I've jinxed my cat. I should have known this was coming, after my superbly insightful metaphoric post on cats and people and trust. This morning, one of our fatter clingier pet cats whom we keep out in the yard during the day broke into our house. Literally. There's now a cat-shaped hole in my bedroom door. He burrowed through wood to get to me. I'm not sure if I should be flattered. Even as I write this, he's contentedly sitting on my laptop, tending to his bruised paws, forcing me to type around him.
I'd love not to draw people-parallels from this incident, but it feels wrong somehow to keep the other post up without this warning revelation. Cats are clingy. They are oh-so-capable of love, yes, but sometimes you might end up drowning in it. No sooner have you dealt with all the trust issues, than you'll be bombarded with boundary issues.
Cats who burrow into your house. Cats who meow incessantly at the window, begging to be let in. Cats who refuse to leave your lap, who make your bed their own, who follow you to the bathroom and scratch at the door to find a way in. Cats who call you at all hours of the day - now might be a good time to abandon the analogy - friends who want to meet up all the time, friends who expect you to share every detail of your life, friends who are always bursting with unasked-for advice. And you could be that person too, a compulsive pester-er or an everywhere nose-poker.
You might unwittingly burrow into someone's personal space and hurt yourself doing it. You might come face to face with a closed door every once in a while, just as you may find yourself cutting short a long phone call because your favourite sitcom is on, and you've been talking for three hours already. The key is not taking it to heart. I don't claim to be an expert on how to stay friends with people, but I have managed to wholeheartedly annoy but not alienate a few people over the years and being the silent-sufferer type, I've tolerated quite a lot of badgering too. Cats, in their stubbornly demanding way, tell me that they do deserve my attention.
So the next time you realize you are invading someone's space, being a tad bit too pushy, do back off. But don't let this be reason enough to run away. Sometimes, what you can do is tend to your bruises and perch yourself contentedly in a constant little corner of their life. If it's the right person, they'll make space.