Loves His Shady

Cooper is a big softie. He bothers the girls non-stop sometimes, gets into swatting matches with Nuala over a particular scratching post/ seat, and still has dawn-time ‘hyper energy’ sessions. But despite being a big boisterous boy, he simply loves love.

Cooper drools when he’s being petted, loves having his ears rubbed and will do just about anything to get a brushing. He equates brushes with love.

Cooper loves me, adores hanging out with J (and is currently really missing the boy-bonding), is a pesky brother to Nuala… but Cooper has a special relationship with Shadow.

Cooper loves him his Shady.

Shadow (aka Shady) has calmed over the long 9 years we’ve had her. Her terror of men. Her fear of any stranger. Her fear and panic of other cats. Her panic of enclosed areas. Her catatonic acceptance of fate if taken out of the house for any reason. I still don’t pick her up – she doesn’t like it. She loves J so much that they have a special bond. And she now loves being petted by all our cat sitters (even male) because she knows she’s safe in our home. She is not so afraid of strangers – but remains shy. She doesn’t mind being touched or petted. She’s come a long way!

Nuala as a kitten tried hard to sidle up to Shadow. She’d sit beside where Shadow sat. Get hissed at and swatted at.  Nuala would wander away only to return later. Shadow was still so afraid of cats, that a sweet bouncy kitten was a tough thing for her to live with.

Nuala finally gave up (and she developed an amazing mother-baby bond with Mouci). Nuala’s tries to get physically close to Shadow eventually trickled out.

Cooper came 4 years later… and with the charm of a silly boy, didn’t stop trying. He ignored the hisses. He ignored the harmless (as she was front declawed when we got her) swats and swipes. Ignored me scolding him to leave her alone. He always wanted to sniff her and be near her.

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I waited for him to give up as Nuala eventually did. He never did.

He’s 3.5 years old now… and has worn Shady down with his impertinent bounciness but loving attention. I melt as he comes to where she’s sitting and goes nose to nose with her in greeting…. and then he’ll just sit beside where she is sitting. A few inches away – as close as she will tolerate. And she will go back to sleep or at least not run away.

There are still times when she will hiss and swipe at him… he is doggedly persistent and a pest in playfulness. But he loves her so much… he just wants to be near.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: this is a huge surprise to us. We got Cooper for a very lonely Nuala who was bereft when Mouci died. We hoped they’d play and bounce together. They are chummy but not bonded. Yet, Cooper has found a way to bond with Shadow who I didn’t think would (or could!) ever bond with any animal.

Cooper never gave up on Shady. Never gave up on loving her any way he could. He loves love… and it proves to me that love can get through the deepest pain and hurts.

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If you think this was the same day/time as the above photo, you’d be wrong