I’m sure you’ve heard those stories about twins who were separated at birth and then reunited years later. They discover that they have all these things in common. They both like rocky road ice cream, for instance. Or they both had a lime-green 1972 Dodge Dart as their first car. Or they both had the exact same picture of Rick Springfield on their walls. (For those of you in the younger set, Rick Springfield was a little like Harry Styles, only way cooler.)
Anyway, that’s kind of how my cat Abby and I are. Obviously we weren’t actually separated at birth because, well, we’re different species and all. Also, she’s 13 and I’m (cough) slightly older (hence the Rick Springfield reference). But I can’t help but wonder if maybe we were twins in, like, a previous life. Then one of us was reincarnated as a lower life form and the other was reincarnated as a cat.
Why are you looking at the screen like that? It could happen.
Okay, okay, I understand why you might be skeptical. But just hear me out.
Abby isn’t the kind of cat who always wants to be around you. She’ll go off by herself for hours at a time. Other people might find that insulting or feel that their cat doesn’t love them. But I totally get it. Too much interpersonal interaction makes me tired, too, and all I want to do is curl up in a sun puddle and have everyone just leave me the heck alone. Unfortunately, this seems to be a lot easier for a cat to get away with than a human.
True story: I once yelled at my husband in a Home Depot for not liking the drawer pulls that I liked. Luckily, he recognized the symptoms of Hunger Rage (even though I didn’t) and fed me instead of divorcing me. Abby suffers from the same disorder. Dinnertime for the cats is usually signaled by Abby chasing our boy cat Smudge down the hall. Sometimes, however, if she’s weakened by her hunger, she just smacks him on the head. Smudge, like my husband, never seems to take it personally and Abby, like me, magically returns to her normal pleasant self when her tummy is full.
Is it just me or do most people LOVE to hug? “Oh, I just met you … let’s hug!” Or, “I know we’re coworkers and we never hug in the office but since it’s happy hour … let’s hug!” Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert, but I really would prefer that most people outside my immediate family respect my personal space bubble. Abby totally understands this. Whereas you can pick up Smudge and hug him and kiss him to your heart’s content, Abby is all, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Have you lost your ever-lovin’ mind?” Petting is fine (on her terms) but picking her up and hugging is out of the question. Unless, you know, you have a death wish or something.
Yes, I know a lot of people and cats are this way. But what makes Abby and I so similar is our response to change. First, we deny change is coming. (I see you have the cat carrier out. That cannot possibly mean a vet visit is in the near future.) Then, we complain about the change. (Oh, no, you did NOT just put the cat carrier in the car to drive me to the vet! You are SO going to pay for this!) Then we negotiate about the change. (So here we are at the vet. Okay, that’s cool. Have I told you how much I love you lately? I will totally let you hug me if we leave right now.) Finally, we accept the change. (Well, what do you know? The vet has a really nice window to look out of. Guess I might as well enjoy the view!)
Sure, we both might be introverts. And sure, we may not let just anyone into our personal space bubbles. But when we do let you in, we’re going to make sure you know just how much we love you. Abby, for instance, will suddenly emerge from her fortress of solitude and announce that, by golly, she has missed the crap out of you. She emits this adorable little squeak, her tail forms into that cool question-mark shape, she purrs loudly, gives you a quick headbutt, and there can be no doubt that you are loved with 100 percent of her little feline heart. As for me, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of the question-mark tail, but I do a pretty good job with the purring. I think the hubby is a little put off when I headbutt him, though.
Your turn: How are you and your kitty alike? Tell us in the comments!
About the Author: Amber Carlton is owned by two cats and two dogs (all rescues), and is affectionately (?) known as the crazy pet lady amongst her friends and family. She and her husband (the crazy pet man) live in colorful Colorado where they enjoy hiking, biking and camping. Amber owns Comma Hound Copywriting and also acts as typist and assistant for Mayzie’s Dog Blog. She encourages other crazy pet people to connect with her on Twitter or Facebook.