3 Cats

3catsI live with 3 cats.

No, they’re not mine, although I am particularly fond of them. That’s just how I’ve always been. These fearless, furry, fleabag felines are just so cute and lovable, especially the way they’re fiercely independent at times while positively cloying at others.

It seems like I’ve always lived with cats. Or they’ve always lived with me. Sometimes I’m honestly not sure which is true and which is the lie. Perhaps I’ve always lived with them because they let me. They come into my life at the oddest of times and I get attached. I look into their little, expressive eyes, and my heart melts.

But they come with a severely skewed caveat, or two, or three. Because cats aren’t like dogs. They don’t go outside to get their business done, which is a major deal. Cats need litter boxes, and people assigned to clean them on a regular basis, and litter too. Litter that needs to be purchased again and again. And again.

Cats also need food. Some of them are addicted to the soft food in the little cans full of “juicy bits,” while others crunch for days on the dry food from out of the bag. And still some others eat both, whining when the bowl is empty, even if it’s the middle of the night.

Because cats are nocturnal, or if they aren’t then they’ve fooled me for 40 years. They laze around all day long, coming out at night like vampires to chase each other up and down the halls, and up and down the stairs, hissing and snarling like beasts in a cage ready to rip each other to shreds. They wake me from my precious dreams, thinking we are in the midst of the apocalypse when it is just a typical 2 AM romp.

I live with 3 cats, and each one is completely different from the others. 2 of them come and go as they please (so long as someone lets them out the door and in the door when it’s convenient for them). The other 1 stays in, even though he tries to get out when he thinks no one is paying him any mind. We are always paying him some kind of mind because we know he is shifty.

There are more cats out in the back room, but I don’t go there. I am content to pretend I live with only 3 cats, to watch these 3 sleep all day long in the patches of sunlight that are all too infrequent on this side of the house. I am just fine with cohabiting this space, in giving them their space unless they want to be near. Because I’m a cat myself, my personality meshing perfectly with theirs, living a kind of zen-like existence without the benefit of claws.

And that’s okay, because there are enough cats here who do have claws. 3, to be exact.


Meow Mixers vs. Snausage Lovers

Have you looked at your dog lately, or any dog for that matter? The moment you open the door they’re on you like a slingshot, slobber and drool all over you and anything else in proximity (yes, slobber and drool are two separate things. Email me and I’ll explain privately). They knock you down, so you’re on their level, and they drown you with the affection they feel you deserve (or it’s relief that you haven’t left them to die, which is what their little brains think every time you leave the house). Every single time you come home.

“they’re on you like a slingshot, slobber and drool all over…”

On the other hand… when was the last time you saw your feline, cat owners? Or, should I say, when was the last time your feline saw you (you know they see us more than we see them, right?)? Of course, the word “owner” is also a misnomer, as any cat enthusiast will tell you. They call the shots much more than we do. When you arrive home, sometimes your cat may meet you at the door, but the meeting isn’t nearly as suffocating as with a dog. In fact, a cat will generally only meet you at the door if one of its needs hasn’t been met as recently as it would have liked. Perhaps you didn’t fill the food dish as full as you should have, or the litter box is slightly ripe with the one tinkle your cat did this morning. Time to clean it out, your cat is telling you by the greeting at the door. And if you don’t see your cat at the door, that means either you did something right, or you’re just getting the cold shoulder, a standard greeting from cats everywhere.

In the immortal words of Sassy, from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, “Cats rule and dogs drool.” No more is this apparent than in that initial door greeting/non-greeting I just outlined above. Did you know that there is a theory going around that pet owners are just like the pets they own? I mean, if you’re a dog person, your personality is just like a dog’s (no offense meant), or if you love cats, you’re just like one as well (no offense meant there either). Now, I’m not saying it’s true, but it’s definitely interesting to consider. For some, being outgoing and over-enthusiastic/emotional is a way of life. If their pen runs out of ink, they’re hysterical over it, and that’s okay. If you get home from work and they’ve been waiting for you, they want hugs and kisses the moment you walk in. But you’re different, reserved, only excited when you want to be, and thinking about whatever you’re going to do next, sometimes forgetting that other people even live with you unless you want something. Or it could expand to other aspects of your life. At work you’re climbing that ladder, always wanting to please others and show off. Or there are those cats who get to the top by being insular and only stepping out when they really need something from someone else. They’re fiercely independent, and this is admired by the people up top, because they too are cats.

