Ode to Cat

My cat turns one year old this month, and I love her more than I ever thought I could love another living creature. I love this cat more than my mother. More than my partner. And though my mother would be a little annoyed, my partner is unfazed. Perhaps because my cat loves him more than she loves me.

Cat comes first. Her delight at dismembering roaches, frogs, lizards takes first place over my delight at having a floor devoid of tiny animal guts. Her disgust with hours old cat chow takes precedence over my sad attempts to ration her (expensive) food. Her desire to be on my lap right at this very moment even though I have to get ready for work supersedes my need to get ready for work.

Cats aren’t usually paraded as the most affectionate of pets but it is a goddamn miracle whenever she chooses to hop into one of our laps at the dinner table. The ensuing nuzzle-and-purr I am convinced are mere tools to ensnare us even further and I wish I would resist (especially when she hops off to bring a cockroach home and it inevitably runs across my bare feet) but she is just so precious dammit.

Of course I get mad at her. She destroys the furniture, bites my ear when I don’t wake up on time to feed her, scratches my feet at play, and have I mentioned bringing creepy crawlies into the house? But even in her craziest, sprint-across-the-house-at-2am-for-no-goddamn-reason moments I still manage to lose myself in her huge – eyes (the crazy eyes) and that faint meow so unique to her.

She widens my heart one feline stretch at a time, indulges my need to cuddle, teaches me about acceptance and patience and selflessness. She’s everything I ever imagined a cat would be (plus some other things I never thought of – roaches, again).

Now excuse me while I put some alcohol on my fresh claw marks.

Cat lover seeks cat on time-share

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.

He was this cute, I swear.
But KT probably saw this.

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?

Rules of Blogging II: Do Your Homework

A few weeks ago I posted some advice on how to write a blog based on my own experiences. I’m toying with the idea of doing a series. Since there are already so many blogging how-to’s already available on the internet, I figure one more voice can only help the cacophony.

As it turns out, doing research before writing a blog post isn’t nearly as critical as I’d thought. How did I figure that out? Through research. Irony is one of life’s simpler pleasures. Having a blog that is thoughtful and well-written depends on a lot more than just getting the facts straight; it almost seems to be tacitly understood that research is key. So tacit, in fact, that not one of the three sites I visited last night stressed knowing what you’re talking about.

At the same time, though, I know I picked up tons of useful tips just from doing a simple Google search. It’s a small thing, but a well-researched blog – far from making you sound pedantic and stuffy – will actually make your posts sound more informed and therefore more reliable. Maybe even fun.

Instead of:

Cats used to be gods in ancient times.

You could get:

Cats used to be worshipped in Ancient Egypt and the cat-goddess, Bast, was a sort of precursor to the modern day sex kitten.

But make sure you don’t cross the line from interesting tidbit to tl;dr land, or you’ll remind your reader of that teacher from Ferris Bueller. It’s all about balance. And it comes with practice. Don’t just stick to background research on your topic either; be ready to do a quick check to see if you’re using ‘obsequious’ in the right context, or if Emancipation is celebrated on the same day everywhere (incidentally, this year it will be). A little homework makes a huge difference.

My advice? Go for the Google. At worst, you’ll come across as someone willing to learn; at best, your readers will be impressed enough to keep coming back for more.


For the fun of it: