After four years of struggling to find a job, I finally have one — and I’m considering quitting before I’ve even started! I’m guilty of some super-irrational thinking when it comes to my cat, Nessie. I’m terrified of starting my first job at age 26, but I’m mostly worried for my cat’s sake.
I have had her for two years, and she’s been my saving grace through all my struggles. Since I got her, we haven’t been separated for more than a few hours, except for the odd weekend with friends (which has also stopped due to me being a chronic worrier). And I’m not exaggerating when I say I love her more than life itself. In fact, I love my cat more than I love most people.
Now that I’ll be working, I will be separated from her all day, every day, and I’m not sure who’s going to struggle the most with the new routine. Luckily, I can cut down on some travel time, because my new place of work is less than 20 minutes from my home. My mom reckons my cat baby will be fine while I’m away and will spend her time happily snoozing the day away. I’m not entirely so sure of that.
I met my fur child when I went with my dad to collect some pigeon supplies at the pet store. That’s when I saw her in a cage with one other kitty. She was a tiny, terrified little thing, hissing and spitting at everyone. She stole my heart.
The lady at the counter told us she had a disability and no one really wanted her. She was hiding most of the time, so we couldn’t see what was wrong. I wanted to take her home with me no matter what. I couldn’t bear seeing her in that cage, terrified. My dad, however, is a pigeon fancier and very averse to cats. I thought about her day and night.
A week later, we went back for more supplies and there she was, this time all alone. That’s when we saw that she was born without a front leg. I begged my dad to let me take her home. I needed his permission, because I still live at home. Surprisingly, he was also taken with her. I think it was God’s way of saving both Nessie and I, because I was majorly depressed at the time.
After discussing it, he told the shop assistant that we would come fetch her after work. I was overjoyed!
We made it back there just as they were closing. And when she was put in my arms, my whole world became brighter. Despite her shy and scared demeanor, she slowly but surely warmed up to me, and only me. She tolerates my mom’s presence but completely distrusts my dad. But when she was still a kitten, she’d climb onto his lap to get to his plate of food. My dad handles her rejection fairly well and still tries to make conversation with her while she hides around corners. It’s really funny to watch.
The only person she has any real relationship with is me. And now I’m going to be away the whole day. I feel like a bad mother for leaving her to her own devices. And seeing that my mom has an obsession with open windows and doors, and we only have screens on some windows, my strictly indoor kitty is going to be confined to my bedroom all day until the weather cools down. She won’t have much to entertain her.
I really need this job to get on my feet and provide both myself and my cat with the life we deserve. My dream is to buy a house where my cat has her own playroom with floor-to-ceiling windows covered with screens, and an indoor garden with a little water feature so that she has a safe taste of the great outdoors. Quitting is not an option; besides, I have to work to afford to finish my studies in psychology.
How do I make the transition easier for both of us? I can already picture myself in tears in the office bathroom, mascara streaming down my face, because I miss my cat. And I can already imagine my cat thinking that I have abandoned her and that I don’t love her anymore. The thought breaks my heart. She’s my first cat, so I don’t really know how well cats deal with change, especially a cat who is very attached to me and generally antisocial.
Is there anyone who can put my mind to rest and help me from feeling so guilty about working full-time? Any suggestions on how to make the transition as painless as possible for both of us would be greatly appreciated.
Craving_Catnip is the pseudonym of a wage slave who wishes to remain anonymous so her new boss doesn’t find out that she’d rather be at home with her kitty.
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