Cuddles. Who needs them? Are they of any use to anyone? And what to do if you want one? What to do if someone else wants one and you don’t?
This morning Mum was sitting on the sofa reading a magazine. I came into the room and stood on the cushion next to her. She said ‘hello, Casey Darlings,’ and then before I could clean my whiskers, she swooped me up. Next thing I know, I am being cuddled. Usually I will struggle to get down but for some reason today, it was the loveliest feeling in the world – to be cuddled by someone you love and who loves you. I even found myself purring – not too loud, mind. Don’t want to make her over-excited that I’m becoming more cat-like.
Mum has a few ‘Mum-bumps’ but I seemed to fit around them and I found myself purring. For those of you that know my story, you’ll remember that I don’t ‘do’ playing, (I leave that to Gibbs); I don’t ‘do’ purring – very often and it has to be something über fantastic to make me purr; and I don’t ‘do’ lap work or cuddles. Till now. I might review some of those ‘don’ts’ because I had no idea that cuddles could feel so good. I had no understanding of how they would make me feel.
Some people have the perfect body for cuddles. Like I said, Mum has ‘Mum-bumps’, most ladies do, whereas most men are straight up and down and although cuddles can be quite satisfying, you really want some curves to mould around for optimum effect. Some men have big round bellies which act like a shelf, so you can park your bum bits on their bellies and stretch up to their stubbly chins. Although, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure Mum would look right with a stubbly chin.
My previous people – before I found Mum, Ollie and Sam – were not cuddly people. They were not people who played and they rarely picked me up. So, although I love this Mum with a passion – remaining understated, playing it cool, you understand – I wasn’t used to human contact to that extent.
Mum’s okay about that sort of thing. She never pushes her wants onto me or Gibbs. She lets us come to her and if she’s reading or knitting, for example, she’ll stop, pat her lap and Gibbs will jump on board. I don’t do that. I do lie next to her, though, so she’s within paw’s reach and occasionally, I will touch her thigh with my paw just to make her feel better.
That’s the thing about touch – and cuddles, in particular. They make the one doing the cuddling feel better. And they make the one being cuddled also feel better. It’s a win-win situation. So yes, they are of use to people, to everyone, really. I think most animals and humans would feel a lot happier if they had a cuddle two or three times a day. Can you imagine going to the doctor’s feeling a little bit sad? And he turned round and wrote on his prescription pad: ‘One cuddle – 3 times a day for the rest of your life.’ The world would probably burst with happiness.
So, what would I do if I wanted a cuddle, now I know how good they are? Well, I’m not a chatty chat, like Ollie and Sam were. But because I stood next to Mum on the sofa and she cuddled me, that might work again. If you try something and it works, that’s how you’d communicate to your person whatever it is you want. If that person isn’t paying attention and doesn’t realise what you’re doing and the reason why you’re doing it, then be persistent. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
Finally, what to do if someone else wants a cuddle and you don’t. As I said before, if Mum dared to pick me up to try and wangle a cuddle out of me, I’d immediately twist and turn until she had to put me down. She always got the message and rarely picks me up for no good reason. Some cats don’t like being picked up. And some cats don’t like being cuddled. This could be because they weren’t socialised properly within a family unit when they were kittens. Or their parents may have been aloof (funny word, aloof – I might use it again because I think it’s hilarious!) and stand-offish and the gene might have been passed down to the kittens.
With persistence, love, and probably plenty of patience you might be able to turn your aloof (there it is again, ha ha!) kitty around to your way of thinking.
There’s no doubt in my mind, a cuddle a day keeps the doctor at bay. Try it, if you don’t already do so, and if you’re an aloof (ha ha ha) kitty like me, then you might realise how nice it is and you want to do it again – and again.
Till the next time