She took my sweater.
My mustard colored “grandpa sweater,” which is soft and comfy, totally the wrong color for me, and smells like years of, well, ME — has been claimed by the little predator in my home.
We just made a big move, and while Brandy the Cat has settled in quite nicely, the final piece in the puzzle of her life was her security ______.
That is, the item in our home that makes her feel safe, comforted, and drooly. Formerly it was the pillow she commandeered off our bed. However that had to be given up to the moving gods after an unfortunate accident with my husband’s Man Hands and a box cutter. Don’t ask me what goes on in my home.
So while we carefully packed up HER drinking glass, and HER T-shirt (formerly my husband’s), and HER messenger bag (the one she likes to snuggle with, the rest got donated), her favorite place to retire at the end of a long day tinkering with her inventions behind our back, was no more.
I offered her less favored items of clothing to call her own, but of course — OF COURSE — she set her eyes on ol’ “Colonel Mustard” in the bedroom.
And who am I to tell her no?
I mean, I’m the no-good human who uprooted from her home, where all her smells and secret hiding places were, and plopped her in this strange, new place full of unfamiliar nooks and crannies permeated with the odor cats gone by. All for my selfish human reasons. I say this only a little bit in jest. I still feel supremely guilty, and if I were to give into my guilt I’d never, ever change an inch of my “cat approved” apartment let alone MOVE to a new one.
So when Brandy discovered the wonders of my mustard colored sweater, I couldn’t bear to take ANOTHER thing away from her.
It was about two weeks ago. I’d just come home from a trip to the grocery store, and I peeled off the mustard sweater and tossed on my bed. I went about putting away my groceries, sweeping the floor, chattering to Brandy like I do.
When I’d finished and headed to the bed with my iPad in tow for some much deserved binge watching of Arrow (my latest superhero TV addiction), I found her adorably curled up on my sweater, purring and kneading.
(gasp for breath)
” — wwwwwwwww!”
I took a picture and sent it to my husband.
So there we sat until nightfall, her curled up binging on the smells of home (I suspect the sweater also still smelled of her favorite closet/clubhouse), and me curled up binging on stilted dialogue and brooding vigilante antics.
And there she stayed. Intermittently purring, drooling, and kneading her perfect little white paws. I couldn’t remember the last time she looked so content.
She stayed there through dinner. She stayed there through my shower. She stayed there when I tried to move my sweater to turn down the bed.
I’m sure you’ve tried to move a cat who doesn’t want to be moved. You probably encountered a version of this face:
I tried stroking her into a standing position. She burrowed in further.
I tried slowly pulling the sweater out from under her. She dug her claws in and hissed.
I tried (stupidly) gently rolling her off the sweater. BAD BAD BAD.
So instead, my husband and I wriggled underneath the covers, and slept AROUND Brandy and her mustard colored prize. I’m pretty sure she stayed there most of the night, only rising to use the litter box, then greet the day in her window seat. I should mention, a big reason we decided on this apartment is because of the little bay window we knew Brandy would love.
And the sweater has been hers ever since. Sometimes I drape it over her favorite messenger bag on the floor for a special double whammy of kitty-comfort, but more often than not it lives on my bed. Where she prefers it.
So it’s not my sweater anymore. I know full well I’m buckling to guilt, and I’m potentially being played by my cat. And I’m okay with that.
Now and then, I miss my schlubby, cozy sweater, but then I spy my little loaf-cat nuzzling into it, motor running, and I can’t, I just can’t take it from her. Truth be told, there’s a little ego in this seemingly selfless gift to my girl.
She chose MY sweater. MY sweater, not my husband’s, MY sweater. He’s always been her favorite. They’ve always had a special bond. But lately, she and I have been through a lot — vet visits, protecting her from scary building inspectors at all hours of the day (perks of working at home), earthquakes — and I feel like our connection has deepened.
The sweater, I’d like to think, confirms it. It turns my heart to mush thinking that maybe — JUST MAYBE — that sweater comforts her because it stinks of ME.
Just let me have this.
So as I type this, I glance through my bedroom curtains (yay studio living!) at my bed, Brandy blinking at me from my sweater, and I melt.
Yeah, ol’ “Colonel Mustard” and I had some good times, but if his golden years are spent as Brandy’s security blanket, the best are yet to come.
Have you given up any favorite articles of clothing to your cat? Was it a battle or a surrender? Tell us!
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