Old Habits

Many humans are creatures of habit. But this “condition” isn’t restricted to humans, it can be said about our pets too.

My family has many pets. When Barry was with us, we had three cats (Sophie, Jasper and Peppi) and two dogs (BJ and Charlie). However, BJ came to the end of his life a week before Barry. Since Barry passed away, my older son (Daniel) and his girlfriend have moved in with us and they have pets of their own – two cats (Toby and Bella). Charlie and my son’s cats get on well. The three boy cats get on OK. But that’s where the harmony stops.

However, this post is about Sophie.

Sophie is a solitary cat. She loves cuddles only when she wants them, but never at any other time. She loves being curled up in the same room as one of her human owners, as long as she’s left alone. She and Barry got on extremely well.

When he was at home in the evening, she would wander into his room and sit on his bed and watch him play the Playstation, or just watch TV or a DVD with him. Often, I’d go in there and find Barry sitting on the floor whilst Sophie was sprawled out in the middle of the bed.

“What are you doing on the floor?” I’d ask Barry.

“I don’t want to disturb Sophie,” Barry replied.

“Just pick her up and put her at the bottom of the bed,” I’d say. “You shouldn’t have to sit on the floor.”

Barry would smile. “It’s alright. We understand each other.”

Other times, I’d walk in to find Barry squashed up against the wall, his body carefully placed around Sophie’s sleeping form.

“You look uncomfortable,” I’d say.

“I don’t mind. Sophie’s asleep.”

This wasn’t a once or twice occurance. It happened all the time. Sophie would visit with Barry, and stay with him until he went to bed. Then, everything changed because Barry left us.

Yet, as I said, we are creatures of habit. Every day, Sophie still wanders down to Barry’s room. She jumps up onto the window sill and just sits there…watching and waiting. She’ll sit there until it goes dark and then she’ll sit there some more. I often wonder if she’s waiting for Barry to come home, waiting to sit with him. I wonder if she misses him too.

Whenever she’s in there and anyone asks where she is, I say, “She’s visiting with Barry.”

She rarely curls up on the bed these days, but last night I found her pressed up against the container which holds Barry’s ashes. I stood in the doorway staring at her and thought about all those times I’d seen the two of them together. It brought a lump to my throat, and tears to my eyes. It’s the simple things that cut the deepest.


2 thoughts on “Old Habits

  1. Sophie’s brother, Jasper, is oblivious to Barry’s “disappearance”. There is a story behind that and I will share it one day soon.

    However, it seems like Sophie does miss Barry. I’d love to know what’s going through her mind. She’s such an expressive cat.

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