Baloo, a tortoiseshell cat, loves to spoil her dad, Ben, by bringing him gifts. Every morning, Ben will wake up to the soft purr of Baloo and a live gift on his chest.
Baloo came into Ben’s life as a kitten, and now they are the best of friends. She sees her dad off to work in the morning and patiently waits for him to return in the evening. The gift-giving habit started after a move into a shared student house.
Like most cats, Baloo likes to hunt rodents and small birds. She wanted to share with her dad what she caught, so she would offer them as gifts. However, her dad would be startled awake by a live mouse or little bird on his chest.
The animals were always still alive and usually took off in fear. Ben told Love Meow, “I was getting woken up by a small rodent being dropped on my face and that solicits a certain reaction in the morning. I’d shoot out of bed to try and catch the thing.”
For two months, Baloo brought her dad live gifts in the morning. Ben would catch and release all of the animals. Baloo started to realize that her dad was not appreciating her gifts. Ben could tell that he was hurting Baloo’s feelings. He said, “She always looked so confused and sad, which made me feel pretty bad. She was doing her part by bringing home the bacon so to speak. Seeing the lifestyle I was living she probably thought I could do with a nice ‘healthy’ breakfast. Who knows?”
She was simply trying to take care of her dad. So one day, she decided to try a new kind of gift. Ben woke up to her normal purr and a giant leaf. He was ecstatic and relieved, as it was not something he had to chase around and catch. He showed his gratitude by playing with the leaf and praising Baloo.
That was all it took for Baloo. Now the only “live” gifts she brings are branches and leaves. Ben likes to imagine what goes through his cat’s head when she is looking for the perfect gift. “Just picturing her wondering [sic] around ‘oh that’s a nice leaf, he’ll love this one!’ ‘no this one’s far too similar to the one he’s already got’. It’s just too cute,” says Ben.
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