June 29, 2003
I think I have a cat

Or at least, I share one. There's this large black-and-white beastie -- I'm guessing male, based on the size -- that I've seen hanging around the building the last month or so. It bears an uncanny resemblance to Kevin Drum's Inkblot. (Inkblot hasn't gone missing lately, has he?)

About a week ago it appeared on my balcony, staring intently at the birds that like to perch on the outdoor light. On a whim I opened the sliding door, and in it came. It wandered around in that agitated way of cats in new places, sniffing and rubbing its face against everything. It seemed hungry so I fed it some milk, which it eagerly lapped up. It let me pet it and eventually started purring, though it never really settled down.

After a short visit it took off, and I thought maybe it went back to its real servant -- er, owner. But yesterday it came by again, and today it's here again. It's out on the balcony now, in fact, and isn't leaving.

I miss having a cat. I had a cat that I knew literally its whole life -- we owned his mother, and I watched him be born. I miss the furriness, the cuddliness, the hedonism, the devotion, even the inexplicable behaviors, like how he used to get in the bathtub and yowl at nothing. Cats remind you that how you perceive the world is just one of many possible ways.

Seven years ago my cat died after a long decline from kidney failure. I haven't gotten a cat since then partly because I've been living in apartments that don't allow pets (though I don't think that applies here, since at least one neighbor has a dog), but also because the responsibility feels so daunting. By the time my cat died I was his sole caretaker; he had never known life without me, and I was his whole world. It was the closest I've yet come to having a child, I guess. So it's nice having this new cat visit, but what if it decides to adopt me? Am I ready for that?

Posted by Camassia at June 29, 2003 08:45 PM | TrackBack
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