Tag Archives: cat

Cat in a Box

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It’s closing in on the end of the year. There has been a lot on my mind.

For one thing, my best friend gave me a time limit on The Challenge (https://sarahbux.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/the-challenge/). I know I haven’t really given any updates on The Challenge…

My thoughts have been… well… Define “date”.

That definition makes all the difference, really. According to some, I’ve been on a few dates since then. According to me, none of those outings were dates. But for the sake of completing the challenge I would be happy to call them dates.

The Challenge isn’t the only thing that has been on my mind, however. As a new year approaches, I cannot help but recall my New Year’s resolution for 2012. I stood in a group and requested prayer regarding my fear of relationship. Well, that is partially true. I asked for prayer regarding a specific fear – but never mentioned which one. Nonetheless, throughout the year I tried to move forward in conquering that fear.

And I thought I was doing well after I returned from Jamaica. At one point I thought to myself, I feel as if I am more ready now to be in a relationship than I ever have been before… Unfortunately, a few days later a friend of mine told me I was due for a boyfriend and I completely panicked. What do you mean I’m due? Why would I need a boyfriend? I’d rather just be single… I like being single…. Don’t tell me I’m due!

The fact is, I probably am due for a relationship. But stepping into a relationship would require stepping out of my comfortable box. My cat made himself at home tonight in a cardboard box that I have out. I feel like that picture may accurately portray my situation. Although my box is getting kind of small, and it is even starting to bust, I do not want to leave it. There is a certain level of peace inside those walls.

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Welcome Home!

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Mommy, it’s too early to shine a camera flash in my eyes!

<— I can’t imagine waking up to a cuter face. I was in Jamaica for twelve days. That’s it. My parents pick me and my friend up from the airport and give me a “welcome home” gift from two of my close friends. I drive to my apartment and find my kitty, delighted to see me, evidenced by mass quantities of cuddling and purring. I open up my refrigerator to discover more food than I could ever dream of eating by myself. I gave my brother some money and food to watch my cat and my apartment for me while I was gone and he blessed me with far more groceries than I gave him money to buy. He also shared all the stories of how miserable my cat was while I was gone and how Oreo would not let him sleep because he was not me.

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I’ve been home for four days now, and my cat is still acting ridiculously cuddly compared to usual. This is actually a beautiful thing – Jamaicans are such a warm people compared to Americans. I became accustomed to constant touch throughout the day… Hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, you name it. To have all that healthy touch ripped away from me is difficult. It sounds kind of funny, but my cat helps me cope.

Last night I went to play volleyball with some friends. At the end of the night, one of them apologized to me that everyone seemed to have paired off while I was gone. She mentioned how hard it must be to see that once I returned. She also noted how hard it must have been to go back to work after my trip.

But I don’t really feel that way. I feel pretty awesome actually. I may keep whining that I should have stayed in Jamaica [I do miss the friends I made, but mainly I whine just because I am a whiner baby.] But how many people go on vacation for less than two weeks and come back to welcome home gifts and a thousand “I missed you so much!”s from their friends? How many people return from vacation to find more food in their cupboards than when they left? How many singles come home to an animal eagerly waiting at the door for them because the house sitter just was not mommy? On the flip side, how many singles return home from vacation to an empty house with no pet to smother them with attention? How many women go on vacation and literally feel no reason to return home? How many people return home and wonder if anyone missed them at all?

I always go through a little bit of post-travel depression. I LOVE to travel, and each time I come home I wonder why I have not moved from this country yet. But it wasn’t so bad this time. This time I was too aware of how loved I am. My friends pairing off? It’s nice to see them happy. My job? There are worse jobs. I am blessed to have one that allows me these luxuries in life such as travel. Loneliness? What loneliness? God has surrounded me by people who love me. One of my new friends from Jamaica called me last night and he immediately asked me if I was okay. All I could think was, “Why wouldn’t I be okay?” No problem, Mon – life is good!

