On Their Terms

My cat, Merlin, rarely interacts with me.

But lately, he brings me this little mouse on a string for me to bounce around. He stays by my side, batting and pawing, and meowing with what seems like joy (who can tell with Merlin?) I love the interaction so much, and have so longed for this aloof cat to connect with me, that I tell the family:

I’m off to get more cat toys involving strings and mice! 

All evening, I pull the string, and Merlin chases and paws and attacks. He doesn’t run from me, but instead he comes near, waiting to play more. I realize that with cats–just like with teens and friends in general–you can’t always choose the when and how of connection. If you wait and connect on their terms–in the manner that most delights them–you’ll find a joyful little moment.

So maybe Merlin won’t cuddle on my lap, purring with delight, but he will bounce by my side if I involve a mouse and a string. I’m not petting him yet, but he is indeed coming near.

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