CC is the cat who lives with the lady who has lived alone for what must be 25 years now.
That lady is actually my mom. And she is not a cat person. In fact, she’s reluctant to have CC in her life right now even though the two have lived together for more than a year. They share a recliner and a bed but I think the jury’s still out.
CC, by the way, is short for Cute Cat. Even at 87 – when I more or less forced CC into my mom’s life – she was still doing the whimsical little things she had done my entire existence. For instance, naming things in a way that would lead to nicknames or acronyms.
CC is annoying, even for someone who likes and has lived with many cats. She bites and scratches constantly, grabs things from shelves, counter tops, just about anywhere really. Those things will disappear under the stove or the fridge, never to reappear again. In her world, everything is a toy; that includes the cluttered shelves of my mom’s crystal bell and angel collection. DO NOT MESS WITH MOM’S COLLECTION!
To top it off, she secretly escaped once when my mom held the door open getting the mail. That’s another story.
CC came into the world as a tiny kitten born to a feral mom in what is typically referred to in the business as “kitten season.” Because our local partners in the sheltering world were drowning in kittens at the time, we created a nursery and set about socializing the kittens ourselves while we waited to transfer them or, in the case of CC, get them into a new home.
As a dog person, mom resisted my efforts to get a cat in her life. However, a dog wouldn’t work because there is no fence around her yard and she lives near a highway. She’s also getting more feeble. A dog would definitely be a fall risk, at least more so it seems, than a cat.
Another reason she was reluctant to adopt is that her last cat experience ended badly. It was nearly 80 years ago and for some reason, her family cat at that time went crazy and began attacking everyone in the family. Quite viciously too. Nobody knew why the cat turned so aggressive and then disappeared. Illness or disease is a likely guess but mom can’t be for sure. What she is certain of is her fear of cats. CC is no different, though mom now admits she and CC are friends. “It’s a pleasure a lot of the time,” she says almost enthusiastically. “But she won’t listen, kind of like you boys never listened when you were growing up.”
I feel quite a bit of guilt at not being available for mom more than I am. She lives about 45 miles away – not far really. But that distance is hard to cross with any frequency when other things in life need attention. And calls, though daily, can’t replace the one-on-one that we humans need in our lives.
Enter CC. I foisted her on my mom as a way to keep those lonely times less so. As much as she resisted, mom now has a little being to keep her company and love her back. That’s sort of the point really. We are meant to have interaction with others, regardless of whether they walk upright or on all fours. As long as we can love them, and they love us back, it keeps us healthier and happier. That’s one more animal with a home, too.
“Her purr is so sweet,” mom concludes. But more than that, I think, is the fact that now there’s someone to talk to all day long. She might not talk back, but she gives a lonely lady a fiend. And here at SNKC, we consider it our jobs to build bridges between pets and people. That typically means helping provide resources, education, or some type of care that makes it easier to adopt a homeless pet or keep one that’s loved … at home.
We do it because we understand #ThePowerOfPets. That small problems or financial hurdles should not keep two friends from being together. And because, above all else, pets are family.
No, I can’t be there for my mom as much as I should be. And I have to live with that. But CC is always there. She’s on mom’s lap during the day, and sleeping near her head at night.
Just ask anyone who lives alone – or any one of the parents of the 25,000 pets we help each year and they’ll tell you. Having a friend who loves you unconditionally makes all the difference.
Especially during the quiet times.