Saturday, May 20, 2023

Kitty heartbreak

It was horrible, horrible when my mother died, so suddenly, so shockingly.  It was easier when Dad died because his year without Mom was so bad.  It was sad but not terrible when our cats Stachie and Flow died because they were old and sick and we'd had lots of time with them.

The aching I feel over the forced diminishment of my relationship with Angel sometimes feels as deep as what I felt when Mom died.

Sweet Hubby and I adopted sisters Angel and Bandy last December when they were less than 6 months old, still kittens.  From the first they were very affectionate and playful.  They would climb all over us during the day and lie in our laps when we settled in for the evening.  During the late night and early evening they would take turns coming up onto the bed asking for love.  I could barely do my workouts in the living room because Angel would plop down at my feet and roll around on her back, so I'd stop and give her some petting.  Sweet Hubby and I were wildly, ecstatically in love with the kitties, and they with us.

As they've grown these past months, their personalities have developed, and it turns out Bandy is definitely the alpha.  She's bigger, stronger, more aggressive, more possessive of me.  And slowly, Angel has pulled away from us, always wary now of where Bandy is.  I'll be on the floor giving Angel some love and Bandy will literally jump on top of me, or walk between us, and Angel will walk away.  If Angel is following me into the bedroom, Bandy will lie across the threshold and Angel won't come in.  Bandy now sleeps with us, so Angel no longer comes up onto the bed.  Bandy gets in my lap when we're watching a movie.  Angel doesn't get in our laps any more but curls up alone in one of the cat trees.

I know Angel still wants attention and affection.  When she hears me wake up in the morning, she comes in and roams around nearby.  She follows me around during the day, and at night when we're getting into bed, she meatloafs in the hall outside the door..  But always aware of the invisible boundaries imposed by Bandy.  The one time Angel and I still have that's fully ours is when I'm at my computer.  She jumps up into the crook of my arm, purring and purring and kneading my neck, as I type with one hand, as I am now. 

I don't want to become angry or irritated at Bandy, who is simply doing what is natural for her and who is also my sweet baby, desirous of love and affection.  But from the first, I have felt a special connection with Angel.  I suppose it's possible that that may be part of the reason Bandy works so hard to come between us.

Is this what it's like for parents when their children pull away from them?  Is this what it was like for Mom when I became a teenager and got so cranky and dismissive, started keeping secrets, had no time for or interest in family?  Sweet Hubby keep reminding me that this is just how things are now, that there is a lot more to come, and that the dynamics between all four of us will continue to evolve.  I hold onto that thought.  I miss the freedom we all had with each other at the beginning.  I miss my Angel. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Babs. I never knew something like this rivalry could happen between cats. Eye-opening post. xoA <3