When she curls around my heart and purrs


These photos could easily go with my last cat post, and will have to do while I’m writing a series of new cat-related posts. She was doing something similar to this when I came up with the poem in the last cat post.

I don’t have an adequate way to describe how the photos differ from each other. All of them involve parts of my face showing, and parts of Fey showing. (Fey is a grey cat with ticked fur and some white markings on her face, paws, and belly.) In nearly all of them, Fey has parts of her face pressed to my cheek. We are lying next to each other on my bed, which is slightly tilted upward at the head. The pictures are from various angles. In the last photo, Fey is sniffing my forehead.

We can sit like this for hours, whether awake or asleep.











About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

10 responses »

  1. One of my cats likes to do the same sort of thing. In fact, often I settle down to sleep with her cradled in one arm and her head nestled between my chin and my neck. The only problem is that sometimes her weight (she’s fairly bulky) makes it hard for me to breathe. And her fur can set off my asthma.

  2. Yeah, I have what’s technically a severe cat allergy so I hear you there. I stay on the maximum dose of allergy pills and use two air purifiers but it doesn’t completely take the problem away.

    This position actually evolved because she used to sit on my chest. And bronchiectasis makes that a really uncomfortable thing breathing-wise. So when she climbs on my chest, I roll on my side, and she adjusts herself accordingly. Sometimes she even lies in an exact mirror to me — me on my left side curled up, her on her right side curled up, and only our faces touching. It’s my favorite kind of snuggling.

    Also sometimes she buries her face in my neck. There are so many different ways to cuddle a cat. And I never get bored, even after hours.

  3. There is a poetic symmetry in your mutual poses and a balance of forces…something akin to an affectionate klingon mind meld (for loss of another analogy). For sure you have been majorly marked as kittie’s own person and I wonder if there are gentle changes in pressure by each of you as you enjoy the closeness and wordless communication. It is somewhat ironic this post comes on the birthday of someone you asked to take you to adopt a cat so many years ago. I remember his sayiing on watching the immediate non-verbal interaction between the cat and yourself,( this without touching) how amazingly in tune with each other you both seemed. Truth be told I am not sure who picked who!

  4. meow! I like this. I’m sure Dennis would too. Sometimes he does similar things. I love it when he kneads my tummy…….meowmeowmeowMEOW!!!!!!! Fey is pretty……..

  5. Aaaw, she’s adorable!

    I am also reminded of the Vulcan mind meld; that’s sweet that she likes to put her face up next to yours like that.

    One of mine likes to walk up and headbutt me; I have to bring my face down so that he can reach it. Most of the time, when we’re cuddling, though, my cats like to curl up on my tummy or at my side.

  6. I lack the simple comfort of a cat. But I do have rats. They are my joys. Nothing calms me faster than having Darjeeling or Bamboo in my hands. My old rat Mrs Brisby saved me several episodes.

  7. Eeeee, kittypictures!

    Re. what your mom said about “poetic symmetry”, that is a really good way of putting what I was trying to say earlier about you and Fey somehow looking “alike”.

    These picture definitely project that, and it’s a huge contrast between them and another kind of picture I come across sometimes. In this other kind, it’s like the human is using the cat as a “prop”, or very clearly forcing the cat to do something s/he doesn’t want to do, for the sake of the human’s amusement.

    I don’t mean it’s bad to be amused by cats, of course. My three are *constantly* cracking me up and making be go “awwww!” with their creative snuggling, playing, and exploratory antics. But geez, they do plenty of amusing and interesting things all on their own without anyone having to MAKE them. If someone can be around cats and not manage to perceive that, I’d worry about them being around cats at all!

    Anyway, “symmetry” is actually the exact word I was trying to think of before in reference to you and Fey, and I really think it’s a good word just for how it is when a human and a cat have formed a mutually respectful friendship. Like when each perceives the other as an “equal” somehow, and you can just TELL. 

  8. Like others, I thought the “poetic symmetry” description by your mom exactly caught what I see in those pics of you and Fey.

    I tried posting a comment on an earlier post about cats, but it somehow disappeared. Mainly it was to give this link:

    which is to a short movie about Meep, the cat who honours my lap every morning. Cat friendship has always been of huge importance to me, and communications with cats have always been among the best.
    I look forward to the continuing cat discussion here.

  9. Mom: yes, there are a lot of subtle changes in pressure and position going on during that, and sometimes she makes a lighter version of the deep rumbling contented sigh that our dog used to do. All of the little movements only add to the snuggling.

    Noranne: rats are neat!

    Dinah: sorry about that, my spam filter seems to be adding practically everything that has links in it. I still had to fish this one out.

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