thing and don’t worry what others think ~ let the world know when you’re content by purring loudly ~ and so much more…
So here’s to Chessie & Tiffy…
thanks for keeping me in the moment
and reminding me to PURR loudly!