2023 was off to a rough start, per usual. Every year we get an opportunity to start fresh and within the first week 10 things go wrong, leaving us scratching our heads about the effectiveness of our ritual black eyed peas. Anyways, i was not coping beautifully with stress and could have used a hug. I stopped by my friend and neighbor’s house to drop something off and her cat Ricci was on the floor. I called to him as i always do. He usually regards me with a wary glare and skitters off into the shadows behind the furniture. However, as i was talking to my friend, Ricci hopped up onto the entry hall table and began rubbing his head all over my back and shoulder. My friend notified me that she and her husband have a trick they do with Ricci. If she makes her back a table, Ricci will climb on it. She said, “I wonder if he’ll get on your back. It sure looks like he wants to.” I made my back flat like a table and a second later i felt the weight of a little cat paw and then the whole cat. I could not see Ricci but i felt him turning around and then hunkering down on my back.
He began rubbing his head all over my back and neck and i wondered what on earth had gotten into this usually skittish creature. Had i rolled in catnip at some point that i didn’t remember? Ricci was really pressing his head firmly into my back and it felt like a heavy little kitty hug. At one point he began biting my hoodie and neck (all cat cuddles seem to go south at some point) and my friend spoke sternly to him, “no attacking, just cuddles.” Ricci went back to rubbing his head gently against my back. It made my day. I was a stranger to my friend’s cat and he gave me an enthusiastic hug anyway. At one point my friend had a worried look on her face. She said, “i’m so sorry…he’s drooling a little bit.” I could have cared less. Ricci was being nice to me and he always runs from me as if i’m an enemy or the unknown. Today he was giving me a hug and i was in hog heaven. He could drool if he wanted to. I did return to the thought that i may have rolled in catnip at some time i was unaware about. However, i like to think Ricci just finally got used to me. Whatever the reason, he gave me a sweet hug and i really appreciated it. It made my week.