Brothers from Different MothersOct 24, 2023
Ever since Lynkx passed on, Jackson has been at loose ends.
Lynkx was his cuddle buddy. Jackson is a kitty who doesn’t really like to snuggle with humans, and who is afraid of many things. His soul brother Lynkx was a needed connection, who taught him that life can be good, and who taught him that cuddles, at least with another cat, was a wonderful thing.
Lynkx and Jackson
Humans don’t quite cut it - I get it, he probably had some stinky experiences with humans, so if I were him, I wouldn’t want to be held, caught, on-a-lap, or otherwise confined. Just the fact that he got to the point where he’d let us pet him as he drove by was a pretty big deal by Jackson standards.
When Lynkx died, Jackson became bereft, and more so even than us because Lynkx was his safety net.
We did what any good pet parent would do - we encouraged more interaction, but didn’t press the point. We let him decide. We made it safe for him to do so.
Since he doesn’t have Lynkx to lean on any more, Jackson has had to think outside of his scaredy-cat box.
Drive bys have become stropping against our legs. He welcomes petting. He jumps on the bed (and at first jumped right back off if we looked at him).
Miracle of miracles, after much total stillness on our part, he has learned he can lay against us in the bed and he is SAFE.
Major purring ensues. For a small cat, he has a huge purr. We can hear him in the next room when he really gets going.
He’s still working out a fur brother routine with Ry. Ry does not like to be laid on, and Jackson is a master of getting cuddled in so close there’s barely room for the other cat to breathe. However, they have shared space on the bed, and they have both spent time laying on the dog bed in our bedroom - albeit a few inches apart.
Ry: “Get off me!” Jackson: “I need to be closer”
If Jackson tries to get too close, Ry will hiss at him. He used to jump away if Jackson got within spitting distance. For a friendly cat, Ry has some serious boundaries, at least with other felines.
I always tell Ry how much we appreciate his efforts to step into big brother shoes. He was a middle brother for a long time; being the eldest boy messes with his brain.
Ry puts up with Jackson grooming him. Small steps!
We also tell Jackson to take it a little easy on his brother, and to move a millimeter at a time. Just like he needed to have time and space to decide something was safe, so does Ry. They don’t have the instant connection that Jackson and Lynkx had (having known one another in other lifetimes). Jackson needs to let Ry get used to the idea that it’s okay to be a brother.
We can learn a lot from this interaction. What are you learning about how to deal with - say - humans?
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