Cuddles Cure All

, , , , , , | Hopeless | May 9, 2019

Many years ago I adopted a pair of cats — sisters, who were fully litter trained but were in all other ways absolutely feral.

After years of work, they have become what I can only describe as… cats. The bolder sister, Sif, has become an unabashed tyrant, demanding tribute — cuddles — from any mortal foolish enough to enter my flat. Her sister, Freya, has learned that cuddles are awesome but has an almost impossibly complex recipe for when it’s okay to cuddle her. Specifically, she will not sit on human skin, so you’d better be wearing trousers, and she will not get under the duvet the way her sister does for nap-time cuddles.

That is, until I got ill. Not regular “I have the flu” ill; a nasty deliberate — it sure as h*** wasn’t an accident — left me disabled and my health had taken a turn for the poo. Lying in bed, my chronic pain condition acting up — a side effect of the deliberate — I was in the worst place of my life.

Then, Freya clawed her way under the duvet. She pressed herself as close as she could get to my naked chest and she buried all of the claws farthest from me into the bed. Then, using those claws as an anchor she tucked herself even tighter into me, bracing against her own claws, and she purred.

She purred so hard my whole torso vibrated as this tiny cat showed me how much she loved me and how much I mattered, and I fell asleep to the sound of this tiny, runty cat purring her love so hard that her whole body shook and, for one perfect afternoon, I felt loved.

Freya passed at the end of last year, but the memory of her overcoming all of her taboos and phobias to comfort me that afternoon still makes even the darkest day a little better.

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