Friend to Felines

My senior year of college my roommate had two cats.   She was a huge cat fan. She loved all things cat related including Hello Kitty.   One of the cats was old and diabetic. He was a huge cat and on every visit to the vet, she was encouraged to stop letting the cat suffer, but instead she powered through with two shots of insulin a day and picking the fat cat up to take it up and downstairs (it was so fat, there was a fear thing poor thing wouldn’t make it up the stairs and if he tried to make it down, then he’d tumble into a ball.) The cat NEVER used the litterbox. Instead we would come home from class, the apartment having been locked up while we were gone, to the knock you out smell of cat poop all over the apartment, but mostly in the kitchen. GROSS!

Her other cat was much younger and spry. He was black and a bit devilish. He liked to curl up with you, but demanded that all doors in the apartment be open. It’s possible that he may have had a case of claustrophobia.   Personally, I feel that Satan himself lived inside of that cat.   Many a night I would awake to my bedroom door rattling, with the occasional black paw reaching under the door clawing, coupled with a skin crawling meow.   When I would open my door, I would find the demon backed up against the wall across the way from my door. It would sit there on its haunches, black tail hypnotically moving back and forth, back and forth, with its yellow eyes glaring at me.   As I would turn to go back into my room, I caught the cat a couple of times running as fast as possible to the door of my roommate and head butting it before reaching under with its claws.   Yes, the cat was head butting my door.

I tell you this brief history so that you can understand my feelings in regards to cats. I don’t like them. I can’t stand them. I find them gross and a bit disturbing.   My second spawn; however, thinks they are the greatest things on earth and if he could have a house full of cats, he would gladly take that over anything else a 6 year old boy could ever possibly want.

He loves to draw and to construct.   Every picture he draws, from the moment he was old enough to hold a pencil, has a cat somewhere in it.   At least once a week, he asks for a cat. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon which side you stand on, my husband and oldest Spawn are both allergic to cats, so we will NEVER have one of these in our house.   The second Spawn finds that devastating and at times would gladly trade in his brother and dad for a cat.   Sorry, my dear, you’ll have to wait until you get your own house for a cat and then you’ll likely never see your family ever again. Of course, that may be the way he prefers it.

His love of cats encouraged my cousin and her husband to buy him a white fluffy fake cat.   When the Spawn opened his present that year and saw that cat, I swear he almost started crying because he was so happy. The cat can purr and meow. He can move his head and close his eyes, and when you put his bowl in front of him to “eat” you can hear him eating happily.   Of course, we named this cat Fluffy.   Not very original, but I don’t really care.

Super Bowl Sunday of this year, my youngest one was adamant about watching the Kitten Bowl. I had never heard of such I had heard of the Puppy Bowl, but I didn’t know we had moved forward as a society so quickly to a Kitten Bowl.   That afternoon, as my oldest and I sat downstairs to watch the Super Bowl, the youngest was cuddled up in my bed, Fluffy the cat by his side, and the Kitten Bowl on the television. I came upstairs a couple of times completely amazed at the fact that this is something people actually watch. My child? Not surprised so much, but grown adults? I felt bad for the people who were chosen as the “sportcasters” for this farce.   I silently wondered how badly they had pissed off their agent or studio to be demoted to the role of Kitten Bowl play by play analyst. I still shake my head.

The Spawn’s love of cats has even gone far enough for the fact that Friday was Book Character day at school.   As an avid reader and lover of all things books, my children have a sizeable library in both of their rooms, full of personal books they’ve inherited through the years or ones I’ve hand selected based upon their personalities.   There is one that I consider a classic, one that I read as a child, and it’s called The Fire Cat.   We’ve read it a few times at home, but I never knew to what extent the youngest one loves this book, to the point where when I asked him over a week ago what character he wanted to be, he quickly replied with, “Pickles, the Fire Cat!”

Being a working mom now, I don’t exactly have the time to get creative when my kids have days like this at school. Wait! Who am I kidding? I’ve never been creative enough to help my kids through the days even when I was a stay at home mom.   Regardless, I was proud of myself for coming up with the free hat from Firehouse Subs (huge shout out to those guys – hands down best steak and cheese I’ve ever had.) and the Halloween makeup left over from this past year.   We gave him a cat face to go along with the fire hat.   He proudly climbed onto that school bus, book in hand, and headed off to school.   As I wrote this post, I received a picture from his teacher.   The face paint has worn off, but he looks so stinking cute, not like the devilish little fiend he can be most days.

I still like to remind him almost daily of how hard it would be on all of us if we had a cat. I see the disappointment in his face and honestly at times I’m tempted to trade in my husband for a cat just so I can see that little face sparkle again.   Then I think back to 20 years ago and my skin begins to crawl and twitch at the memories of the cats that have forever scarred me.   Sorry, my sweet little Spawn #2, cats are definitely off of this list.

Fire Cat

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