Eccentricities

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Headed for vacation (Jamaica!!!) this week, so I felt like it was time for a somewhat lighter post tonight. My big bro is coming to cat-sit for me while I’m away. Currently I am in the process of preparing my apartment for someone else to live in… In case you don’t know me, I am sort of a slob. Not to the point of “Oh, dear Lord, don’t enter that woman’s home without a gas mask!” But, I’m no Martha Stewart. There are certain things that I just don’t get around to cleaning very often…

I love to take baths, so my bathtub is cleaned quite frequently. However, my shower curtain hangs outside the bathtub during said bubble baths. While the tub gets scrubbed down, the curtain isn’t touched. Long story made short – tonight I wound up stomping out my shower curtain in a bathtub full of bleach water while wearing polka dot rainboots. How is that for a visual?

These are the moments that I chuckle to myself and realize that, if left to myself in singleness for another 20 or 40 years, my current eccentricities are going to transform me into one of those off-the-charts, crazy cat-ladies! I totally see how it happens. The quirks we all have (some of us more than others…) multiply and intensify. I’m sure I could continue with stories, but instead I am going to share a bunch of hilarious pictures I found referring to cat-ladies.  Enjoy!

This is where it begins….

 

This is where we go if we need training…

 

This is how we keep our cats from fighting with each other since we cannot send them all to separate rooms.

 

After we finally embrace our calling to be cat-ladies, the world will recognize that we are not actually crazy. We are superheroes. And we totally deserve action figures.

 

 

 

Love at First Sight

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I’ll never forget the moment we met. He held his chin high and puffed out his chest. He gazed steadily into my eyes. He looked confident. And yet I could tell he yearned for me. He looked so dignified. So refined. Even behind bars. His eyes beckoned me. This was our very first encounter. Already I was in love.

I pointed directly toward him and I begged my sister, “Let’s take him out first!”

My sister, Chrissy, was drawn toward a different cat – a calico cat sharing a cage with some others closer to where we were standing. The one I fell in love with was isolated. She gave in and we asked the worker at the SPCA to pull him out of his cage first so that we could hold him.

Oreo worked his charm like magic. He rubbed against us and he purred. He cuddled affectionately. In all reality, he practically threw himself at us. After a few minutes soaking up all the attention he gave us, I turned to my sister and said, “Okay. We can look at the other one now.”

Chrissy’s brow furrowed slightly and she decided we wouldn’t. She was the one paying for this new family pet, and she did not want to come home with five cats instead of one like we originally planned. Fearful that she wouldn’t be able to choose between the two, we skipped out on the visit with her first choice and brought Oreo home to meet his new family.

I had prayed for my ideal cat. God answered my prayers directly when he gave me Oreo.

When my sister moved out of my parents’ house, she left Oreo with us. Everyone knew he was my cat. When I moved out of my parents’ house, he came with me. Nobody could deny that he was not just the family cat – he was my baby, my love.

I cannot argue with the concept of love at first sight. I experienced it myself. However, many insinuate that “love at first sight” is the story in and of itself. Most people believe that when a story starts with love at first sight, it will always end with happily ever after. This is where I disagree.

I’ve had plenty of opportunity to stop loving my Oreo. Although he is usually very gentle – he has been known to bite me. Although I am not a morning person and I refuse to feed him until quarter to 7 each morning, he does not hesitate to waken me at quarter to 5 hoping for breakfast. And although he is not a huge talker, he will nag continuously when I am exhausted and he is hungry. Let me tell you: it is hard to love him when he has been meowing in my face for a solid hour from 5 to 6am. Although I love it when he cuddles, I do not appreciate when he jumps onto my bed and attempts to sit on my face. If I were to focus on these aspects of our relationship, I could very easily fall out of love. Love may be initiated with a single spark, but it takes some work to keep that flame burning.

He’s had just as many, if not more opportunities to stop loving me. How about when I lock him in my spare room so I can continue to sleep and forget about him so that he doesn’t get fed his breakfast until after 9am? How about last week when I kicked him in the head with my motorcycle boot? How many husbands would be eager to forgive their wives for a stunt like that? (In my defense it was a TOTAL accident! He was rubbing up against my legs when I wasn’t expecting it and I started to fall over. I kicked him while I was trying to regain my balance.) How about when we moved into my apartment and he got fleas? It took me more than a month to get rid of them! Through all of that, despite our lack of ability to verbally communicate, Oreo kept on loving me. He still crawls into bed with me each night. He still climbs into my lap after I’ve been away.

