I was reminded by a photo my sister sent to me that around this time last year I adopted Winter from the RSPCA after a call went out from them on the news, saying they were flooded with cats and kittens due to COVID.
It was a very interesting experience visiting the RSPCA during the span of time around our COVID lockdown. We had to book our appointment, go through certain steps of security and safety measures. It made the whole situation feel incredibly real and scary - when it had only been in January that I was there adopting Charcoal.
I was on a mission though - I was adopting a black kitten.
They only had two, and we found the kitten who I later named Winter hiding away from everyone and everything inside a box.
She'd been found as a stray on the streets and bought in a week or so before hand.
When I got her home she was a blur of black that was impossible to photograph, clambering all over me. I was worried Charcoal would react negatively, but, within two or so weeks they were actually getting along pretty well - though - I'm sure most of this was due to how sick Winter ended up getting.
She got really sick - she started sneezing blood everywhere, she wasn't able to eat and all she'd do was just lie on the ottoman. Charcoal would curl up beside her and that's how they'd spend the days until she gradually got stronger.
What I love about having my two cats is that when I am having a very bad flare up - unable to move - can't climb out of bed - they're both totally chill with the whole thing. They'll lie there with me, usually on top of me, and keep me company. I am so immensely grateful for them both on such days, for fear can be such a poison, and their presence is a balm.
Of course, neither of them are small cats any more - Charcoal is a good eight kilo's and Winter about six, so they're as good as a weighted blanket. XD
Winter is a very odd cat. She is both extremely curious - even more so than Charcoal - but also unbelievably afraid. Any loud noise, any movement, anything unusual and she will freak out and run away. Even if I accidently approach to fast, she'll dash in the other direction.
She loathes being picked up and prefers cuddles down on her level.
Tummy tickles are her favourite thing.
She'll curl up with me at night - taking up most of the bed in the process. ^_^;
Having Winter has given me a depth of understanding to people who often tell me that they hate cats, or dislike them, or think them unkind and horrible animals. Winter projects an air of aloofness that I feel only a cat of ever project. She is pure majestic royalty. She does not like people, she does not like being held, she does not listen, nor care, she does not not want your attention, nor need your attention.
She will do want she wants, when she wants and how she wants.
She will have cuddles on her terms and only her terms.
I am honoured that I am allowed to touch her, cuddle her, tickle her tummy and have her snuggle up to me at night.
Otherwise, her reaction to other Humans is "Oh, ewwww, Humans..."
So, yes, now I understand when people tell me they're not cat people. I get it.
Anthropomorphising pets is probably not the most sane thing to do - but - then - I do feel it is something Human's have been doing for a rather long time.
I am grateful for the company that furry companions can give. Even now, Winter is sleeping beside me on her window cot, overlooking the Autumn afternoon and Charcoal is in his high tower. They cannot speak, they cannot tell me everything will be okay--
At least they are here.