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Pete the Cat & Me
Have you ever had a pet or some creature that made you feel as if they were your best support? I have.
I grew up with cats and always loved them. I had cats that played and cuddled and even let me push them around in a stroller I had for a doll.
The two cats I have now, my son and daughter, Pete and Zenny, have a special place in my heart — all because they loved me when I felt as if no one else did.
They don’t judge me and they love me no matter what state I’m in emotionally or physically.
I’ll never forget when I picked up Zenny. I found her online and I fell in love with her picture. When I had arrived at the woman’s house, Zenny was far from the little kitten I saw in the picture – she was MUCH more grown up. I’m not gunna lie, I was a bit disappointed because I wanted a baby kitten, yet here was a cat that was at least two years old. There were big, loud, barking dogs surrounding her and the second I saw the fear of the dogs all over her sweet face, I couldn’t leave her. She was now mine.
We bonded instantly and she couldn’t do anything without me by her side, including eating. She followed me around the apartment and when I would go to the bathroom she would sit outside the door and meow until I opened it.
As perfect as it sounds, we had our troubles, well at least I did. Zenny had been a witness to a terrible time of my life; my heroin use. I would keep her shielded from seeing anything, but she knew. Then I remember when she walked in on me shooting up and I felt terrible. I remember I looked at her and apologized over and over that she had to see that. The second a tear fell, she rubbed against me and loved me no less than she did before.
I remember when I was going through intense withdrawal, she tried to do anything to help me feel better. She definitely helped.
My poor baby girl saw her mom in the worst state, but she still loved me so much. I’ll never forget when she was laying on me the night before I went to prison and I kept apologizing to her over and over and promised her that she would be safe with my mom (her GiGi).
Many of you may be thinking that “it’s just a cat”…. SHE is NOT just a cat. She was my comfort and she treated me better than any human did. When I had to leave her for 9 months my heart broke, but she became so attached to her GiGi which made me feel happy to know that she was more than ok.
Zenny bonded with my mom so much that she sleeps with her every night and doesn’t come near me much. I’m sure she resents me, but GiGi reassures me that she’s forgiven me. It hurts my heart a bit that she lost her bond with me, but I guess it’s another reminder to stay away from drugs so I don’t lose my baby.
Then, Pete came along. I’ll never forget how I was BEGGING my parents for another cat. I begged God for another cat. I begged anyone to get me another cat.
Sure enough, Pete came strolling into our backyard one day and made himself comfortable on the patio furniture. He was an all black cat just like Zenny. He was a stray, but had no idea that he was about to be adopted as my son.
I had just had a relapse and I remember looking at Pete’s sweet eyes and saying to him, “I’m not sure if you’ll like me very much, I’m a drug addict.”
So clearly, I have an insecurity with people liking me, but now I also have it with animals. smh.
Pete ended up becoming my best pal. During my relapse he comforted me and once I got sober, he definitely showed me he was proud of me, especially when he cuddled up against an award I had.
His cuddles at night were everything when I was having a tough night. I’ll never forget one night I was up sobbing. I was about 30 days sober and I felt like a failure. I was overwhelmed with the guilt of hurting the people I loved and I felt so hopeless that I would one day make everything better. I was curled up on the floor with my back to the edge of my bed, head in my arms and covered with tears. I kept asking God, “will it ever get better? Will I ever be ok? Does anyone love me?”. Although I did have people that loved me, the guilt of hurting and disappointing them consumed me and I felt worthless. Then I felt a soft tail brush up against me and Pete stretched his paw out and touched the tears on my cheek. I picked him up and he started licking the tears away. Every single time that I cry, even when I think I’m alone, Pete knows. He senses it. He always comes running to me and he will lay on top of me and paw and kiss my face until I stop crying, or at least relax.
So these animals are not just animals to me. They are therapy. They are my babies. They give me a sense of importance.
My comfort cats.
Snuggles with Pete
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