It’s funny what some cats develop as habits. Renn, for instance, is no different than other cats in that he likes to knead when he is happy. But he does it only in one condition. He will sometimes paw the air, swimming, like Kola does, but actually kneading an object is done only in one place and to one thing. Unfortunately, that thing is me.
I sit in a corner of the sitting room couch when I relax. I like the armchair, but there is little room for cats, so it gets used less than the couch. Whenever I sit on the couch, my big boy, whose hearing must be as mighty as his sense of smell, comes in from wherever he may be and joins me. Sometimes, he lies down in the other corner; sometimes, he lies next to me. But sooner or later, he will start to knead.
He will sit beside me, put his forepaws against me and push and push. He is not a light animal. His weight is not insubstantial. And he is healthy so his claws grow rapidly, and always seem to be sharp. He doesn’t mean for them to come out when he kneads but of course that action extrudes those little rapiers. Straight into me.
I usually have a swath of puncture marks along the right side of my torso. Often, it resembles a rash, and I’m waiting for the time a doctor questions whether I have been to the tropics recently or am allergic to arugula. And I’m sure my starboard kidney resembles a professional boxer’s after a tough fight. It’s my own fault; I should be more current in cutting Renn’s claws. But I forget, and then am reminded when my big boy kneads me.
But then, we all need to be kneaded by someone, right?