When I was pregnant with my first daughter, one of my cats would climb on top of me and sleep on my tummy and purr. He had never done that before, and he continued sleeping there until the bump got too round and she started kicking.
Today I can honestly say that he is her cat. We have another cat and another daughter, but I’m pretty sure he came into our lives just for her. We rescued him into our lives in 2007, my daughter was only born in 2011.
His official name is ‘Perkins’. He was a rescue cat from the RSPCA when we lived in the UK. They named him that because of the loudness of his purr. He doesn’t have a normal cat meow because his vocal chords were damaged by infection before we rescued him, but his purr is unmistakable. He had a number of medical issues particularly with his teeth and so he had the worst breath ever and as a result his nickname is ‘Stinky’, and that is the name we use for him now.
My daughter can be a bit … ‘highly strung’. She is a very sensitive child with a firework of emotions that often erupt into a tantrum. It’s a bit like a freak African hail storm, you can sense it coming, but you never really expect it to be as fierce as it is until it hits. When it leaves the calm stillness left in its wake leaves you feeling battered and bruised but cleansed and ready to move forward. Things are getting better as she gets older, but no matter what, she always has him.
When she was a baby he used to try sleep in her moses basket cot with her. She is also a TV addict. She watches TV in a trance like state, most often sitting in the middle of the lounge carpet and he will come and sit next to her and without breaking her trance like state, she will reach over and start petting him, it’s like she can sense he is there, but she can’t hear me calling her from five steps away so deep is her trance.
Now he will call her to bed at around 19.30, he will pace from the lounge to the bedroom and back again, and finally settle on the floor by her bed and wait for her. When she gets into bed, he’s right there by her and she will stroke him softly and whisper to him and fall asleep so peacefully.
The Peace He Brings Her
When I watch them, I get a sense that he calms her. She receives the kind of one-on-one attention and unconditional love from him that she craves from all living creatures.
I am so glad she has him, and he her. It’s a bond that I cherish for them both. She is 5&1/2 years old now, and he is around 12 years old. Long may their love last.
Always The Joker!
Update 19 May 2018.
Our hearts are broken. After a short unforeseen but painful illness, Stinky passed away in the early hours of this morning. My eldest is taking it very badly. As am I. In 5 weeks time we are due to immigrate back to the UK, and we were taking him with us. Now we leave Africa with one cat, and the only way I can console myself now is that he hated flying and at least this way he will be be coming with us in spirit but is saved to trauma of the travel.
RIP my boy. You are forever in our hearts.