I recently wrote a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving for the blessing of having my beautiful Olaf DaVinci in my life for 15 years (link HERE). Today, I’d like to offer another prayer of thanksgiving.
My little Champaign Le Chat has been such a source of comfort to me while I grieve the loss of his brother. And he’s definitely been a blessing to me in his own right.
Oley and Champaign were adopted together from an Animal Protective League shelter 15 years ago, and they were inseparable right up until Oley’s passing. So I’ve had I to remind myself that he is grieving as much as we are.
Champaign has his own story, which is pretty remarkable, actually. We have reason to believe he was abused in a previous home and it took time and lots of love to heal his fear of people.
But, as we would discover, love wins. Every time.
When we first encountered him at the shelter, the poor little guy was hiding under a chair. He trembled as I reached under the chair to pet him, but when I stroked his fur, he leaned into my hand, as if drinking in the affection. There was no way, however, that he planned to come out from his hiding place.
Once we got Champie home from the shelter, he took a long time to warm up to us. For the first two weeks, he hid in the basement, only coming up to eat when Pete and I were gone.
Fortunately, Oley cheerfully served as his guardian angel. The two liked to hang out together, and they loved to chase each other around the house while yowling loudly – especially at 3 a.m.
Slowly but surely, Champie finally came out of his shell. And when he did, he became quite the little character.
There’s nothing like being ignored by a cat, but he lets me know I’d better not ignore him! This little guy will actually hiss at me to let me know I need to pet him.
Sometimes in the morning when I’m getting dressed, he walks up to me, hisses at me, and then immediately hops up on the bed and rubs up against me, clamoring for attention. Too funny!
Here he sits, on his throne, the king of all he surveys.
He has a talent for finding the sunniest spots in the house. Here he is, rolling over and playing cute, as he basks in a shaft of light in the sunroom.
The Champ has made it known that a cat bed is whatever he decides it should be. (Cat beds purchased specifically for that purpose from Chewy? Boring!)
He loves to turn pillows into cat beds. This is one of my favorite photos – I like to call it “the Prince and the Pea.”
Speaking of cat beds, people clothes are the absolute best. He may have the whole bed to snooze on here, but Pete’s clothes prove too irresistible.
He often likes to station himself in my office as well, and does a superb job of monitoring me while I’m at my computer.
He can be such a sweet, silly boy! Sometimes he just sits in the litter box. Yep, just sits there, as if daring anyone to come into his territory.
Not to worry, the litter box was clean when this photo was taken. But still …
Champaign has never been a “lap cat,” even after deciding that Pete and I were safe. The few times I’ve tried putting him on my lap, he scrambles back off as quickly as he can.
But he does enjoy snuggling next to Pete and me in the evenings, and we get to take turns cuddling him. The former little scaredy-cat loves the attention. It’s like he’s making up for lost time.
One of his favorite snuggle-time activities is “helping” me read. He cuddles up next to me most nights while I’m reading myself to sleep, and sometimes in the afternoon during nap time.
To help our little Champie through the process of grieving for his brother, the vet has recommended we give him lots of hugs and snuggling, and we’ve been happily complying with doctor’s orders.
I think the love is helping both him and us. I know for sure it’s helping us, anyway!
With love and gratitude,