This post is all about my beautiful cat Val. His name is Valo which was named after Ville Valo who is my favorite person in the world. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration but when it comes to fav musicians or maybe just humans in general then that would be correct. Actually, maybe favorite human wasn’t that far of a stretch. Anyways…
Val’s been by my side since I started my journey as an adult. Just before my 18th birthday I moved out of home and moved in with a boyfriend at the time. We shared a small one bedroom unit and I was unemployed. I’ve always grown up around animals but never had one that was MINE. The animals were either the families or my moms. I wanted a pet of my own. I remember telling my (ex) that I wanted a cat and described the cat I wanted. Grey and fluffy. He eventually surprised me with a little kitten that had a ribbon lightly wrapped around his neck. I remember looking at him and thinking “this isn’t exactly what I wanted”. Turns out he was picked up from basically the ghetto on the other side of the city. It took me awhile to accept him. Not because I was that cold hearted or the fact that he was so completely the opposite to what I wanted. Instead of getting a fluffy grey cat I got surprised with a junkie looking, scrawny black and white tuxedo kitten.
Val didn’t take to me right away. Maybe he sensed or heard me complain. He took to the (ex) boyfriend and was basically his shadow. Obviously we eventually broke up and it was just me living in the unit with Val. That’s when things changed. He became my best friend. We’d hangout on the couch and he’d always come and lay on me. He’d sleep with me and I’d always wake up to him laying beside me or watching me sleep. He soon learnt his name and would talk to me if I tried having a convo with him. It was so cute. I regret not having pictures of him when he was a kitten but in my defense that was like 2005-6 and pictures weren’t totally the thing. The camera on phones were pretty shitty and grainy. I know I took pics of him on a phone but I have no idea what happened to them. I just remember looking at the pics and thinking he looked like a junkie. They made him look like he had sunken in cheeks and these huge over sized ears.
I eventually got another (ex) boyfriend while living in the unit who he hated. That was pretty great. If that was Val telling me he was a dick then he wasn’t far from the truth. I should have listened to him.
Then we started moving around and he came with me everywhere. We’ve moved about 5 times. The fifth time being where we’re settled now and have been for the last 4 years. He started off as an inside cat which is the way I wanted to keep him. But I was forced to move in with my “dad” who didn’t listen to anything I had to say or any requests I made. He said he had to go out so he had to go out. His reasoning for it was because he thought it was cruel to keep a cat locked in a house (never mind jerks or even wildlife). This is coming from a guy who would let his dog out the front yard without watching him and guess what happened to the dog. One day some asshole decided he was going to speed down the street and hit him. People do that! Especially in that area. I mean, his car got stolen from OUTSIDE HIS HOUSE!! And yet sure, let the cat run around. Never mind him risking death. I would freak out every time. Actually all those examples were from the second time I lived with him in a suburb that was like 10 minutes away. Same deal though. People would speed down the street.
After many moves around and a scare where I thought I lost him forever (dickhead decided to just bring a dog home one day. Never mind Val and never mind the dog being a Pit bull who wasn’t familiar with cats. The dog chased Val out the house and Daniel and I were outside every night for 3 days trying to call him and coax into coming back home. I cried for days. He was so scared that he would see us from down the street and just walk the other way. Eventually we caught him and I had to lock him in my room for a couple weeks until we managed to get a house). We’re now in a settled place.
He’s 10 years old now and every year that goes by makes me nervous. I hate it. One of my biggest fears is him getting sick. I see him aging and it scares me. He’s perfectly fine though. Nothing is worrying me besides time. He’s rather big but he’s always been a big cat. His stomach pouch is more pronounced than it used to be but that may be because he doesn’t run outside like he used to. We live near a very busy road, there’s huge trees everywhere as well and I can see something bad happening. His black coat is starting to have little white hairs come through and when it comes to food time where I feed him on the counter in the laundry I tend to pick him up. Maybe that’s just me babying him though. Sometime I’ll go up to him and just feel his stomach or body to make sure everything feels normal. Or if he’s sitting or sleeping I’ll call him name to make sure he responds and isn’t losing his hearing. I know… it sounds crazy. I just think about something bad happening it and it scares me so much. This is something I’ve worried about since it was just me and him alone together. I always said I wanted him to be buried with me lol. Not creepy at all. ..
I believe he’s a happy cat. He still starts chirping when he smells chicken. Every time I’m eating he’ll still come and sit on the arm of the couch and start purring really loudly. If I touch him or pick him up he lets out the biggest purr. He doesn’t like to be pet or picked up as much as he did when he was younger but he still loves attention and just knowing you’re there. Sometimes when I get home from work I’ll let him in my bedroom where it’s quiet and away from the other animals and we’ll just lay on the bed for a bit together. He loves that. He still responds to shadows as well. If he sees your arm dancing across the wall he’ll have to leap up and chase it. That’s a good sign.
He’s really had to stand up for himself in recent years though. He’s very adjustable and can adapt to almost anything. He’s lived with other random cats before and he just keeps to himself. He’ll sit and watch. When we got Ollie as a puppy we went and got a baby gate to put at the spare bedroom door so he could hang out in there when he wanted refuge. After about 3 months he finally got used to him being around and he began venturing out of the room more and eventually got settled enough to sit in the living room fulltime again. Ollie was playful but he wasn’t crazy.
A year later we got Vader. Vader has a completely different personality and Val took a lot longer to adjust to him. Vader’s now 3 years old and I still have to tell him to stop harassing Val. He’s just too playful and likes to go up to him which leads to Val slapping him in the face which then gets Ollie’s attention which results in Val being cornered by two dogs. One who wants to play and enjoys being smacked around and the other who’s just nosey and likes to pretend he wants to play (he doesn’t like how cat’s play).
Then we got Amity last year as a kitten. She’s different altogether. She’s another cat. He reacted different again. Instead of hiding away he would just go up to her and smell her then hiss. This lasted only a couple weeks until she showed him (and everyone else in the house) who’s boss. Now we’ll hear Val yelling at 3am because she felt the need to run at him and bite him. She does it to everyone. Especially Vader. It doesn’t matter what you’ll be doing. She’ll be quiet one minute then change in a split second, run at one of them and jump on their back and bite then run away. I’m constantly yelling at either Amity or Vader, “STOP HARASSING VAL!!! HE’S GETTING OLD!!!”. In all honesty I think he enjoys it sometimes or maybe it’s keeping him young and on his toes. When he doesn’t like it he’ll usually run in the spare room. He spends a lot of time sleeping and locked in either my bedroom or the study.
The one thing I love about him is everyday when I come home I still go up to him and say “Hey Val” and he still responds with a meow. He’s never stopped doing that.
And right now as I write this he’s sitting on my robe on top of the kitchen table meowing as soon as he saw Daniel go into the kitchen. He’s still alittle kitten at heart.
I love the guy.