Mom, My Cat Is Broken!
Before I tell you this beautiful story, here is a disclaimer: No Cats were hurt or broken in the made (writing) of this blog post!
Martin, my partner, had just lost his pet “soul-mate”, Ollie (a Russian blue), I had never in my entire life seen a cat and a human so close, they used to cuddle for hours in bed and you could feel the love coming from the cat (I swear to god I was NOT jealous – OK, maybe a little!), his beautiful slim face (shame about his cute “I-am-well-loved” tummy!) had such passion and love and connection that nothing could get between them.
When my Martin lost him, I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I felt my words would do nothing to bring him back.
To add insult to injury we were abroad when he passed away, so really nothing could have been done or said to make it better or go away.
I gave my partner a cuddle and said I felt his pain and at the same time I “suggested” to wait a wee while before he got another pet, as the memory, this loss needed time to heal.
It was almost Christmas time, I had been doing a training in Camden Town, London, I was tired and we were attending a Christmas dinner and Awards Gala; I wish I could say I wasn’t persuaded to have a glass or two of champagne but I’d be lying, my overall mood was just too good, ideal to get me to agree to anything.
My partner’s main business is in the Aesthetic Industry, where he is well-known and respected for being the owner of a multiple awards winning Clinic in the South Coast, Southampton; so, in very few words he knows everyone and it requires a lot of talking and catching up with a lot people.
This particular evening, we spent a lot of the evening talking to a compatriot of his (from Scotland), who kept talking about her “Haggis” and how wonderful and intelligent he was; pictures do speak more than a 1000 words, I had been following his adventures on Facebook, and he was lush!
I am not going to lie, I was secretly in love with that cat. He is a brown rosette Bengal, absolutely beautiful, he looks like a miniature leopard and he also has the attitude of one.
Meanwhile the champagne had continued flowing and I was enjoying yet another glass of this delicious nectar, Martin looked at the in the way a child looks at his mother asking (in silence), can we get one, please?
We didn’t exchange words, just looks; then I said: you want one, don’t you? I have never seen a human being move their head as much as “Churchill the Dog”, ever!
24 hrs you have, you find a breeder and we get it.
I have never seen him move so fast!
On the 9th of December 2013 I witnessed how an animal can imprint on a human being and how they can make you feel valued and complete at the same time.
This cold and rainy day was the day my partner and I got our first pet (some people call it a trial “baby”).
For the first time in a long time I felt a connection with an animal, Zeena, our brown rosette Bengal was perfect and still is.
Intelligent, intuitive, interactive, communicative, perfect in every single way.
When we first saw her, we knew she was the right one for us, she was born in a home were cats were seen as humans, treated with respect and love, they had their own “play” area and they were petted 24/7.
She seemed the best choice of a cat, very similar to Ollie.
Though, nothing is perfect, Zeena sadly is a one-man cat and I was not her man. As silly as it may sound I experienced jealousy, not from her; but from what they had I craved and yearned for that too, I wanted a cat I could get the same love from.
I used to have cats for years as a child, they matched my personality and they were easy to look after, I only had to feed them.
My first cat love-affair happened in 1998/9, this gorgeous tabby female, who must’ve been a few months old, decided to move in, she took all her kitty belongings with her and we became her humans.
She was wild, she was untameable, yet she was so loving and giving.
Perhaps, you remember that I am originally from Panama, what this means is we don’t spay/castrate our pets, we let them be and hope for the best.
You probably guessed it!
We were blessed with a litter of gorgeous kittens, they were all so adorable (all 5 of them!), they looked like coloured candy floss, they were my gran-kitties, they were my family.
I was facing many challenges in my teenage, so I became very attached to these beautiful furry beings.
One morning I left to go to school, as I normally would; though, when I got back, all but 1 of my kittens were gone.
My parents had taken all of the kittens, including their mother and put them in a landfill. My heart was torn, broken in a million pieces.
Ciao, the only male kitten was the one left behind. I will never, ever forget those beautiful green eyes, with his droopy eyelids, his black and white coat and his gentle demeanour. I had a crush on my beautiful cat.
On one of the most challenging days of my life (for more than one reason), on Sunday 23rd of January 2000 Ciao was killed by a dog, a German Shepherd; suddenly I went from having too many cats to having none.
Due to what had happened the day before, I had no tears left to cry for my gorgeous cat. I was tearless. I remember my mother’s face as she gave me the sad news, I looked away and I couldn’t share a tear for my Ciao, I didn’t want to cry knowing it could have been for other reasons and not because I was showing him respect.
The rest of January, all of February and most of March were about healing myself, accepting new challenges and doing my best to honour Ciao’s life and memory.
When I thought I was getting better, life presented me with yet another challenge; so things got a lot worse on the 27th of March, I had enough!
Life, always, has different plans for us; so on the 28th of March a Fairy God Mother comes to my rescue, she was my friend, a mentor, a teacher and a Cat Lady…
So, on 12th of April 2000 another special kitten came into my life, Einstein, OMG, was he cute or what? He was a grey tabby, green eyes and lots and lots of cattitude.
I loved him like he was my own flesh, and he loved me too, that I know with all my heart.
He had a brother, from the same Cat Lady, Dante, he was exquisite, pure white with brown ears and, one blue and one yellow eye. Later, I discovered he may have been deaf in one ear.
Dante, loved me more than any cat I have ever had, I was his and he would do anything to please me, he would bring rats and owls for his daddy and give me his loving whenever he had the chance.
