Searching for a cat for my mother I happened upon Little Bit’s description on the Humane Society website. “This is a real lap cat,” they promised. Perfect, I thought to myself. A lap cat was just what my mother was missing.
Our meet and greet was my first clue. Little Bit had to be fished out from underneath the cages. When my mother leaned in close to her cage to whisper sweet nothings into her ear, Little Bit took a swipe at her. I was beginning to see why she had not yet been adopted.
But the bonding was already begun and my mother welcomed her into the family. Much to my relief, she lived up to her billing, loving to spend lots of time curled up in the lap of my mom or my dad. After my mother’s death she escaped through an open door and lived on the lam for a very long time. With no front claws she managed to survive and to find her way home again.
After the death of my father I inherited her. My two dogs had been fine with my former cat, the late Rosie. Rosie was old and mostly stayed curled up in her bed by my bed and pretty much ignored the dogs. Everything was peaceful.
And then Little Bit arrived. I have since nicknamed her my gangsta cat. The dogs eagerly chase her through the house but to be honest, she starts at least half of it.
When the dogs were still figuring out how to live together they would, on occasion, have a real, honest to goodness drawing blood fight.
I observed Little Bit on more than one occasion running down the hall towards the sound of fighting dogs. Perhaps seeing it as a chance to whip up on them while they were distracted, she jumped in the middle of about 100 pounds worth of snarling, growling, biting dogs. She slapped them around a bit and then dashed back to her room.
Little Bit has taught me a lot. She’s taught me that being loving doesn’t also mean you cannot be fierce. Too often we equate lovingkindness with spinelessness. This cat of mine reminds me that we can be quite loving… and still stand up for ourselves.
Just don’t jump in the middle of the dogs to do it.