Fluff article: On cats

I filed this under “Half-assed hobbies,” but cat appreciation is probably my best developed one. Since my dad hates dogs, we had cats growing up. Since my dad also thinks that it’s filthy and barbaric to keep animals in the house, they were all outside barn cats. Having an indoor cat is most likely my longest-cherished ambition, which is probably a sad commentary on my sense of ambition, but shut up, I was, like, eight.

I think I mentioned that I might be adopting a cat from a friend of the family who’s passed away, but about a month and a half later, I have not heard a single word from them. Which might be just as well, because there are already four cats in this house, belonging to the roomie, and a 15-year-old cat might not make the transition well. Plus, I’m probably too poor to keep a cat of my own yet.

It was a bit of an adjustment, going from no indoor cats to four, but I have much cat mojo. Plus I shut them out of my room at night because I tend to flop around in my sleep and that might not end well. Also, this is what my bed looks like on an average day.

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Twin bed + three cats = another reason that might not end well.

Goober Cat and I were bros from day one. It lost its charm pretty quickly because he’s the type who’s all up in your grill, and that is not what I want in a cat. But he’s a huge cuddlebucket, which was pretty nice when I feel depressed and/or cold. He looooves to play, especially when no one else wants to, and he’s a catnip junkie. He’s also a foster, and I don’t know if that’s a relief or not. I’m not really how much I’ll miss him, when he’s not in my face or shedding on everything I own. Getting him fixed will probably solve a few problems, and he’s only about a year old, so maybe maturity will mellow him out.

I don’t have a good picture of him alone, because every time I try he goes “Hands! I love hands! And there’s a thing in your hands! Imma push my face in it!” He’s the orange one in the middle up there.

Cat Burglar and I were also bros from day one, but she’s a little less clingy than Goober Cat. She still has to investigate everything I’m doing, especially when I’m cooking or eating — though at least she doesn’t beg or steal food. She just wants to see what I’m doing and rub her face on my hands or the handle of the utensil. She also likes to push open doors that aren’t completely latched, hence her nickname. Unfortunately, the bathroom door handle is old and doesn’t shut completely. It was super awkward until I filled a plastic tub with dirt to use as a doorstop. And I totally sing-songed “I got a jar of di-irt” to her the first day I started using it.

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Big Cat is the one I would steal if I had any inclination to steal my roomie’s cats. He’s a big old mellow thing, and I love those things. He’ll cuddle pretty often, and he’s usually content to curl up and not poke his nose in everything I’m trying to do. He doesn’t start any shit like Goober Cat, either. But he does like to follow you into the bathroom and watch, which I find creepy. At least he takes it well when I shut the door in his face.

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The last, Bitchface, and I are not really bros, but we tolerate each other easily, meaning I know how to not piss her off. It’s not that hard: just leave her the hell alone. Every once in a while I can stroke her head once or twice if I’m polite and let her smell my hand first, but she has a well-defined sense of personal space, and I can respect that. She hates Goober Cat with the intensity of a thousand suns, probably in part because he has absolutely no sense of personal space. Thankfully she’s not really aggressive, just defensive. Maybe we can eventually become bros, or maybe we’ll just stay nodding acquaintances, just as long as I don’t get mauled.

It’s pretty helpful for figuring how what my dynamic with my own cat would be and what I should look for in an adoptee. I’ll probably get some old, mellow thing. My favorites when I volunteer at the SPCA tend to be the mellow ones, and the older ones are the mellower. Though my sense of cheapskatedness leads me to debate the merits of paying a near-$100 adoption fee over surfing the classifieds to find a free one.

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