The day after I got engaged, I got a lot of funny looks. Word spread like wildfire that my then-boyfriend and I had finally made it official (we worked in the same office, so most people had inevitably asked, “Are you two EVER going to get married?”), and before 10 a.m., I found my desk flooded by coworkers foaming at the mouth for romantic details. Once I got into the kitty-gritty of it all, the foaming ebbed down to a bored drool.
Truth be told though, it was perfect for us. It was our anniversary, April Fool’s Day, and we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant called — wait for it — the Hungry Cat.
After a delicious but slightly awkward meal (my boyfriend was uncharacteristically fidgety) surrounded by cat art and cat portraits, we went home and settled in for a quiet and contented night … or so I assumed.
I toddled into our bedroom and opened my laptop to play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook while my boyfriend messed around with something (I thought the garbage) in the kitchen.
After a few minutes he came in and chatted with me as I mumbled “uh-huh” and “yeah” while I played my game. At some point our cat Brandy trotted into the room and sat down on the floor, waiting to be adored.
It was at this point that things got a little blurry. Peripherally, I heard my boyfriend say, “Well, Brandy’s here to witness, so I guess it’s time.” Before I could say, “Time for what?” he was down on one knee in our tiny bedroom with a little black box opened, revealing a sparkly diamond ring.
Brandy looked on, meowed for attention, and hopped up on the bed to demand scratches from me.
That moment was perfect. My little family was all together, it was simple, earnest and heartfelt, and my boyfriend had heeded the warning I’d given him a while ago, “All I need is you and my cat. If you ask me to marry you in a place where people might applaud I will punish you.”
A lot of people were and are disappointed that there was no grand gesture or Jumbotron, but it was exactly the way we do things: with our cat.
You see, we are THOSE people. We are the people who consider our cats in most of our decisions.
When we started to piece together our wedding registry, we made sure to remember the kitties: “Brandy and Tails will like this comforter, don’t you think? Cat hammock? Yes please! Oooh! We can ask for the cat tower we’ve always wanted!”
The cake lady at our wedding refused to make a cat-shaped wedding cake — something about how eating your cat was too creepy — so we incorporated paw prints traipsing across the groom’s cake.
In looking for ideal honeymoon spots, we always investigate cat-related places to go. We have yet to go on our official honeymoon, but for our “mini moon” we visited Key West and Ernest Hemingway’s cat-covered house. The whole time we were there we giggled to ourselves how much Brandy would like the bed or Tails would enjoy the dining room table.
A lot of people think we’re nutty bananas. For every Christmas or birthday we’ve spent together, I’ve designed and made “Brandy wear” — and now “Tailsy wear” — for my husband. He is now the proud owner of more than a dozen custom cat T-shirts and sweatshirts. I get such glee from the double-takes many of the shirts have garnered over the years.
“Is that … your … CAT?” people ask when confronted with my husband wearing a T-shirt with the image of Brandy sitting on a throne atop a pile of skulls. “It’s her natural state,” he likes to answer.
I know I’m lucky to have found someone who is as devoted to the kitties as I am. My husband is the only person I know who doesn’t give me the side eye when I absentmindedly mutter that I wish our cats could be with us on vacation. When I talk to my cats like people, the only way I know how, he’s never once made me feel like a crazy lady.
In fact, when Brandy gets on her meowing jags at dawn, Alex is the one I hear having reasoning, then imploring, then pleading sessions with her to, “PLEASE LET US SLEEP! PLEEAAASE! WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU?” Never does he raise a hand to her, never does he treat her like “just a cat”.
Our first wedding anniversary is coming up this fall. I have a plethora of kitty-themed gift ideas bouncing around in my head for my husband. Since it’s a big one, I’ll probably go fancy. I’m thinking Brandy and Tails satin pillowcases.
Do you share big moments like these with your cat? Let us know in the comments!
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