They say that petting a cat lowers your stress levels. My experiment involves watching someone pet a cat. Does THAT lower your stress level?

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Bubbles in my stomach

I hold my cat usually every morning. Lately I play Putomayo world music and she lays there with her fur in my face as I pet her head and her head falls back relaxed. They say that petting cats and dogs lowers your stress level. I believe it. I feel the bubbles of tension in my stomach slowly soften like when a massage therapist works on those little nodules in your neck and shoulders, pressing on them until they pop and melt away.

18740583_1658519430854938_1897522485596615668_nIt’s not bad tension really. There’s a bit of excitement mixed in. Not knowing what will come my way. When I start moving around and dissipate the energy, it goes away and I care less about what curveballs come. Being immobile and overthinking is what doesn’t work. That’s why I type. At least my fingers are moving, dissipating the energy. When I was a kid, I was excited every night for what was to come the next day. In the morning, I bolted out of bed ready to jump into the day. I am ready to get back to that kind of excitement.

Willow the Fat Pillow

If I learned anything in 2016 and that I will carry forth into 2017, it is this (sorry people who were hoping for handwritten blog entries…I WILL get back to writing those…I just need time to work up my finger muscles. It’s like playing piano after not playing piano for years. Pretty sloppy sounding. Thusly, my handwriting is sloppers, too, and I don’t want to put you through that misery. At least not today. Oh, and by the way, if I sound different at all today it’s because I am channeling the comedic genius of Maria Banford who I have been listening to non-stop for two days since my friend – the most amazing mechanic I’ve ever met – recommended her.  With Maria, I have found probably the most kindred spirit in comedy that I’ve ever seen/heard and I can’t believe another human being exists on this planet who thinks/writes even remotely similarly to the way I think/write).

Ok, so here is what I learned. Nothing compares to the kissing of my cats. Well, within reason. I mean, I love my dogs. And I truly do. But there is something about my cats that is beyond compare. I think it’s the plethora of fur. It’s hard to nuzzle your nose into my dogs’ fur. Other people’s dogs may be fluffy but mine certainly don’t have enough. However, both of my cats, but especially Willow, have this bountiful rug of fur that is just bottomless. Delightful. There is virtually nothing as good as a good cat nuzzle.

I mean, Gizmo (the half Chihuahua/half-we-don’t-know-what-but-maybe-Corgi dog) is snuggable for sure. But his breath is pretty bad so if you get too close the fun of kissing his forehead starts to dissipate. And Daisy is deliciously delectable. Her fur is so soft. It’s as soft as it was the day we got her as a pup about a year ago. But it’s soooo sleek that there is just not much to nuzzle. I mean, it’s there but you can’t bury your nose in it the way you can Willow. Willow has girth and softness and a good smell that doesn’t include bad fish breath odor. I don’t know why she doesn’t have it but she doesn’t. Maybe she doesn’t open her mouth a lot. It makes sense. I mean, she’s not trying to lick me all the time like Gizmo so that’s probably why.

There are many reasons why I think more people should have more fluffy cats around to kiss. It would be hard for me to list all of the reasons why right here. I mean, I’m guessing eventually somebody might get bored. So let me just isolate one. Hmmmm, let’s see… I think the most important reason why is….. hmmm….the smell. Yup, it’s the smell. I mean, okay you know when you know a smell so well that it feels like home? Like, you go away on a long trip and then you come back and suddenly smell your house the way it truly smells but you don’t really ever notice that smell anymore because you’re in it all the time? Nevertheless, you recognize that smell. Something inside of you recognizes that smell as HOME. You know you’re home. That’s what Willow’s neck smells like. Home. Comfort. Home. This is where I belong. She is mine and I am hers. Home. We belong together, here. Maybe not always in this house but yup. She’s my cat. Our cat. I love her dearly. I can’t even imagine not having her someday. It’s not even possible. She’s just going to go on living ad infinitum. Yup. That’s it. There will always be a Willow. Whenever life gets to be too much (good or bad), all I need is a whiff of the space between her neck and her cheek and I’m fine again. Willow. The fat pillow. Willow. Phatty Fatmeister. Willow. The love muffin. Yummers.15578010_1403006176406266_3670842509605832641_o