I got a cat.
If you knew me before, you’d think wtf C. You hate animals. Which is exactly what my older sisters response was when I posted about him on Instagram. But the thing is, people can change. People can grow. People can realize that maybe the circumstances under which they were living their lives previously were not ones which they chose themselves. So people can evolve to recreate their own more suitable environment in which they will thrive.
Me. I’m people.
And in this case I was at the point of such loneliness that I decided that I would overcome my fear of animals, yes I said fear, and adopt a cat. You see by this point in my life, every circumstance and previous interaction had built up not only a dislike of cats and dogs, but a small fear. They bite. They scratch. They were just an overall nuisance in my mind. And to be honest they would mess up my very organized life. Potential poop everywhere. Extra expense. Hair. The list could on and on. Not to mention the most important fact being, I am supposedly allergic to fur and feathers. At least I was back in the day. This was of course found out at a young age when I went for a horseback ride at my great-uncles farm for 0.02 seconds and had to be pulled off the horse and thrown in the shower to wash off the horse hair as my mom called the ambulance. The result are hazy to me since I remember mostly not breathing, and flaring up like the GOODYEAR blimp as far as the rash went. But after a series of allergy tests soon after, it was determined that animals were not in my future thanks to allergies to fur and feathers and the dander found in them. So we said goodbye to the cat and bird we currently had and miraculously my life long eczema I’d been living with started to get better. Yeah… you’d think my parents would’ve considered that possibility sooner.
Anyways, that’s probably another reason I don’t really like animals. We’ve been enemies so to speak from the start.
But here I am. Almost 32 years old and finding out that yep. I want to add another dimension to my life. So I haven’t had an allergic reaction in a long time. A bunch of my friends have dogs and I’m at their houses all the time. Granted I’m not letting the dogs lick my face or anything (ew on so many levels) but I’m not ending up at the hospital in any case. We house sat for our friends a while back while they went to Zambia and they had the 3 cats. We fed them and did the poop duty, and I was fine. So I’ve come to think at this point in my life I’m pretty sure I can’t use the allergy excuse anymore. I’m thinking I’ve outgrown it.
So, since I’ve moved to Kelowna, I’ve been considering a pet. I know at this point in our life we don’t have the time to invest in a dog. The walking everyday and all that. The kids are in school and I’m at work and I’m NOT willing to have accidents in the house from a puppy. So I’ve been browsing the SPCA site every once in while, just to see what was there, but not telling the kids. Then last week I saw him. His name was Baxter, and he is a 14 years old domestic long haired (I may or may not have choose him based on how well he would match my house, I’ll never tell). Yes, that’s old for a cat. Which I’m fine with. I’m not ready to make a 15+ year commitment to something if I don’t even know weather or not I like being a cat mama yet. The day I saw him I went to the shelter for the first time in my adult life with the sole purpose to pet a cat. He was super chill and laid there and let me stroke him. I’ll be honest, I was probably more scared of him than he was of me, just based on…. well nothing at all. I just was. Because of my body’s past reactions to animals. Because of avoiding them in the past. Because of the potential of getting scratched or bit or anything. Just because I let fear grow over time with my avoidance.
But I put my big girl pants on and filled out the paperwork and took him home that day anyway.
I picked up the kids from daycare and we went to the local pet store to get all the supplies we needed, which was everything since this was unplanned, and went home.
We have renamed him and thankfully our naming skills have greatly improved since fish one and fish two. We finally settled on Benjamin Maxwell (insert our last name here) the Fourth. Or Benji for short.
He spent the first day in my bathroom since after my extensive Google research I found they need their own space after a move and to calm their nerves. The kids were disappointed that he didn’t want to play with them right away. Oh who am I kidding, they were disappointed I didn’t get a dog. Little E even went so far as to mention that I made a big decision without a family meeting first (fair point, but too bad), but he was happy with the result.
How do I feel now? A week into it?
The first little bit was rough I’ll be honest. After the first night I let him out of the bathroom obviously, and he made his way straight under my bed where he’s spent most of his days since. His nights? OMG. At first, he would just go eat, drink and poop then head back under the bed. So I would wake up to every sound he made since I’m a very light sleeper and he would pause his eating or drinking if I woke up and we would both freeze. I didn’t want to disturb him and he… well I couldn’t tell you what he was thinking. But after a few minutes he would continue. This would happen ALL throughout the night. So needless to say I didn’t sleep very well for the first 2-3 nights.
He also would avoid the kids at all costs. Which was sad since all they want to do is play with him. But slowly he’s coming around and now the last few nights he’s been up on bed throughout the night meowing at me to pet him and letting me brush him and purring non-stop.
Last night he FINALLY let the kids both pet him for a bit while I was reading to them. We started reading the Chronicles of Narnia as a family and Benjamin decided to join us. I promise you it made Z’s week.
So, yes. I’m glad we got him. He’s a very calm and quite cat. There’s been no scratching or biting. No poop where there shouldn’t be. Yes there’s a ton of hair everywhere, but he’s worth it. Because as I sat in bed last night with him snuggled up to me, I realized this unfortunate thought.
This is the most simple and long-standing, healthiest relationship I’ve ever had with a male. He has met more of my needs than any man ever has over the course of seven day without draining anything from me in the process. He hasn’t requested anything from me. He hadn’t left me feeling like shit. He hasn’t frustrated me. He’s made me smile. He’s given me affection. He’s kept me warm at night.
I needed this a long time ago, so I’m glad I got over my fears and did this for myself. Now I’m one less lonely girl.
-CATS/The Moments Of Happiness-