My cats and I have been together for a long time. I’ve had my gray tabby, Bubba Lee Kinsey, for nearly 12 years, and I’ve had my calico, Phoenix, for nearly five. As happens in any long-term relationship, there are days when I adore my cats and want to shower them with feather toys and fresh salmon — and there are other days when they drive me crazy and I would just as soon not even look at them.
Here are six reasons why I fall in and out of love with my cats, sometimes on a daily basis.
Sometimes, after a long day of staring at a computer for money, I just want to sit. I want to stare at the trees rustling outside the window and be in the moment, leaving behind all of the deadlines and job tickets and Facebook notifications that take precedence in the windowless cube where I spend eight hours each day.
Unfortunately, my cats aren’t having it. They want food or attention or just to sit on the coffee table and scream in my face, apparently. I always try to give them what they need, but in these moments, I wish they would go take one of their epic eight-hour naps and leave me alone for a while.
Another unsavory aspect of sitting in a cube and staring at a computer all day is, of course, the lack of socialization. By the end of the day, I feel rigid and feral, ready to lash out at anyone who approaches too quickly. If I had it my way, I’d hole up in my apartment and eat Pop Tarts in my underwear all night.
Fortunately, my cats aren’t having it. They force me to give them food and attention, and they reward me by sitting on my lap and purring. It’s the fastest route back to feeling human again.
I can handle the occasional hairball, but sometimes it seems my cats’ vomit placement is downright malicious. The other day, I came home and found a wet glob in my bed that had soaked through the sheets and stained the mattress. The rug in my living room is basically ruined; I keep it around only because the cats seem to prefer vomiting on it to any other surface in the house. If I can keep the windowsills and coffee table clean, that’s worth having to stare at a gross rug every day.
Sometimes I’d just rather not step in a still-warm goober of extruded food pellets first thing in the morning, thankyouverymuch.
Sometimes I just sit and stare at my cats, because I am, quite simply, in awe of them. I love their pink and gray toes and their perky little eyelashes. I love the way their ears turn toward my voice when I say their names. I love their spotted lips and pink tongues, and I love their fluffy bellies, which are excellent for motorboating. I love watching their pupils widen and contract as the light changes (or their level of excitement, for that matter). Their insane good looks blow my mind.
Nothing will get you on my black list faster than waking me up mid-REM cycle. Somehow, after more than a decade, Bubba Lee Kinsey still has not grasped that a midnight headbutt, complete with a cold, wet nose to the cheek, is not a welcome show of affection.
Phoenix, meanwhile, seems unaware that she is not starving when she wakes me up at 5 a.m. to be fed. The urgency and annoyance factor of her incessant meows occasionally reaches neighbor’s-car-alarm level. I love my cats, yes ÔÇª but sometimes I love sleeping more.
When I sit down on the patio after work, Phoenix always follows. She jumps onto my lap and purrs while kneading my stomach, not wanting anything more than to be with me. It is, without question, one of the best parts of my day.
How about you? What drives you crazy — in good ways or bad — about your kitties? Let us know in the comments!
About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.
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