Cat love

Woke this morning as I often do, to my pushy but loving cat Mango snuggling up close to me, then gently touching me with his paw (claws out), to which I recoil and push him away because it hurts. Repeat several times. He loves to snuggle. His claws are too long. I don’t think he knows that it hurts.

How much patience he has with me, getting pushed away morning after morning. He usually just keeps coming back. Occasionally he leaves the room, and then I feel bad. I’ve driven him away when all he was doing was trying to love me and be close. (And get me out of bed to feed him his favorite cat treats — he’s always got plenty of dry food in the bowl, so he’s not starving.)

I make sure that I don’t pet him in my bedroom very much. I’d like for him to get a clear idea that petting, scratching, and massage are for when we’re on the sofa, and the bedroom is just for sleeping. But it’s not working very well.  He loves my hands. They are the source of love, and he seeks them out. I hide my hands from him under the covers or pillows until I’m ready to get up. It’s a little game we play.

He loves me for my hands.

Yeah, I’m okay with that. He gives good eye contact , shows his appreciation, and loves a good cuddle. Sometimes he even drapes himself across my chest with his head over my shoulder, just to get more body contact. He hugs! (I think maybe he has abandonment issues — he was a stray that I adopted, and he seems to show me his gratitude every day, which I love.)

But I don’t love his paws because of his sharp, long claws.

I could lock him out of my bedroom and sleep a little later. Or I could trim his claws. Not my favorite thing to do because I don’t do it well and have hurt previous cats, accidentally cutting into the quick. Since he spends a lot of time outdoors, I assumed he didn’t need his claws trimmed. But hmmm. Mango is not a tree climber, not an athletic cat. My daughter makes fun of his fat-boy walk. I tell her he’s not fat any more, just big. (He overate when I first adopted him from the streets, but he’s slimmed down a bit.) She still loves to watch him walk.

If I trim his claws, he’s the perfect cat. Affectionate, snuggly, sweet.

I think I’ll do it. Learn how to do it without hurting him. I can do that. I can do that.

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