One night, shortly after Puck died, Chris was lying on my chest and rubbing his face against mine. My wife saw this and said, “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.
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.
Tigger and Alex
After Chris came on the scene, he became an annoying third wheel.
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.