Again, life had different plans, I left them behind… I moved without them!
I broke their kittie hearts. Dante disappeared and never to be seen again. I was fortunate enough to see Einstein years later, much older and much more “cattitudey”; though, he pretended he didn’t recognise me, breaking my heart. I let him down.
So, for years I carried that burden in my heart, I let my three beautiful boys down.
I didn’t cry for Ciao, I left Einstein and Dante behind, I never said goodbye to Dante before he left to never come back and I left Einstein alone when he was the one who healed many of my wounds, never expecting anything back, just me being there, feeding and being his human “bitch”! That was all he wanted.
For these reasons I couldn’t bring myself to have pets for more than 11 years, I feared I would let them down again. I just didn’t know it consciously.
Mom, My Cat Is Broken!
Fast forward, the year 2014, Zeena had been with us for almost 7 months and it was all good; I just didn’t feel we had connected, there was “something” missing, her heart wasn’t mine and mine wasn’t hers.
So, on July 2014 for my birthday my partner asked what I wanted for my birthday: A cat, I responded. What else would I want? Duh!
Seriously, he replied! Yes, I confirmed.
I knew what I wanted, I wanted a snow Bengal. We knew enough about the breed by now and I had my heart set on it.
I did my research and I found a breeder 30 mins from my city, and even faster than I could say I want a Bengal cat now, I was on the phone and booking a time to come and see the kitten I wanted.
My partner and I are suckers for cute things, why deny it!
We arrived at this bungalow in Berkshire and there must have been around 20 kittens playing, running, being cute (screaming and prostituting themselves for some human attention!); I had never in my entire life seen so many gorgeous kittens at the same time, I was spoiled for choices.
Again, life was having a good laugh at my expense.
The cat I wanted, was the runt of the litter!
She was shy, unfriendly, she would hiss whenever you approached her, she would run away from you and hide in any available space. While the rest, all 19 of them were lively, playful and full of energy. Funny, eh?
I looked at my partner and said: She is broken! I want another one!
It was our first visit, we paid the deposit and we would return a couple of weeks later. To collect “a” cat.
A decision had to be made, a little life was at stake, what should I do?
Then, the 3rd of August 2014 came, I still hadn’t made my mind up.
We arrived and I was anxious, the decision was all mine.
As soon as the doors opened we had 19 kittens all over us, 19 little kittie “prostitutes” screaming for attention and 1 fugitive, the one who always got away.
We were left with the kittens to make our minds up. I had kittens all over, up my legs, my torso, my head, I was covered. They were all so giving, but one.
As I was holding these gorgeous cats, one blue-eyed cotton ball caught my eye; it was the “broken” one, that very second I knew she was mine, she was my “baby”.
Those eyes told a story, those eyes touched my soul and kept it captive.
In my head I played a movie, months from that day a little child upset saying to his mommy and daddy: mom, dad, my cat is broken! I don’t want it anymore…
That image disturbed me, I didn’t want any cat to have to suffer what mine did all those years ago.
I knew I could give this beautiful cotton ball the love she needed.
So, I decided to give a home to the “broken” one, I made it my mission to give her so much love that she wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Day 1, 2 casualties! My partner and I had so many scratches that we didn’t have enough plasters to cover them.
She hissed and scratched and ran away from us, constantly.
We kept her in our bedroom with us for two weeks, which seemed to have lasted two decades to be honest, she never stopped screaming!
Though, from day 1 I was determined to say to that little blue-eyed cotton ball that she was loved, that her daddy loved her.
I would (carefully) approach her (risking my life in the process), stroking her and saying: daddy loves you.
I did that every day for the first 6 months (and still continue to do it), but on the 6th moth I was away with work for a week. Before I left she looked at me wondering where I was going and then running away!
During that time my partner said she seemed friendlier, and what made the real difference was one night when I was having a video chat with my partner and she was in the living room with him, he put the phone near her face so she could see me, obviously she didn’t give a damn about the phone on her face, but then I said: Baby, daddy loves you!
That very moment she looked into the camera with her stunning blue-pearled eyes and I knew all my hard work had paid off.
I put into practice what I knew about human behaviour and applied it to the way I treated my baby girl and it had worked.
She is a cat and she will always have a cattitude on her; though, I know she knew I would never give up on her and she let her guard down, she let me in, she let us in and allowed us to love her.
Today, we can pet her, hold her and give her the love she deserves. I took a chance and it paid off.
Blizzard is her name BTW, aka “Baby” and she communicates with me in ways that only I know, we have “our own” thing going on.
I may have helped her by giving her a “chance”, a home and love; but the one who has truly benefited from it all has been me, she helped me to heal from my past experiences with my cats (and other events from the past), not being able to fight to keep them with me, for not being able to cry when one of them died and for having left 2 of them behind as I embarked on a new life.
She has helped me realise that when you truly love someone all barriers come down and love always finds a way.
She has taught me that there is no such thing as a “tough” cookie, there are only different cookies, a “cookie” for everyone!
She has taught me the most valuable lesson that it doesn’t matter how “challenging” we can be as people, there is always someone out there “willing” to love us and help us grow, evolve and heal, allowing us to be ourselves.
So, this is the story of “my broken cat”.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my “broken” cat, who wasn’t broken but misunderstood and it took a leap of faith to allow her to show her true “spots”.
If you liked it, why not share it on social media, like it and comment too.
With all my love.