Sometimes the purring wakes me up.
It’s 4:30 a.m. Without opening my eyes, I can feel her head nuzzled on my collar bone. She’s only partially awake, but I must disturb her so I can begin my day.
Like clockwork, she comes near me at 7:20 a.m. She extends her left paw toward me for head scratchings and belly rubs before I head out the door.
Cinders is a Blue Point Siamese cat. She was born without back paws. Calloused stubs are where the paws should be, but she gets around just fine. Someone dropped her off at the Panhandle Humane Society and then ran away.
After a long day at work, Cinders always greets me at the door. On a bad day, when I’m upset or angry, she taps me on the leg with her left paw and meows emphatically until I lower my voice. Then, she demands to lay on my lap and sleep, purring, soothing the rage inside of me.
She sits on my lap, gently mewing almost every night. My legs, propped up on the edge of my computer desk, eventually suffer from “pins and needles.” But she’s asleep now, so I have to suffer.
We weren’t supposed to have Cinders. We agreed two cats were enough. But the Panhandle Humane Society called and asked if we would consider taking her. I said no. We decided to make several visits to play with her until she found a home.
We first visited Cinders on March 22, 2010. She was in quarantine. She wasn’t healing from the burns on her body. She couldn’t be in with the general population. But she loved sitting on my lap.
At night, I can hear her running around downstairs, throwing her toys in the air, catching them as they fall back to the floor.
It’s probably the orange, felt mouse. Its eyes are long since gone. The tail partly torn off. But she speaks to the mouse each time before throwing it into the air once again. The hard center was torn away this week, so I treated her with some catnip inside.
The Panhandle Humane Society called and asked Paul if we would consider taking her for the weekend. Some kind of illness had hit the shelter and they were worried she’d catch it and never recover. We brought her home on Friday, April 23, 2010.
Her torso and tail had severe, open sores and burns. Paul and I weren’t sure she would ever heal. The open sores were from scratching. She has allergies. The burns were from sitting in her own excrement. After treatment, she healed nicely. A trip the veterinarian every 6-8 weeks for an allergy shot is all she needs.
As I lay down to sleep, she stretches herself diagonally across my torso, softly purring to calm me, soothing my soul to sleep. I know she leaves in the middle of the night, but she always returns.
In the morning, she is there to welcome me to a new day. Her quiet purring reassures me, allaying my fears so I can enter the world once again. She’ll be there when I come home again, ready to soothe me. All I need to do is look into her welcoming blue eyes.