Sometimes people ask me if I have a favorite among the three cats who share my life. Of course, my first reaction is like the reaction of parents when they’re asked which one of their kids is their favorite: “I don’t have any favorites,” I proudly declare. “I love each one of my cats in different ways because each one of them is so special in their own right.”
But if I step back from my immediate defensive reaction — because after all, who wants to admit that they have a favorite among the living beings who share their lives? — I have to confess that there actually is one to whom I feel closest.
Of course, I really do love all my cats equally. I can’t imagine doing otherwise. But the fact of the matter is that there’s always one whose personality is the most soothing to me, one who meshes better with me, one who just seems to be able to look a little bit deeper into my soul than the others.
And that cat is Her Most Royal Majesty Siouxsie Mew, Top Cat and Queen of All Western Cats.
Don’t get me wrong: I fell in love with Thomas and Bella the minute I saw them. When our eyes met, I felt an instant bond as if I’d found a missing piece of my heart. The way they reacted to me led me to believe I’d made a similar impression on them.
I love both of those cats with all my heart and soul, and I melt when either one of them sits in my lap for their share of “mama time.” Even though Bella makes feeding time “a creative challenge,” as my cat sitter described the gymnastics involved in keeping Bella out of everybody’s food while simultaneously serving and adding medications as needed, I can’t help but adore her and the kittenish sparkle in her eyes.
Thomas is the most gentlemanly cat I’ve ever met. He’s unfailingly polite to visitors, he welcomes new cats with open paws, and I’m not sure I could sleep at night if our routine of pre-bedtime petties were disrupted. But he’s also a heroic knight of a kitty, and he will bravely come to the aid of a feline friend in distress without a thought for his own well-being. Yes, I have seen it happen.
But what makes Siouxsie so special?
Maybe it’s about familiarity. As we share our lives with our feline friends, we get to know one another’s routines. We come to trust one another. We’ve seen one another at our best and our worst, and we love one another anyway.
Siouxsie and I met when she and her sister, Sin├®ad, were just six weeks old, and the odd thing is that at the time I felt less bonded to Siouxsie than I did to Sin├®ad. But I knew I wanted two kittens because I understood the importance of playmates. When Siouxsie came out of the carrier to join Sin├®ad, I knew that they were not just littermates, they were friends, and that they should come home together.
Over the years she’s been a constant presence in my life. She seemed to know I was closer to Sin├®ad than I was to her, and she hung back and let Sin├®ad take the spotlight in my lap and in my heart. But after Sin├®ad was killed, Siouxsie asserted herself and finally began getting all her due respect.
Like I said, I completely adore Thomas and Bella, and all the other cats with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to know. But somehow, while I wasn’t looking, Siouxsie snuck in and stole my heart.
How about you? Do you have a favorite among your cats? Please share your confessions in the comments so I don’t feel like a complete heel!
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About JaneA Kelley: Punk-rock cat mom, science nerd, animal shelter volunteer and all-around geek with a passion for bad puns, intelligent conversation, and role-play adventure games. She gratefully and gracefully accepts her status as chief cat slave for her family of feline bloggers, who have been writing their award-winning cat advice blog, Paws and Effect, since 2003.