Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Loneliness of Distrust

Raleigh is making more progress all the time. Lately, I have found him in the bedroom, on the cat-tree next the window, late at night, after I have gone to bed. This is because I leave the window open, if only a  fraction of an inch, to have fresh air while I sleep. Peachy has discovered this and comes to smell the outside fragrances. The significance of this is that he was afraid to come into the bedroom while I was present, not so long ago.

He enjoys his chest-rubs. He probably likes them more than any other physical contact though, for a shy cat, he does enjoy being petted and stroked. I can give him a chest-rub any time, but he expects it after his snack in the evening. He will stop waiting for more food (demonstrating that he is full for the time being) and come over to me, talking. And the point of this, at least so far as this current entry is concerned, is that Raleigh will allow me to do anything while I am rubbing his chest.

I have cleaned his eyes and even cleaned his bum while rubbing his chest. It isn’t easy, but I’ve done it. (Just as it’s not easy taking a photograph while I am rubbing his chest…) Other times, he would not be content with me trying something like that. Indeed, to pick him up and cut his claws is still a chore - though not a difficult one - because of his dislike of being held.

It is interesting not just that he trusts me, but that he trusts me to do anything so long as I am doing a certain something else with him, which is itself a sign of trust. I am happy that he has arrived at this place in our relationship. I hope to see him on the bed at night in the future, though that may be a while yet.

When I think back to how he behaved when I first saw him outside, scared and hungry, and then, when I learned how much he wanted to belong to someone, I think that among the many kinds of loneliness, one of the worst must be the loneliness that comes from not being able to trust anyone, a loneliness reinforced by fear, even despair. Raleigh will never know that loneliness again. Perhaps one day, it will become a stranger to all homeless cats and dogs.


  1. How lovely to read that he's come so far. Interesting that you can do what you need to when you're rubbing his chest; it must be comforting (and pleasurable) for him. ♥

  2. dood....thiz iz awesum with a capa tull Z !!!! it doez take time ta trust....N we iz glad ewe haz finded it in dad.....we all sew couldna agreez mor with theeze werdz ~~~

    Perhaps one day, it will become a stranger to all homeless cats and dogs.

    984 paws UP !! :) ♥♥♥

  3. His eyes half-closed in bliss! Love it!

  4. I always leave here with a sense of sweetness and love for the beasts. Unfailingly so. Raleigh, I am so happy for your change of heart after being home for a while. Keep going forward darling.

  5. The face in that photo is pure happiness. :)

  6. This post makes me so happy to know that Raleigh is relaxed and trusting of you now, and not the scared cat that would suddenly scuttle away and hide.The look of bliss on his face says it all.

  7. There is no doubt that your love and patience has brought Raleigh so far. Just looking at his face, you can see how happy and content he is. I work with the aggressive and fearful animals at our local shelter, trying to make them more adoptable. Therefore, I see many animals come in lonely and afraid, so I share your hope that one day, loneliness will be a stranger to all cats and dogs.

  8. He truly loves you and it shows, look at that happy face!

  9. Yep, he looks so relaxed. I still can't get over the size of his paws! Is Raleigh's fur as soft as it looks in the picture?

    1. It's become quite soft over the last year, for which I credit the nearly exclusive wet-food diet he eats. I wish the others would eat as much.

  10. Bless! That's lovely..! His face is full of happiness
    and joy..! :).
    Yesterday l just received my quarterly magazine from
    The Blue of the animal charities, l've
    supported for some time..l've a job to get through
    it..sad stories with mostly happy endings..
    Here's a lovely story about a horse called Jasmine...
    Here's the short video...

  11. Every step you take with Raleigh helps him to ease into his new
    life. He looks comfy with the chest rubs, and I am sure you are
    pleased he has started coming into the bedroom even though it is
    at night. Progress is to be praised. It has been a slow
    and long bit of work on your part, but so worth the outcome.

  12. Would that no living creature would be that lonely!

  13. It would be wonderful if that loneliness and fear were not present in any living creatures life. I'm so glad that Raleigh has learned that he can trust you. What a sweet boy he is!

  14. We really love this post. Raleigh is giving it his best are are you and what a reward. We wish all those in fear and loneliness to be delivered from that state