CRY Magazine
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CRY Magazine

When Kitten Pushed Me to Get Out of Bed

Here is a kitten that went just as quickly as he arrived but made sure he left a message.

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash.

My house cat gave birth to three kittens last year of which two were adopted by loving homes. One remained and we decided to keep him when he started showing signs of attachment with us.

This was during the worst part of the pandemic when I hadn’t gone out in months and craved a change in my daily routine. That’s how Kitten walked into our lives, or rather trotted past us. I had started going to therapy for a few weeks before that. But my recovery from constant anxiety attacks and depression sped after his arrival.

After a very long time, I had something to look forward to. His well-being, his growth and his daily shenanigans. He imprinted on my dad instantly and became his biggest fan. His presence was a constant source of laughter and suddenly home felt a lot more livelier. He symbolized hope for me during the worst of times.

He forced a routine I badly needed.

College felt drab. My friends had been reduced to alphabets on texts and little neat windows in an online classroom. I had a cat and an indie dog at home but for the longest time, they felt like a burden rather than a source of joy. Regardless, my dog missed me and my cat didn’t care. In retrospect, I’d stopped seeing colours and found it increasingly difficult to get out of bed everyday. But Kitten suddenly pulled me back to reality.

Before I knew it, Kitten’s early morning screams for food and milk started waking me up. Suddenly my days were taken up cleaning up his pee and poo off the floors because he was a reluctant potty-trainer, feeding him properly and playing with him actively so that he tired out and finally slept!

Just a regular online class day with Kitten by my lap.

He made sure I developed Good Habits.

I stopped dozing off during my online classes because my legs were going numb with him snoring away on my lap. And this is not me complaining. Cat videos and video calls amused him. The sound of my professor lecturing was his cue to hop onto my lap and nap. Once he even climbed onto my shoulder and offered to lick the hair on my head (immediately finding it distastefully long and of a strange texture. That was probably his first clue that his cat mommy isn’t one of him).

One night I had the worst of migraines which had started making appearances for the past few months. It was impossible to sleep and I finally sat up crying because the pain wouldn’t leave. Kitten looked up at me seeing an unusual light turned on and hopped over to my bed. At this point, you must remember he is a tiny 2 month old kitten.

He stared at me with his big eyes as I howled in pain holding my forehead and then I felt a soft paw on my knee. I pause for a moment to find him sitting in front of me with a paw on my knee. I do not know if he meant comfort but he just sat there and finally curled beside me till the pain meds kicked in and I decided to sleep.

Interestingly, the migraines never made an appearance except for maybe one more incident. My days were full of Kitten and his love. After that night, I was reminded by him that there is yet more to experience and live for. That I must continue waking up every day in order to feel all that.

Fresh Kitten paws.

And then he left…

As he grew older, he slept indoors all day and went about prowling in our yard at night. He was always at our doorstep when dad opened the door every morning. Last October marked one year of Kitten with the family. And one cold November morning he didn’t return. We searched for him and kept hoping he’d walk back into our lives like he did as a furball, all in vain. We passed through sporadic bursts of grief and finally accepted that there would not be a return. My family missed Kitten for all the joy he brought into our home, but for me he will always be reminiscent of the hope he came with that there is yet more to live for.

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(Creat)ivity + (E)motion | A Medium Publication for Creatives Navigating Emotions

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Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi

Indian. Lazy English major and part-time book hoarder|Editor at The Memoirist|Currently grappling with my student and writer alter-egos.

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