PART ONE: ORIGINS
A strange phenomenon has taken over my body during the past few weeks. It’s a feeling I have never felt before and something I previously thought I was totally immune to. That’s right, I’m talking about baby fever! But with cats. So … kitty fever. Let me explain.
Historically, there are two things I have been utterly opposed to: kids and cats. It’s not that I hate children per se, I just don’t like to be around them, talk about them, look at pictures of them, buy stuff for them, cater to their needs … you get the point. But your kid is totally cute! Don’t get me wrong. I’ve actually come a long way since my 20’s and don’t automatically flee the room now when the subject of kids come up. This is partly because everyone I know has kids so it is physically impossible to go an entire day without discussing them in some fashion, and partly because I learned long ago that no one will suspect I’m a robot if I pretend to be interested in children. Cats on the other hand? Hell no, those things are evil!
Every time I looked a cat in the eye I was sure it stealing a piece of my soul and plotting a way to kill me. They seemed so unpredictable, aloof, disloyal, and downright scary to me. I’ve had a few bad experiences with cats, and I’ve just never felt comfortable around them. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a recurring nightmare where I’m being viciously attacked by a cat. Not a jungle cat, a house cat. I’m not joking. So, when all of a sudden I found myself drawn to cat videos, I began to wonder if psychosis was finally setting in.
A while ago, Gary and I started watching this show called My Cat From Hell. At first, I liked watching it because it confirmed what I already knew: cats were demons sent from hell to torture us here on earth. But recently, something different happened. I started taking the hellcats’ sides. Gary and I would find ourselves shouting at the TV: “Well of course Mr. Fluff is going to scratch you, he doesn’t have anywhere to perch so he can survey the room and feel secure!” and “No wonder Scout is peeing on your carpet, you haven’t changed her litter box in two weeks! How would you like it if no one flushed your toilet for two weeks?!” I started to realize that the negative cat behaviors I had witnessed in the past were not indicative of how it had to be. All of their problems could be easily fixed if you just learned how to “think cat” as Jackson Galaxy says (no, I can’t believe I just typed that either).
Then I started watching the occasional cat video. It started innocently enough with this video on a friend’s Facebook page:
I mean, come on! How cute is that?!
Then I started thinking stuff like this was funny:
Well, that is funny, I don’t care who you ask!
I’ve also had Katy Perry’s “Roar” stuck in my head on repeat for a month. I’m not sure if this is just a coincidence, but since cats have mind-control over all of us … I’m sure it was planned.
PART TWO: METAMORPHOSIS
But then, things took a turn. A slight interest turned into a physical longing that consumed me day and night. I wanted a cat, I needed a cat, and I didn’t care what I had to do to get one. I imagine this is the same feeling human women have when they decide they want to have a baby. I finally got it! Shit got real.
With my mind made up, I set out on a mission to find the perfect breed of cat for us. I needed to do research. Well, that was my excuse anyway. I spent hours online every night watching cat videos, reading about different breeds of cats, imagining what I needed in a cat companion to be happy. One night after dinner, Gary went upstairs to play video games and I told him I’d be right up after I did the dishes. I lied. I quickly did the dishes and then jumped on my laptop to start my nightly cat video binge. In what seemed like just a few minutes, he came downstairs to find me in the dark slumped over my computer half-asleep with an entire queue of kitty videos in my wake. It was almost midnight and way past my school-night bedtime. He looked at me like he had just discovered me in the bathroom with a needle hanging out of my arm and a broken spoon in the sink. Deep down I knew I had a problem, but I wasn’t ready to stop.
The moment of truth had arrived. After my extensive research I had found the perfect cat for us, a breed called the Ragdoll. They are docile, loving and like to follow their owners around from room to room. They grow to be between 15-20 pounds, which Gary likes because to him it’s almost like having a dog. We found a breeder and contacted her to see what she had available. We knew we wanted a Ragdoll, but other than that we weren’t picky. As long as she had a 7-week old male seal point bi-color mitted Ragdoll, with blue eyes and an inquisitive gaze, who looked like his name should be Napoleon, within a 15-mile radius of our apartment, we would be totally happy. And guess what? That’s exactly what she had! It was fate! She sent us a picture and we immediately fell in love with the little guy.
Since we’ve found Napoleon, I have been on a total kitty high. I bombard Gary every night with incessant chatter about the new Ragdoll facts I learned that day, pondering what our kitty’s personality will be like, and listing off all of of the things we need to do to prepare. I’ve had insomnia for three weeks straight because I’m just too excited to sleep. Going to Disneyland as a child pales in comparison to getting a kitty!
PART THREE: DEVOTION
Now that we’re going to be new parents, the preparations have started. We bring home our new little bundle of joy in just 4 weeks! That is not nearly enough time for a neurotic first-time mom like me to prepare. Since sending in our deposit check, I’ve started to freak out and realize that I know nothing about raising a kitty. I’m worried I will do something wrong in those first few weeks that will scar him for life. He’ll end up running away at age 5, living on the street by age 6, and in prison by age 8. I can’t imagine the guilt I will feel then. I’ve been scouring the internet every day looking for What To Expect When You’re Expecting … A Kitty.
There have been a few nights I’ve come home in a panic telling Gary that this is going to be harder than I thought. I’m not sure we’re up for it. What if I’m not cut out to be a mom? He assures me that everything will be OK. We don’t have to be perfect; our parents weren’t and we turned out just fine (depending on who you ask). It’s times like these I’m happy I have such a loving, supporting husband (who doesn’t think I’m crazy because in case you people forgot, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A CAT).
With my fears assuaged I’ve moved into nesting mode. The apartment needs to be cleaned and kitty-proofed. Supplies need to be bought. The “safe room” needs to be prepared. Acupuncture sessions need to be initiated. High-tech vacuums and air purifiers need to be purchased. Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m deathly allergic to cats? Yeah, there’s that one minor detail I ignored when my hormone-fueled body was on full kitty alert. Now you know how serious this really is. I’m willing to have tiny needles stuck in my body and spend thousands of dollars just so I can clean more effectively, all to have little Napoleon join our family. But as most of you know, a mother’s love knows no bounds.
Sometimes Gary thinks I’m going a little overboard because I want to, say … watch product reviews for hours on end to find the best type of litter box or cat brush for Napoleon. That’s when I say “hey, if we are going to have this baby … I mean kitty, then I need to know you are as committed as I am to raising him right.” Then I show him Napoleon’s picture again. He says “yes dear,” and tells me he thinks the Rakom Grooming Tool Three Row Rake brush looks awesome.
p.s. I apologize is this post seems more disjointed than usual; every time I paused to look for media to insert I got caught up watching a few (hours of) cat videos.