Cats are often misunderstood, viewed as aloof, even selfish, solitary creatures with little affection for those around them. While a few may prefer life alone, most do not. Cats bond with humans as well as fellow cats on a deep, almost spiritual level. I like to think of cats as introverts and dogs as extraverts. Cats love just as intensely, but sometimes in a quieter, less obvious way. They grieve when they lose someone they love and never forget those who have shown them kindness. No two cats demonstrate the depth and devotion of feline friendship more than Jasper and Pickles.
Christina and Jim lost their 18-year-old cat, Jeepers, in April 2015 after a brutal final year filled with dialysis and other difficult medical treatments. Christina felt she could not go through the pain again and told Jim that she didn't want to adopt another cat. But several months later, a friend sent her a video of Jasper and Pickles from CARF's Facebook page. They played, snuggled, and purred; their bond and love of life shined brightly.Christina immediately called Jim and told him she wanted to meet them. Twenty-four hours later, they completed the adoption paperwork and bought Pickles and Jasper home.
Pickles has taken longer to adjust and still, at times, likes to keep his distance. Just recently he joined Christina on the couch for the first time and now occasionally lets her pick him up. Both Christina and Jim are committed to giving him the time and space he needs. They understand that he was hurt by humans and it will take time for him to learn to trust again. In spite of his past abuse, Pickles is full of energy and life. However, he remains slightly bowlegged from his injuries and sometimes hops instead of walks.
Christina suspects their bond is based on shared trauma. Perhaps they relied on each other for survival, protecting one another from other animals and unpredictable, abusive humans. We will never know for certain what brought Pickles and Jasper together, but clearly their bond is unbreakable and will surely last forever.