But like most cats, Belle does not appreciate being picked up. And getting squished between my arms really was a bit much. She's outside now, telling the other cats how annoying and disrespectful I am.
Despite our best intentions, there are so many things we do that annoy our cats.
Picking them up is just one way we annoy them. They feel safest when their feet are planted firmly on the ground, not suspended in midair. And hugging just makes things worse. Now we're really violating their personal space, and hugging too hard can hurt.