“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Pan is the most adorable little kitty I’ve ever met, and I’ve met quite a few over the years. All have had their special, outstanding qualities, but Pan is the one that melts my heart the most, because she’s rather sensitive.

The first time I realised she was such a nervous little cat was after two hours of searching my flat, and walking around the building a few times, just in case she’d ‘escaped’ (all of my cats are house cats).

Fretting after even pulling out the washing machine to check if she’d snuck behind there and got stuck, I eventually noticed a ‘bulge’ in the curtain, beside my computer desk. She was hiding… and, oh, it broke my heart to think that any little kitty should feel the need to hide in OUR house. No kitty should ever fear being hurt in our house. That’s the law!

Anyway, I noticed after that that whenever she was stressed in any way, she’d go straight to that spot behind the curtain. ‘Stress’ could literally mean me doing tidying around the house; if I even opened up a bin liner, she’d be off to her little safe place until I stopped being peculiar again.

I read up on a lot of websites to see what I could do, and was quite worried that there was some unseen ‘dominance’ in the flat and maybe the best thing to do would have her rehomed, but the thing that worked was actually much simpler and quite lovely… whenever she got stressed, I’d go lie down on the floor and poke my head under the curtain and spend some time with her. I’d stroke her and tell her that she shouldn’t be afraid. Of course, the words were useless, because she’s a cat and cats don’t listen to words much, but the physical act of ‘being’ there with her would bring on the purrs.

Again and again, I lay on the floor with her… through window-cleaner assaults, through the terrible lawnmower attacks, through unexpected household chores, and I think it helped her.

Now, when the window-cleaner comes, she sits on the window-ledge and hisses at those motherfuckers, and that makes me so damn proud.

I totally love it when Pan loses her shit, too, and her other four family members decide to get out of the way, because Pan isn’t quite right today!

She’s my little hero.