Paulie Paul at 3-4 months
Take what you like and leave the rest
What is love, anyway?
Several years ago, I was asked if I thought my cat loved me. I replied that I did not know. It depends on how you define ‘Love’.
I knew that my cat seemed to get along very well with me. When she was in the same room with me she would inevitably seek out my lap. But that could be a result of my being ‘Top Cat’ and therefore it could have been an ego trip on her part to own that place of importance.
I fed her so it would be easy to see that she might be dependent on me and thought it would be best to be nice to me. (She was very affectionate.)
But my parents fed me when I was young, and I was certainly dependent on them. While I am grateful to them and assume that their taking care of me indicated that they loved me, that is not why I loved them. If for some reason, they could no longer feed me, I would assume that they would have done the best they could and I would go to them for comfort. And I would still have loved them.
So although I assume that my cat appreciated being fed, I could not entirely assume that was her only reason for being friendly with me.
Then one day, I was sitting outside enjoying the air. My cat was way across the yard, stalking an unseen mouse or something in the grasses. She was quite intent upon her prey and pounced. Whatever it was got away, but she seemed unconcerned. She looked around for something else to do. Then she spotted me, sitting in the lawn chair. Her head went up, her tail went up, and I heard her make a chirruping sound in her throat. She headed directly for me, bounded up into my lap and purring loudly. Then she licked herself just a bit and curled up for a nap, arching into my arms.
Now, if we had been in the house, I would have made excuses for her behavior, like my lap was the softest place or something. But we were outside, on her turf. She loved being outside. She had the whole yard and more to choose from, yet she was obviously happy to see me.
She trusted me & expected good things from me.
I still don’t know if she loved me, but Trust is a good place to start.