No One Told Me My Late 30s Would Be Like This

Me: this is where I’m going tonight in case they kill me.
My friend: Who’s this? Someone from tinder?
Me: the cat that’s up for grabs!

I have a strange relationship with cats that has gone from hate to love. Growing up I had all kinds of animals except dogs or cats because my mother said she had enough work cleaning after me (true fact: my seasonal hair loss and shedding has always been out of control). A few years ago I (gag) dated a butch who had three cats. I knew we wouldn’t last long the night I asked her to close her bedroom door to leave the cats out and she didn’t. She explained the cats would suffer if they had to sleep outside. Barf. Yes, the cats slept in her bedroom, in her bed, while I was there and I still can hear myself asking my friends: “a cat before a femme?! What’s the world coming to?!” One of the cats would be on a pillow licking the butch’s hair, another one would be at her feet, and a third cat took pleasure in giving me the creeps. She would sit on top of a radiator by my side of the bed and stare at me while I spent half of the night covering my head with the sheets thinking she surely was one of Stephen King’s cats, waiting till I fell asleep to eat my face off. The cats weren’t up to date with their vaccines and God knows what else, so you’ll understand why I spent the other half of the night thinking about lyme disease. Today I can laugh about it, but back then it was a deal breaker. I mean, it’s still a deal breaker: I won’t date someone who doesn’t take care of their pets.

Being a neat freak, I suffer when I go to someone’s house and see an animal that needs a haircut, their nails to be cut, to lose or gain some weight and other things that clearly indicate neglect. What does animal neglect have to do with cleanliness? Well usually when a cat is unkempt, the owner’s place is a mess. I’m still traumatized by the time I went to this butch’s house for dinner. It was a second date and she was cooking for me to impress me. Her cat jumped on a table in front of me putting her butt right in front of my eyes. Her unkempt, hairy, poop filled butthole is forever burned in my retinas. The dirt in that kitchen and living room’s floor, too.

I stopped seeing cats as disease carriers gradually, by spending time around well groomed cats and a couple of Thanksgiving weekends at one of my friends’. I slept in their solarium, which was totally cool because I was going through a Twilight phase (in case you haven’t heard, I’m crazy and here is proof). As I fell asleep the first night, I felt something jumping on my feet. I jumped startled and, when I looked down fearing a melon head had broken and entered the house, saw an equally surprised cat running away. But she came back. That cute, delicate, sweet little furry thing came back to sleep with me that and many other nights. She didn’t bite or bother me at all.

Fast forward to earlier this month when I was left in charge of the most adorable kitten ever (see pics below). I kept the cat alive for four days. I didn’t see any vomit or hair balls. I totally fell in love with her. And I am now leaning towards a YES! I can afford a cat. YES! I can move around some furniture in the living room to make room for a bed and a separate play area. YES! I can get one of those self-scooping litterboxes and clean it with latex gloves twice a week. YES! I can give the cat the time and attention they deserve. YES! I will be less of a slut to make sure the cat is fed every night (I mean, I’m no Mother Theresa. All I have to do is host or tell my date I’ll be 20 mins late). And I’m officially looking for a black cat through friends/acquaintances, Craigslist and local no-kill rescue groups and shelters (though the latter give me the jeebies with their 6-page applications and application process, do they want a pap smears when I present the paperwork too?)

Adventures in cat-sitting

First day – someone is hangry

2nd day – happy birthday! (couldn’t pull off a quinceañera party on such short notice)

2nd or 3rd feeding – she’s over me and doesn’t like watermelon

Kitten’s first 4th of July

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