It’s no secret that I don’t like cats, and yet whenever I’m in the vicinity of one, it immediately crawls up to me and settles onto my lap. No matter how many times I try to push it off, it comes back. In Ghana, a litter of cats settled into my garden and refused to leave. But lately, one cat has made me realize how honest cats are. They love to be touched. Only when they feel like it, of course, which can irritate anyone who feels a need to control others.
When Yasmine is hungry, she lets me know it, though she isn’t mine. She recognizes my car, doesn’t jump on me but just waits pointedly by her bowl. Then, when she has eaten to her fill and she would like to be stroked, she climbs into my lap and rubs herself against me. No games. Just purring and rubbing. She just isn’t a slave to anyone. I watch her and suddenly I get it; she’s just like me!
Like cats, all humans have a need to cuddle next to another human being. It simply feels good. So I’m learning to show compassion. When Yasmine’s owner is on a trip and she rubs herself against me, I let her settle on my lap. I stroke her and she purrs. I’m learning that cats are intelligent and choosy and sensual.
And that’s all right by me.