OK, I am the Cat Lady -- koo-koo
December 11, 2008 | Sometimes she perches regally on
my red-cushioned pine chair as if it were made just
for her, her endless fur leaving its remnants when she
leaves. She often retreats to the windowsill, where
she'll chirp at swirling autumn leaves that ride on
a harsh gust of wind. A storm is impending, and she
has no idea what's going on, so she keeps chirping with
curiosity. Her almond eyes catch a glint of auburn autumn
light and reflect a deep yellow green. I want to let
her out, but I'm afraid - she's too young; she's not
Am I acting like my cat is a human baby? Yes, sometimes
I forget she's a cat. For some reason when I got her,
my maternal instincts jumped out and caused a riot to
protect my little creature. Maybe it was because my
friend's family rescued her from the verge of death,
and I had the big responsibility of taking her under
I had never had a cat before, or any indoor pet for
that matter. I had a rabbit for a long time and loved
him, but rabbits are wild creatures, and he didn't like
to be held when he got older. Plus, we kept them in
cages outside year-round. Is that really a happy life
for any animal?
When I got Pippin, I didn't know what to do with her.
I had wanted a cat since I was 4 years old, and the
desire had become stronger the summer I got her. I wasn't
supposed to have her, according to the folks at Re-Max
West, but I didn't care because life is short, the place
was a dump, and my landlord was an idiot. (Really.)
But I wasn't quite sure how to handle this 5-week-old
tiny puffball with the little tail that poked straight
out. She drove me nuts and clawed my skin off, but she
was friendly, innocent, and loving. And of course, I
immediately loved her. But how was I supposed to raise
a cat in this world? Was I supposed to be with her all
the time? What if she becomes emotionally scarred because
I was gone a lot? I actually began to have anxiety attacks.
I had to remind myself she wasn't a human. She was just
a cat. Cats are resilient creatures, and even kittens
are self-sufficient. She just needed love, warmth, and
food, and she'd be good. She didn't need me to be emotionally
and physically available all the time. In fact, I'm
pretty sure all she wanted to do was climb and play
all the time.
Months have passed, and she is so big now! She still
loves to play and jumps frantically at the wave of a
shoestring, but she is more gorgeous than cute. She
makes funny little noises that sound like whispers whenever
I say "hey" to her. And every morning without fail,
she cries outside my door for me to wake up. When I
open the door, she pounces on me, I pick her up, and
she licks my face like a dog. (Who needs exfoliation
when you have a cat tongue licking you all the time?)
Her fur is impossibly soft, the color of a dry winter
landscape. Long stripes of black are marbled with dusty
grays and brown, and tufts of white and tan jut out
from her chest, as if to frame her little round head
perfectly. The sad thing is, this little creature doesn't
fully comprehend my love for her.
Some people think I'm obsessed, but I try not to be.
I am not the cat lady.
I want to let her out more, but the black kitten next
door doesn't receive her friendliness very well at all.
I try to tell him she's beautiful, and why in the world
won't he be her friend! But he hisses on. I still need
to get her "fixed" and get her shots done, and I am
dreading the day. That's the main reason I don't let
her out very much. She needs more defense. Until then,
I think she'll be content staying in, especially now
that it's so cold. Luckily, cats have been domesticated
since ancient Egyptian times, so I don't feel too bad.