Thursday, 10 May 2007

If Leon could speak...

Leon invades Suzanne's playpen and tries to steal her toys (May 2007)

I know people feel bad for poor Roger who's been on kitty anti-depressants for almost 2 months now - and doing much better by the way - but what about Leon? If Leon could speak, what would he say?

Leon's had a much easier life than Roger - born in the posh Vieux Lille into the household of a European Senator, we chose Leon when he was only a week old. At the time, I wanted a dog. I was new to Lille, lonely and wanted a companion. I settled for a cat only because I was desperate. When Leon first came to us (June 13th 2003), I was scared of him. But we quickly grew insperable. At night, Leon would nestle in my hair or sleep under my knees. He'd jump on my back when I came in from my morning run and lick the sweat off my neck. Jerome was jealous because Leon was clearly my cat.

As he got older, and once I got over my cat allergies, he and I began to spoon. At one point, Jerome decided Leon should not sleep under the covers with me but there was no preventing it (I'll admit I didn't try and stop it). When we watched TV, Leon would climb under the blanket and suckle my arm. When I filed my nails, Leon would come to sniff the nail file. When he saw his brush, he'd jump on the table and wait to be brushed.

Then it all went to hell. First, we made his favorite plant inaccessible because he was eating it too much. Then we got rid of his favorite chair. Then we adopted Roger when my MIL died. It took time, but they came to an arrangement. And then the baby came and it went from bad to worse. Not only did she take over his room and he could no longer bask in the sun on the windowsill, but he couldn't suckle my arms because the baby was suckling my breasts (and no, I did not offer to nurse him!). There was no space for Leon to curl up on my lap because Suzanne was there.

Leon, Suzanne and I take a morning nap (June 2006)

Recently, Leon has stopped coming to bed. Leon sleeps alone on the chair in the living room while Roger curls up on top of Jerome. Before I go to bed at night, or if I wake up in the middle of the night, I take Leon and force him to cuddle. He always stays for a minute or two, then runs off in a huff.

Poor Leon is suffering in silence. To add insult to injury, I recently cleaned my sweater drawer so there's no space for him to sleep in my sweaters anymore...Leon has ressorted to taking over Suzanne's space in a last ditch effort to get himself noticed.

So if Leon could speak, what would he say? I think he'd tell me that he feels lonely, unloved, jealous and extremely resentful of Roger and the baby. He'd ask me if we could go live somewhere else, just the two of us. Jerome tells me I should stop projecting but I can't help it. It's mother's guilt.

Leon making space for himself in Suzanne's toy basket (May 2007)

1 comment:

Deb said...

I love the pic of you, Suzanne, and Leon in the bed. Very cute!

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