I fought long and hard against the forever alone single gal with her cats stereotype. That would not be me. No way, no how. Don’t get me wrong. I love animals. All kinds. If it’s fluffy? I’m sold. But crazy cat lady? I’ve met those people. I will not be those people. I am hip, single, city-loving girl about town! And hip, single, city-loving girls about town cannot be the crazy cat lady. It ruins their street cred.
That all went out the window when I started following the Indianapolis Humane Society on Twitter and Facebook. They’re ruthless. Imagine Angry Birds, but instead of birds, furry little cats and dogs. And instead of rocks and houses to knock over, they’re aimed directly at your heart. Honestly, these people have no shame. No sense of decency.
So, I start browsing. Time/energy commitment-wise I’m not ready for a dog. I love dogs. When I was 7 the best dog in the whole world found my family. Dude lived 17 years. He was fantastic. In college my parents left the house to go get a black lab. They came home with him. (he was much smaller at the time) He is is also fantastic. I mean, look at those eyebrows. My point is, I love dogs. But I’m not in the position for a dog at the moment.
So, cats. I started browsing cats. And then May came around and did you know May is Adopt a Cat Month? And did you know that during May cats 3 and older were on sale? True story.
I found my cat. I showed my friends. “I’m going to adopt him! Isn’t he great?!” The initial response was, “I don’t know, Shireen. He looks like he’d watch you sleep.” To which I said, “Yes! Like Sparkles! We’ll get him a tiny rocking chair and a copy of Weathering Heights. He’ll love it!”
Internets, I present unto you my furry sleep watcher, Westley (the artist formerly known as Checkers):
I was told he’d be skittish. He was in the de-stress lounge for the past month. He’d spent the better part of his five kitty years outside. He is not the cat you dress up. He is not the cat you pick up and hold like a baby. He hid for 21 days at the shelter, so he’ll probably hide for a very long time at the Apartminium, they said. Go slow and you’ll be fine, they said.
He cried all the way home. Sad, plaintive, polite, “MROW.” I turned on Mumford and Sons. He stopped crying. I took the box of crying cat up to the Apartminium. He hid for an hour. (I will give credit to Feliway pheromone plug in for making him less stressed. It totally works.)
After his hour hiding under my bed he came out and you know what I learned? I had adopted the world’s most cuddly cat. I was lied to. Because this cat? If he could spend 90% of his time sitting on my lap? He totally would. I was sold a cuddler disguised as a grump.
It’s been a month. A mostly quiet month, save for the past few days (more on that later). And I’ve learned that, “If you go slow, he’ll be fine,” will be engraved on his little kitty gravestone. I’ve learned that his meow is more of a mrow and is always polite. Even under duress. I’ve learned that we headbutt for love. I’ve learned that he follows my hands like a crack addict follows their dealer when in need of a hit. Seriously, I think that if he just had my hands to scratch him he’d be okay without my fluffy bits to knead. I’ve learned that if he can, he prefers to be touching me.
I also learned that much like I can talk about my new job like a newlywed, I can also talk about my cat like a new mother.
But I think we’ll be good, this furry little cuddler and I. Just no one tell him that when I was little I cut our cat’s whiskers off on one side of her face. Apparently she kept running into walls after that.
She was a good cat.
I’m officially the crazy cat lady.