What Would We Do Without Chris?


One night, shortly after Puck died, Chris was lying on my chest and rubbing his face against mine. My wife saw this and said,Ā “I don’t know what you will do when Chris is gone.” She then said that she thought Chris would be the next to go. I assume she said that because of all the weight Chris has gained recently but he still remains pretty healthy as far as I can see.

What got me thinking was the possibility that love could be quantified. Could a person love two individuals but love one of those individuals more than the other? Or is love an absolute like pregnancy? Can a parent love one child more than the other? As a parent of only one child, I can’t answer that but the truth is, I will miss Chris more than Puck.

I feel bad saying that and it makes me seem like a horrible person but I can’t deny it. In my defense, I will say that missing someone is possibly not directly related to loving them. What we miss in a person, or animal, are the good feelings that they gave us when they were around.

With Chris, I would miss the funny ways he would figure out how to open a cabinet or drawer before climbing inside. I would also miss the amazement of him getting on top of things that seem impossible for a cat to reach. These are things I miss already since his weight gain has slowed him down. I think what I would miss most is Chris’s affection. Chris is the most affectionate being I have ever met. This affection, I think, is Chris’s way of showing us that he loves us back very much and I think this has a way of reaching down and touching the soul.

His affection is what drew me to him in the first place. The first time I saw him he jumped on my shoulders and licked and bit my ear and nose while I was trying to clean the cages at Petsmart. The next time he was on my shoulders again at the shelter. I sent the following bad photo to my wife asking if we could keep him.

 

When Rose met him he showed her equal affection.

Bad Cat Chris at adoption center with Rose.

Chris at adoption center with Rose.

It wasn’t an act to get out of the shelter. Once he arrived at our home the affection didn’t stop.

Chris getting comfortable with Rose on his first day home.

Chris loves everyone and is not afraid to show it. He will go from lying on my lap to lying on my wife’s lap and then to lying up against one of our other cats. I have seen and heard about him jumping on the shoulders of complete strangers. I still laugh when I hear the story of a plumber under our sink who had to deal with a cat on top of him while he was trying to work.

Historically, none of our cats have been very affectionate with other cats. The exception to that would be Tigger. He sometimes would be seen cuddling with Abbey or her brother Alex.

Abbey and Tigger in Abbey's cat bed.

Abbey and Tigger in Abbey’s cat bed.

Tigger and Alex

After Chris came on the scene, he became an annoying third wheel.

Abbey, Chris and Tigger in Abbey's cat bed.

Abbeys bed could sometimes get over crowed.

Abbey annoyed with Chris.

Alex (on top) with Abbey, Tigger and Chris

While Tigger sometimes cuddled, it is almost mandatory with Chris. I do occasionally see Chris sleeping alone but he usually seeks out someone to lie with. He is like the glue that holds our family of cats together, going from one cat to the other as if trying to create a universal scent.

Of course, nobody is perfect and Chris will get into fights just like every other cat. Chris can also be jealous. Whenever Frankie is on my lap, Chris has to be on my lap. I’m not sure if Chris is jealous of me paying attention to Frankie or Frankie paying attention to me.

Yes, we do miss Puck very much and yes, we will probably miss Chris even more when the time comes but whether that has to do with the amount of love we have for each of them is unknown to me. What do you think? Are there any parents out there who can admit to loving one child more than another? Liking a child more is not the same. My wife will sometimes tell me she loves me but doesn’t like me very much right now.

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36 thoughts on “What Would We Do Without Chris?

  1. caren gittleman

    I just LOVED this post and I think it is one of the best you have ever written. So much to think about. I can’t answer since I have had no birth children of my own. I have had only two cats….I loved them both, I LOVE Cody but I think I loved my Angel Bobo in a much deeper way. He was more like Chris from the standpoint that he was sensitive and adored me. Cody loves me and is super affectionate but Cody is quite an independent cat, my Angel Bobo wasn’t. He was more fearful. I also love my dog to pieces but I think I love he and Cody in different ways. I don’t love either of them less, I just love them DIFFERENTLY. BTW Rose is so pretty! I LOVE her smile! She looks like she is a lot of fun and she looks like someone I would be friends with. Please tell her hello!! Oh and give Chris a BIG KISS from me!

    Reply
  2. 15andmeowing

    I definitely have a deeper bond with some of my cats more than others and so does my husband. Chris is a very unique boy and so sweet.

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks. We often feel bad for the people who adopted him before us and returned him the next day because of his “bad” behavior. They don’t know what they missed.

      Reply
  3. databbiesotrouttowne

    I had to laugh at your last sentence; my mom has always said she loves my sister, as her daughter, but under no set of circumstances has she, or will she, ever, LIKE her. The feeling is
    mutual although my sister won’t openly admit it.