Of course this doesn’t fit every single situation, but it’s interesting to consider. Think about the CEOs of companies, and most times they were the ones “Most Likely to Succeed” in their high school yearbooks, due to their drive to be the best, by themselves. Then they can sit in that corner office and lord it up over everyone else. Sound familiar? And yes, the dogs can climb pretty high too, but only by kissing ass and doing what’s expected of them by others. That thinking has a ceiling, though, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everyone was born to lead, and dog people know it. But they don’t want to lead. They just want to be happy when you get home. That’s enough for them. Oh yeah, and sleeping on your bed. Watch out. And don’t worry if you don’t fit one of the aforementioned paradigms. There’s room enough in this world for turtles, ferrets, and chickens too.


Cat Tales

She’s looking at me. I know she is, and there’s nothing I can do about it. That cat with her slits for eyes, she knows I’m not going to feed her right now because she spit up the food I gave her an hour ago. But she’s a cat, and she believes she knows what’s best, with her haughty nature and shrill “meow!” that wakes me up sometimes in the middle of the night. Or maybe it’s the other cat, the boy, who used to be so hefty he could have won some kind of award for fat cat of the year. These are my two cats, who totally rule, but who can also be completely annoying when they a) want food (even if they have it), b) want water (because it’s never perfect enough for them), or c) want their litter box cleaned (it’s only smelly because they refuse to cover up after they’re done). If you haven’t guessed by now, I am a cat person, and always have been. Some people are straight dog people, some are “whatever pet shows up” people, and some are straight cat people. I’m one of the latter, and darn proud of it.https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=d5f933dd9a&view=att&th=13b6db64677173bd&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1420563937779253248-1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P9O8yGWj3tth-DPTq62LLXa&sadet=1354755869068&sads=r-ywxm8XOOSMyXwudwajFE5FnTY

It all started back in elementary school when we got Shadow and Frisky. Well, Frisky was a dog, but he was really my sister’s anyway (I locked him out of my room at night), but Shadow, she was my favorite. A tabby cat with some real spunk, the cat would try to open locked doors, and I swore one of those times she was going to get it. Sad end to that story though, because Frisky ran away from home, and Shadow was so heartbroken that she followed him after a while, and I never saw her again. Luckily we were getting the major setup for another cat, the illustrious Marmalade, a straight-up street cat, definitely calico, who we allowed to remain a street cat, even though we fed her, gave her water, and gave her a place to stay whenever she decided to come in. Affectionately called “Muu Muu,” she would drop off the occasional squirrel or rat head on our porch (I would leave the house via the back porch on those lovely mornings) as compensation. And there was the one day that she came into the house and disappeared for a week. No one knew where she was until I heard little cries from deep in the recesses of my messy closet. Suffice it to say, she had gone in the messiest place she could find and created a nest. Those kittens stayed in that closet for the first two weeks of their lives. What a sweet story. I eventually cleaned out my closet.

Shades was next, a really sad story. My sister and I found her on the sidewalk way down our block and brought her home. She had crusted over eyes that we weren’t able to do anything about, but she was the sweetest cat. We did everything we could for her, gave her food, water, and a lovely pillow to sleep on, but she refused to drink anything. Eventually she passed of dehydration, and it was devastating to me. I swore I was never going to have another cat, but that didn’t last. A neighbor of ours’ cat had a litter of kittens and we got sucked in again.

This time it was part-Siamese kittens, and mine was Spunky, while my sister named hers Silver, although both cats loved me better. And no matter how much heartache was involved when they would all inevitably part from us, it never deterred me from getting more. While other animals come and go, I will always be partial to cats, and I like to think they’ll always be partial to me. But I know better. Those fiercely independent animals do what they want, when they want, and that’s probably why I respect them so much. Maybe I could be like them someday.


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