Do You Know (or Live with) a Cat Who Loves Everybody?
Ever since I adopted my cat, Thomas, I knew there was something special about him. I’d never met a cat who was so sweet and kind in his behavior. He’s always there with head-bonks and purrs when I’m feeling sick. He welcomes new cats with open paws. He showers my houseguests with love. He’s not the least bit shy about sharing snuggles.
I swear, if he had opposable thumbs he’d make dinner for his feline housemates, too.
When I met Thomas, it was love at first sight. The poor little guy was very ill with a severe upper respiratory infection. He had gunk all over his nose, his eyes were running, and he looked absolutely miserable sitting there in his cage in the shelter’s isolation room. But as soon as he saw me, he started rubbing his head against the bars. He eagerly pushed himself into my fingers as I petted him. I opened his cage door and he hopped out, weaving himself around my ankles and purring his little heart out. Yes, this cat who could barely breathe still purred.
How could I not fall in love with such a love-bug?
As soon as he started feeling better about himself and shaking off the grief about how he came to be at the shelter, Thomas hit it off with his new sister Sinéad. Before too long, I was regularly finding the two of them engaged in "deniable snuggling."
Fast forward two years to when Dahlia came into our lives. Thomas greeted her like a long-lost friend. It was about an hour from the first tentative nose-touches to sharing space on top of the cat tree. Thomas was her best friend and most loyal defender: He fought off barn cats and strolled around the yard with her. Almost every day I’d see the two of them curled up together, Dahlia sleeping soundly knowing she was safe in her buddy’s arms.
I’d never seen a pair of cats so tightly bonded. I’d never seen a cat so chivalrous -- and yes, both parties were fixed, so their relationship wasn’t about mating rights. It was pure and simple friendship.
When Kissy came into our family, I think Thomas wanted to be friends with her. She did most of the growling and separating behaviors, and her own fear caused her to overreact to the point that it triggered Thomas’s natural instinct to chase and fight. But many days I saw him looking confused, and even contrite, about their battles.
As Kissy became less fearful, she let Thomas approach her more closely, but they never did reach full snuggle-buddy status. I think they would have, if they’d had more time together. Thomas’s gentle friendliness would have made it impossible for her to resist much longer.
And then Bella came along. She and Thomas hit it off right away. They touched noses through the carrier when I brought her home from the shelter. When she refused to stay in her “introduction room” and insisted on exploring the house 10 minutes after she arrived, Thomas approached her with a friendly raised tail. When he sniffed her butt to see where she'd been, she reacted with a classic teenage girl-style “Eeew ... tee hee hee!” gesture.
A week after Bella arrived, she and Thomas were sitting close together.
Two weeks after she arrived, I saw them snuggling for the first time.
Three weeks after Bella became part of the family, Thomas was grooming her head.
Yes, Thomas loves everybody. And everybody loves Thomas. They can’t help it.
Thomas has even won over my elderkitty and undisputed Top Cat and Queen of All Eastern Cats, Siouxsie. They always share their meals, eating from one another’s dishes, and the two of them even snuggle together when they’re sharing space on my lap.
What about you? Do you have a feline romantic -- or a feline Don Juan -- in your household? Tell us about it in the comments!