I want to start this one by declaring that I am not destined to become a crazy cat lady. The voices in my head would never allow it.
I do love cats, though, in the way you love something you’ve never had but desperately want despite all the conflicting opinions you’ve heard on the subject. Like children. Or a writing gazebo. I’ve never owned a cat, or had to take care of a cat, or spent any meaningful length of time with a cat (but the meaning of ‘meaningful’ is really up to the meaner, isn’t it?). Despite all of this, I remain convinced I want a cat. Perhaps even cats plural.
I have played with only a handful of cats in my lifetime – my first experience being with a litter of playful kittens when I was much younger. I don’t remember particularly wanting cats at the time; we had dogs then. We have always had dogs. This love for cats grew practically out of fancy. I have friends who love cats, who own cats, who own cats on time-share (the cat decides whose turn it is, of course), who have kittens to give me free of charge if my mother would only let one in the house. Which she won’t. Alas, I think cat-hating is another Jamaican tradition I’ve skipped out on.
It’s gotten to the point where I have a built in cat-radar. I will spy feline movement out of the corner of my eye and swivel my head just in time to catch the flash of a tail as it disappears round a corner. It’s how I spotted the orange and white tabby lurking just outside the front office on campus last Friday.
It was so clean that at first I thought it belonged to someone who had just gone into the office. So naturally I called it over and proceeded to stroke its ears. KT was less than pleased. I was surprised when the girls inside told me it was a stray. I’ve seen the stray cats on this campus. They are a bad crowd. This tabby cat was all right, it just needed some food. At least that’s how I interpreted its plaintive mews. (See, I’m a natural at this maternal instinct thing). I stopped apologizing to him for not having any food when K started giving him the stink eye because we had stuff to do. I was so afraid he wouldn’t be there when we came back. But he was!
Mr. Muggles (KT named him, go figure) was hiding under a car, but he came out when I called him and actually ate the leftovers I got! It’s silly to be so excited over such a little thing, especially since the (charmingly) ungrateful cat just strolled right back under the car when he was done without so much as a by-your-leave, but this is the first cat to ever be so nice to me! Usually cats are a bit standoffish when it comes to strangers – except my friend’s grey tabby who kind of gets around – but this one just came right over and introduced himself. He totally made my day.
Do you love cats or hate cats? Any cute/horrific cat stories to share?