I am the “Cat Lady”
But not by choice!
I’m actually not an animal person, although I do currently possess one feline. Which I’m not quite sure if he possesses me or if I possess him. Never the matter. I wasn’t going to let his scrawny ass die outside in the snow, so my guilt-ridden conscience took over that one freezing night about two years ago and sealed my fate as the cliché single, permanently available, Cat Lady.
We do not hold any special “pet ownership” bond whatsoever. I’m sure if he could talk it would be about the same as it is now – silence. We do hold certain expectations of one another. He expects me to feed him and clean up his poop. In return, I expect him to remind me to feed him, and for him to leave me poop that I must clean up. A silent, mutual understanding.
He doesn’t expect or demand any “petting” time from me whatsoever, nor do I even remember that he even exists throughout my day. I can’t speak on his behalf but I can assure you he is perfectly content with this arrangement, as it works for me as well. I do occasionally talk to him, as if he understands a one word I’m actually saying; or gives a flying flip, rather. I’ll chalk it up as good therapy.
As much as I complain about cleaning up after this feline, I’ve decided that I’m glad we coexist. With me being single and not owning very much of any type of furniture, at least I can say I have a fuckin’ cat.
RESPONSIBILITY. Usually, pet ownership happens in adolescence to teach a child the responsibility of a life other than their own. Clean up after it. Feed it. Take it for a walk. Or, leash it in the backyard, like I do with my cat (don’t judge me). I’ve never experienced true pet ownership until two years ago and, of course, I get the one cat that didn’t come pre-wired with a personality. He just plops on the ground. All the time. Nothing else. Completely motionless and emotionless.
I guess I can say, the one “cat-like” personality that still reigns true is his inevitable ability to wake me up between 4:30 and 6:30 in the morning to… well, just be awake with him. He begins by making his way into my bedroom, starts meowing at me, then finally resorts to clawing at my blanket until I shoot an evil eye back at him for interrupting my much needed beauty sleep. And then he just sits there, staring at me. WTF? I finally ask him, “what the hell is it that you want from me?” His rebuttal remains “silence is golden”.
Finally, I find my way out of bed and feeding him his wet food (gross) and crawling back into bed. A mere 10 minutes later, take a wild guess where he is. Repeating steps 1-3 to wake my ass up again. But, for what this time? Oh! Pardon me. I forgot to open the damn window blinds for you so that you can stalk your prey of squirrels and birds. 10 minutes later. Still no satisfaction for this damn cat. Now, he just wants me up. But for what? Nothing. At this point, I feel like we should be playing charades so I can at least have a shot at figuring out what the hell it is that he wants from me. It’s like talking to an infant “use your words!” Except all I get in return is a constant meowing.
Ugh… “Do you want me to pet you?” Scratching the back and belly. I swear, if he claws me again he’s going outside! Permanently! But, him and I both know that this won’t happen. I’m too much of a softy and he’s been too spoiled living it up on the inside. Finally, I’m curling up in a ball in my empty bed full of blankets and he has settled his way back at the window. Like I said, I’m glad we coexist. Who else is going to interrupt my sleep? Besides, I’m a good talker and he’s a good listener. It just “works”.