I am no end of amazed when I think of the silence and the love I get from Percy and Chi, my tuxedo cats. It’s a reason to rejoice and be grateful this month when I reflect on all they have brought to my life.
Percy is eleven years old. He was a surprise Mother’s Day gift to me from my sons - one of those gifts that keeps on giving, you know? Percy was six weeks old at the time and he fit into my hand. I think he weighs 20 lbs now, so he’s done a fair bit of growing. In those early days, I had to teach him where the litter box was, and I had to help him hop up on my bed, because he was so small.
One of our most memorable moments occurred when he snuggled up to my face affectionately and I said “Oh Percy, I love you.” Doesn’t seem like much, does it? Trust me, it was HUGE. Something literally “cracked open” inside of me. It felt like a hardened shell falling aside. I think I had toughened myself up against onslaughts from my family, and he helped me to set all that aside. Percy has been a big part of my healing.
I felt he deserved a playmate, because it got really old calling home to talk to him over the answerphone when I was gone for any length of time. It’s excessively empathetic, I know. So I brought home a tabby who ended up going to live elsewhere. I continued to look for a pal for Percy. I was at a Farmer’s Market in Torrance, CA when I spotted a lady with a large wire cage filled with tuxedo kittens. I reached in and pulled out Chi. She was six months old and just full of piss and vinegar. Cute as a bug’s butt.
When I introduced her to Percy, she hissed at him, he ran off, and I thought “Ah, this will work” because Percy, as it turned out, is a bit of a hover-mother. Her nearly licked that tabby to death and it was a bit too much. So with Chi in charge, I knew she wouldn’t let him overlord her, and he hasn’t.
They bring me affection, friendship, simple demands and lots of chuckles. And so, I’m very grateful for Percy and Chi. And best of all, they gave me the title for my book: “My Cats Have Seen Me Naked: How I Achieved Self-Love and Self-Acceptance While Obese.” They were the ones sitting there accepting me one day when I stepped out of the shower. They are a crucial piece in my healing.