Ben and his tortoiseshell cat, Baloo, share quite a special bond. Every morning, he wakes up to her purring on his chest, with a freshly caught "gift" nearby.
For a while, the kitty was a bit confused about the grimace on her human's face when she dropped the gift on his chest or face. Then one day she decided to bring him something entirely different.
Baloo was just a kitten when she found Ben. The little tortie crept her way into his heart on day one, and she's been his most loyal friend ever since.
"She's a very loving cat… She will comfort me when I'm feeling down and will sit on my chest purring like mad and nuzzling my face with her nose," Ben shared with Love Meow.
Every day, Baloo watches her human as he leaves for work and greets him by the door when he comes home.
Ben moved back into a shared student house and that's when he began to notice Baloo's new hobby.
Baloo loves to catch small critters and often brings them home. Every morning she will hop onto his chest with a little "present".
"She brought little dormice, and on a couple of occasions, little birds, and they were always alive. It would certainly wake me up because I'd then have to chase the things around my room first thing in the morning."
"I don't know if she expected me to think it was breakfast or that it was simply a gift," Ben shared with 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."
Once he caught it, he would set it free.
"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?"
Baloo has brought her human over two dozen small rodents and two tiny birds over the course of two months.
All the critters were released back, and that's when Baloo realized that maybe a different type of gift would intrigue her human more.
One morning, Ben woke up to his cat on his chest as usual, but instead of a live critter, it was a giant leaf. Then the pattern continued. Each morning, she would bring him a new leaf.
"Sometimes it was a small branch, sometimes it was a giant leaf. They were always big, nice looking leaves. It was such a relief from the live mice every morning that I would show my gratitude by taking the leaf and playing with it while she sat on my chest," Ben shared with Love Meow.
"The image of opening my eyes to see my little kitty staring at me with a giant leaf in her mouth is so cute.
"I would lay there smiling, thanking her for the gift and stroking her for all those sweet morning purrs. Job well done on account of the kitty."
Baloo finally figured out what her human liked and kept bringing him more.
"It warms my heart thinking about her on a little mission each morning to find a gift for her human. I wonder what her criteria was for a good gift. How many did she go through to find the right one?
"Just picturing her wondering 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."
Wake-up call in the morning.
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