    I think “love”, just like “grief” is completely different, for each person/pet we know.

    We don’t love each in the same way, and we dont grieve for them in the same way either

    We could throw hate into the mix also. For example I hate peas and broccoli and I hate
    that bass terd I lived with, for more than 25 years, and could care less where he’s at, or
    what he’s doing !!!!! šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I think some form a special attachment that is not the same as love. I was very attached to Abbey who was with us at the same time as Chris. I think she acted like Chris’s mother just like Chris acted like Puck’s father.

      Reply
  4. kittiesblue

    I have loved every cat we have ever had…all 18 of them. But I have loved them all to different degrees and in different ways. Each has his/her personality, and I have bonded with each depending on those personalities. There are some I have loved who were the biggest pain in the @$$ and others who melted my heart just by looking at me. Out of the 18, four or five have been extraordinarily special. Fiona and Lily Olivia (who you would have known through the blog) are two of those cats. So, that’s how it is for me. Loved the pictures of Chris and Rose! Hugs, Janet

    Reply
  5. The Island Cats

    I love(d) all my cats, both past and present. I don’t know if I can say I loved one more than another, but I did love each differently because each one was different. ~Island Cat mom

    Reply
  6. theressomethingaboutnancy

    Yes I believe a parent can love one child more than another BUT, she would never admit that. I don’t have any children of my own but I do have siblings and I am pretty sure there were favourites. It makes me sad to think about losing my Duffy.

    Reply
  7. Summer

    Chris is a very special guy. I think its possible to love beings in different ways. I know my human loves me in a different way than she loves Binga. Recently, when Binga was sick, you should have seen all the stuff she did to help her! And Binga is also sort of larger than life (I have to grudgingly admit). But I’m the one who goes places with her, and we are partners, so there’s a different dynamic there. I think that is the best way I can put it.

    Reply
  8. weggieboy

    I don’t know that it is coincidence or not, but it seems to me that ginger tabby cats do seem to be more affectionate than others. I’ve had one ginger tabby and would cheerfully have another some day.

    Reply
    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I wrote about that once. I could not find scientific evidence to explain it but it does seem to be true, perhaps because most gingers are males and male cats tend to be friendlier but there are plenty of friendly females too.

      Reply
          1. weggieboy

            They are curious but cautious, typically. They will follow people around to satisfy their curiosity, and sometimes let themselves be picked up. Of course, people who are familiar with kitties have some advantages “socializing” with them. My late brother was a favorite person. They greeted him and were really, really, really happy when Richard showed up for his annual visit. I often wondered if related people have a similar scent, even when they live apart for years in totally different environments. It might explain part of why family members seem to get special treatment by the kitty boys. Of course, all my siblings and I are animal lovers. It isn’t just kitties for us! We grew up with dogs. My oldest sibling, a sister, had a cockatiel for several years. Of course, there have been turtles, fish, and lizards along the line, too.

            Reply
            1. Charles Huss Post author

              It’s funny you mention that about relatives. We used to have a very timid black cat named Flash who would not socialize with anybody but me, not even my wife, but when my mother came to visit from Arizona he actually sat on her lap.

              Reply
                1. weggieboy

                  That seems credible, too. While my late brother and I were very different in some ways, we also had a very good relationship as brothers. The kitty boys may have picked up on that.

  9. onespoiledcat

    What a GREAT post……and a whole lot of GREAT comments as well. I do think that it’s possible to love “differently” – I have loved all my cats but there have been three who I felt especially close to and it was because of the way they interfaced with ME. The most affectionate cats I’ve ever had have been gingers – that may be coincidence or not but those relationships are the ones that make me cry when I think about them sometimes because they were so SPECIAL.

    Pam

    Reply
        1. Charles Huss Post author

          They are all different and special in their own way. Abbey was almost as affectionate as Chris but only to me. Rose probably felt less attached than I did but that made Abbey no less special.

          Reply
  10. Photofinland by Rantasalot

    A great post and lovely photos. Our cats have always loved my hubby more than me, I don’t know why. I have loved them all, including my hubby, I have had my favourites too. Chris it your special cat like Kosmo is ours.

    Reply
  11. elizabetcetera

    I would like to think I love my cats equally, but I know I would cry harder and be more devastated if Teo died as opposed to Teddy. I think I’d be sadder about losing Teo because he is the more affectionate and playful of the two cats. We’ve also had Teo since he was a kitten and have gotten to watch him grow up, whereas Teddy was an adult rescue cat who started off with a lot of health problems. They are two very different guys and when I lose either of them I will have a cat shaped hole in my heart, but the Teo void will be larger. … Now I have tears running down my face thinking about losing either of my furbabies. šŸ’”

    Reply

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