“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
You may be wondering why I’m writing about a cat on a migraine blog. Many people who live with migraine disease have pets; they bring us comfort and companionship. And for some dogs are their early warning system. Pets are great for people with other types of chronic illnesses, as well. Studies have shown that ten minutes of petting a cat or dog can significantly lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone.*
Sugar has brought so much joy, laughter, comfort, and fun into our home. No, she never did grow into those long legs of hers, they’re a part of who she is. The same can be said of her long tail. When I hear my husband, Rick, talking and laughing at her as they walk down the hall, I smile, knowing that I made a good decision to adopt Sugar. Rick has been through some rough times in the past year. He lost his oldest son suddenly, last October, during the week before the funeral, Sugar followed him everywhere. When Rick would sit down in his recliner, Sugar, would drape herself across his lap and go to sleep. She knew he needed comfort.
Sugar has been very inquisitive since the day we brought her home and quite fearless in her pursuit of checking new things out. Water has always fascinated her, whether it be the toilet, bathroom sink, the shower, or taking a soak while you’re in it, of course. We’ve had to keep the toilet seat down once she discovered the water in it, or she would have dived right in. Sugar doesn’t care at all for strange men. She disappears as quick as a wink. Our oldest son popped in one day with their newly adopted puppy, I use puppy in the very loosest of terms, while she was only four months old she was well on her way to becoming a horse. Sugar took one look at this monster and split not returning until well after they had left. Then she took one loop around the living room and decided the monster had contaminated her territory, then found the only spot in the living room that the puppy hadn’t touched and laid down there. This lasted until the following day when she decided her cat condo was safe.
Oh yes, nothing gets by Miss Sugar. Nothing at all, she doesn’t miss a thing. She will sit and watch Belle while she’s up in Rick’s lap having her one on one time. Sugar watches closely how Rick pets her, likes she’s storing it away in her memory banks. Or she will get up on the very top of her cat condo and look out at her “kingdom,” though Queen Belle has disabused her of that idea. Sugar still likes to watch horses on TV, but only in black and white, not color. She’s so silly sometimes. One thing Sugar is very serious about is her treats. She and Belle get treats twice a day, in the morning and around dinner time. Dinner time is a breeze, Sugar hops up on a bar stool and waits patiently for her treats. But the morning treats are a whole different story, she thinks that she should have those at 5:00 am. To wake me up Sugar walks on me from feet to shoulder. She will repeat this until I get up and give the girls their treats. Sigh. Who needs sleep anyway? Ha! Actually to compensate for Sugar’s early wake up call I go to bed earlier. Living with chronic migraine disease I need to get the best possible sleep that I can.
A rough migraine day is made easier when Sugar keeps me company. Sometimes she likes to get under the covers, and she has a subtle hint for that. She will tap her paw at the level of the cover she wants to go under. Then I lift the cover and under she goes. Just recently, on a horrible day, she slept underneath the cover cuddled up against my back for three hours, right along with me. Sugar can be silly, a stinker, going through the equivalent of the terrible two’s, but we still love her very much. She still hates getting her nails clip, I mean really hates it. I’m not hurting her, and I’m using clippers that make it impossible to clip too short. It takes less than three minutes and probably less than that if she wouldn’t fight against me. When I got home from my last hospital stay, her nails needed to be clipped in the worst way; she was getting caught in things when she walked. I felt so awful to do it then when I’d gone for a week. I wanted to cry, but it had to be done. I keep telling myself that it will get better. When I first started clipping Sugar’s nails, I tried bribing her with Cool Whip, she wasn’t interested in it. Next I tried Vanilla Greek Yogurt, boy did she like that, so much so, that I can’t eat a bowl of it now without Sugar trying to dip a paw in it!
Sugar discovered the heat vent in the bathroom last year, she would stretch out in front of it like she was the Queen of Sheba. I told Rick she was going to have a rude awakening come summer when the air conditioning came on. Sugar is very vocal we’ve never had a cat that was as vocal she is. I happened to be in the bathroom when the heat came on for the first time, and Sugar was also in there. She let out a string of meows that could only be interpreted as “yay, yippee, yahoo,” has she dashed to the vent. It was hilarious! She has another thing that she likes to do in the bathroom. And that is hiding her “toys” under the rug, her toys are q-tips, twist ties, the rings off of the milk carton and candy wrappers. She picks the rug up with her teeth and uses her paws to slide her toys underneath. When she’s done, she then uses her paws to pat the rug down.
Yes, we’ve bought her toys, and Suger has them hide all over the house, every now and then she will bring one out. But for the most part, she loves playing with her unconventional toys. Sugar is also vocal when playing at first when she did this; I thought she needed something. Then I realized that she was talking to the toy she was playing with. One of her favorite games if playing with a q-tip on the bed, she’ll bat it around, all the while talking to it, bat it off the bed, jump down and get, then start all over again. It is never boring in our house, Sugar keeps us entertained, she’s been a blessing, comfort, joy, source of laughter, and love.
“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”