Calico arrived in my home almost eight years ago after living as a barn cat in central Nevada. Though too scared to allow herself to be touched, she used to follow the family around the ranch, so when they moved away the children insisted she be brought with them. They already had three cats, so they gave her to me. She arrived on the same day as 6-month-old Rocky, who immediately set about turning her into a play pal. Though it took some time, she eventually relented, and they are good friends.
It took much longer for her to relax and warm up to me. About six months after she arrived, I awoke one night to find her perched on me, purring. Next she began allowing me to pet her when she was on her condo. She always hung around when there were people present, but would not let us near her. Fast forward seven years to last summer when she jumped up on my lap for the first time.
Recently she has been climbing further up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (modified for cats–she’s not self-actualizing). Having achieved satisfaction of physiological needs, safety, and love and belonging, she is now working on self-transcendence. Her new favorite napping spot is on my meditation cushions. When outside she likes to be under the Buddha, downloading directly from him. And, like me, she sometimes needs solitude, so she retreats to her meditation cushion in the closet.
Ever calmer, ever more at ease, Calico is a true bodhisattva!