An Abundance of Charm

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be sharing my bed and pillow for God’s sake with a cat, I would have gasped in disbelief and adamantly disagreed. I do not share my bed with anyone other than my husband! But somehow and someway, Callie has charmed her way right into bed with Michael and me and now she sleeps in the middle with her head on my pillow and nestled by my side. How did she manage to accomplish this miracle? My Jack Russel, Miss Addie, who was the love of my life, was not able to cross that line and had to sleep on the floor in her own bed and with her own blanket. How did a stray cat come into my life that is now sleeping in the same bed with me?

When we decided to keep Callie after a month of searching for her owner, I was very firm about house rules and one of them was not sleeping on the bed. She was not a kitten when she came to us, but a three year old cat that had a mind all her own. The previous family actually dropped by after a year of watching me raise her and confessed to us that she had been their cat and was impossible to live with. She was constantly running away and caused them no end of grief. When they saw that she was happy with me, and me happy with her, good riddance, they did not want her back. So, to get back to the sleeping in bed with us story, I can remember with some guilt now, that I would spray her with a water bottle if she attempted to crawl up on the bed. I would physically discipline her with a swat on the butt and scold her only to have her sneak back up on the bed ever so quietly whenever she thought I was asleep. I think the breakdown in communication had to have been with Michael. He felt sorry for her before I did and would look the other way when she snuck up quietly and rested against his feet. Once she felt safe about that rule being broken, and there were no repercussions, she had a taste for more. She would ever so slowly and quietly creep back up and make herself at home further up on the bed.  Callie would have gotten away with this except that she would start purring loudly. The purring would give her away because it would wake me up and I would have to take action by removing her from the bed once again. This lasted for months. I even kicked her out of the bedroom and shut the door in her face, only to hear her plaintive howls on the other side of the door. Now everyone knows you can’t sleep with a cat on the other side of the door plaintively howling. At the height of the disagreement, I actually threw her outside and made her spend the night in the backyard. I cringe at this memory because when I got up in the morning, she was huddled by the back door in a tiny little heap of despair, and it nearly broke my heart. That was the beginning of the turning point for me. I couldn’t stand to see such suffering on her part, so I capitulated next. Now Michael and I are both on the same page and Callie is welcome to crawl up on the bed whenever she likes. She is charmingly persistent and her best tool for gettting her way is exactly that, charm! Callie is the sweetest cat I have ever known and to this day I somehow feel like I got the better end of the bargain by letting her sleep with us. The looks she gives you and the pats and purrs are the warmest and most heartfelt I have ever experienced. She is genuinely appreciative and happy that she is in bed with us. It almost makes you feel like she is doing you a favor, and actually she is… I am writing about her now and enjoying the process so much. She has given me a creative outlet that feels so rewarding. I love writing about her.

So, no matter how wonderful Holiday Pet Hotel is with Callie, they can’t hold a candle to the life she lives at home. She is an equal standing member of the family, sleeps in bed with us, is pampered in every regard and no amount of spoiling at HPH can compete with that. When we pick her up after having been boarded for 17 days, there is a price to be paid. It isn’t that she’s a brat when we are reunited, it’s that she is so very, very sad and doesn’t understand why we left her in the first place. She needs hours of snuggling and petting and reassuring for her to feel secure again. It would be interesting to hear Holiday Pet Hotel’s take on this…….I told you that she has an abundance of charm! 

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