He’s our orange and white bob-tailed mutt of a cat. He’s by far my favorite pet we’ve ever had. Jack is sweet, loyal, obstinate, and moody. Jack’s approach to showing affection is what endears him to me above all his other qualities. He wants to be loved, and he even wants us to show him affection. Jack is, however, decidedly not a fan of it going overboard. Give him a little scratch on the neck for a few minutes in the morning and in the evening, and he is good. His favorite days are my work-from-home days, as he prefers to stalk me and try to eat the papers I am using. Jack does not want to be touched then, but he wants to find the sunniest spot in the room, nap, and watch. Just to be near his humans is good enough for him.
I find that I have a lot in common with Jack. I am sweet, loyal, obstinate, and moody. I want love and even affection, but I also am not keen on going overboard showing or receiving it. I cannot really pinpoint why, maybe it’s an attention thing. I care deeply about the people in my life, and I believe that people need to be consistently showered with reminders of that. Still, I am not a hugger. Have you noticed how many people ARE? It might be surprising, but then again, I live in the Deep South so maybe not. Truth is, I am not one to even do too much hand-shaking. There are advantages to this. For one, I can’t tell you the last time I’ve caught something like the flu. If sickness ever overtakes me, 90% of the time it’s an allergy-related thing. (My family’s extreme allergies were actually a big part of my looking into the whole natural living thing to begin with, but that’s another story.)
Jack has one exception to his cuddle rule, and that is bedtime. Every night, unless Lucy the Dog has pirated his spot (which she likes to do, but again, that’s another story), he curls up beside the Princess and gets doted upon until they both fall asleep. He has a favorite blanket, and he doesn’t really come snuggle her on nights she changes which blanket she wants. He is obstinate, as I said. He took a couple of weeks to forgive her for the new quilt she got at Christmas from my grandmother. We solved the problem by putting his favorite fuzzy blanket over the quilt when we saw he wasn’t going to relent. This made me feel better anyway, as I really didn’t want her brand-new heirloom from her great-grandmother to be slept on by the cat.
My exception to the cuddle rule is also bedtime. For almost 10 years now, it has been our routine to snuggle in the bed with the kids and talk about the day, say a prayer, and generally just end the night with a little one-on-one conversation. When Little Brother came along, we adjusted the routine for two easily because for a while they shared a room. When we moved into our current house, they graduated to separate rooms, but still one beside the other. The Princess is more prone to serious conversations during this evening routine, and Little Brother likes to be silly. It may well be my favorite part of the day to get that final hug and kiss while they are sleepy, calm, and sweet. One day those beds will be empty, and I will only dream of the memories of this sweet routine.
So I guess that I, like Jack, can be obstinate about how I like things to be; but, like Jack, I also find that my favorite things are the simplest. Bedtime prayers, snuggles, hugs and kisses do not cost a penny, but that is without question my favorite time of the day. And Jack’s. Off we go to snuggle the Princess and Little Brother.