Love at first sight is just a beginning. Love that lasts is a series of continuous choices – despite the pains and heartaches every relationship encounters.

Dare to Sleep Alone?

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See how he sleeps directly in the middle of the bed?

My friend recently ended a terrible relationship. Finally. At least, I think she really means it this time… Then again, I thought it was over the first time he cheated on her. And I also thought it was over about three other times. (I won’t go into detail as to why… this is my blog, after all, not hers. I’m sure she would not appreciate me spreading her business all over the internet…) Anyway, this time I truly believe the split-up is final. Why? This time she said, “I have slept like crap all week. I know it is going to take me a while to get used to sleeping alone again.”

Yup – they are done. I could relate completely. She was not talking about the sex. She was explaining the way she cuddled into him while she slept. She curled up into his side each night. How does a Cat Lady respond?

“I know exactly what you are talking about. I don’t sleep as well without Oreo.”

I remember sharing a bed with my sister while I was young when we slept in hotels. I hated it. Every move she made bothered me. If she dared cross that invisible line which centered the bed I grumbled her name and shoved her aside. Is her arm inching toward me? Swat! Not anymore… If she slept through my violent complaints, then I laid awake staring at the ceiling, fuming. At times I even crawled out of bed to sit on the floor (where I was safe from any unwanted physical contact) so I could vent the rage such sleep-deprivation caused. As if the fear of her accidental touch wasn’t enough – she also snores! At a young age I adamantly declared, “I do NOT sleep well with others!”

What would I do if I ever get married? We’d sleep Ricky and Lucy style! Case closed.

Ricky and Lucy Beds

Then God gave me Oreo. After my old cat died, I prayed for a new cat that liked me best. I did not want to fight my family for his attention. I wanted to be favored. Although my prayer was completely self-centered, God answered it. It was quickly evident that I was Oreo’s favorite.

How he survived kittenhood, I will never know. Each night I scooped up that 2 pound pile of fur and carried him off to bed. Each morning I woke up completely on top of him. I’m somewhat amazed I never found him crushed. I would reach under the covers and pull him out. Although sleeping directly underneath someone who is 50 or 100 times your size does not sound terribly comfortable, it must be. Or at least it must be for a cat. How do I know? I know because when I moved to the side, he stayed where he was (no matter how dangerous the situation seemed to me) and because I always found him purring.

Nonetheless, Oreo now weighs 14 pounds rather than 2. Although a 14-pound critter still sounds small in comparison to a grown human, I assure you he is not small. You see, Oreo still sleeps with me. Somehow that little beast rules the vast majority of my bed each night. The tables have turned. I no longer wake up to find him pinned down beneath my weight. Instead I wake up unable to turn over because he is sleeping on top of my legs. Or I only have half of the sheet. He is hogging the remainder in a corner. Maybe I wake due to a numbing sensation in my arm since my arm is currently his body pillow. No matter the situation, one thing is always clear. When I go to sleep, Oreo will make his presence known through the “art of cuddle”.

Although I pretend his bed-hogging is bothersome, I truly love it. Oreo has transformed my anti-touch sleeping philosophy. Now I struggle to sleep alone. I prefer to drive for a half hour at 2am to sleep in my own bed with my own cat than to spend a night at my parents. If I am at home and he is dozing in the living room I often seek him out and drag him to bed. I just don’t sleep as well without him. There is something about a feline snuggled against my side that gives me peace as I snooze.

As my friend explained her current conflict, I nodded with true appreciation. When you are not accustomed to it, it really is hard to sleep alone. Whether you are newly divorced or recently widowed, whether you were dumped by your sweetheart or you cut off sleeping arrangements due to moral convictions, whether your pet died or your stuffed animal was stolen – I wrote this blog to encourage you. You will get through this. The fear of lonely sleeping can be conquered. Or if all else fails and after months you still cannot sleep alone – buy a cat. Take a trip to the SPCA and claim an adorable new sleeping companion. You won’t regret it.