When you watch cats — dogs too, but I’m a Momcat, after all — there is almost always a physical connection.
Two cats sleeping together will find a way for one body to touch another as they sleep.
Why? It’s comfort. It’s knowing there is another being out there who is part of the tribe, the clowder, the pack. And even if after the nap they go their separate ways for the day, the paw-touch stays with them in their energy field.
For certain close friends, I use the idea of a “paw touch.” For those of you out there who like the idea but don’t know precisely what it entails — here’s what a paw-touch is all about.
ONE: The connection — usually by phone, but sometimes by text or email — doesn’t have to be very long. It’s just something that is a part of the relationship, not needing an occasion.
It means you genuinely care about what is going on in each other’s lives and want to know.
TWO: It does not need to have a schedule.
Sure, there is one person I call every morning, but that isn’t an absolute.
In fact, there are some friends I don’t talk with for months but then we “paw touch” each other to make sure lives are safe, happy, and moving forward.
We want to know is there anything that we can help with or do to “keep it so” for our friend on the other end of the line.
It is, in ways, as if no time has passed since the last paw-touch.
THREE: We listen as much as we talk. It’s not always “me me me.”
FOUR: We don’t waste each other’s time with idle talk. Doesn’t mean we don’t share cat stories, or new recipes, or frustrating things.
But we don’t gossip about celebrities, we don’t complain about the world at large with no solutions.
We don’t do the world negatives and we don’t try to one-up each other’s current problem.
FIVE: We respect each other’s time constraints. If they’ve got a deadline or I’m about to do three podcasts in a row, neither gets offended if the other person needs to cut things short.
SIX: When one of us is in a bad place, we don’t harangue. We keep our egos in check and listen. We hold the space.
SEVEN: If there comes a point where we need a bit more space from each other — and those things happen as we move forward in our lives — we don’t just ghost. We explain we need space and we do it without anger or blame.
EIGHT: However…when I find someone consistently “breaks the contract” in some way, I withdraw. “Breaking the contract” means that I now get nothing from them — no help with my wordsmithing, no brainstorming, no laughter or bad jokes — nothing. They have become high maintenance friends, taking but never giving.
Paw touches are far too precious to waste on those who misuse them. For them — I just bless and release them, and wish them well.
In the end, we have tons of acquaintances, and maybe even many we would call “friends” with a small ‘f.’ But Paw-Touch people are Friends. Capital F. Definitive. No, they aren’t many. But they are worth keeping close.