Sometimes, the Internet provides you with Cats Who Forgot How To Cat.
And all the time, Real Life provides you with Things That You Forgot About Being A Cat OWNER.
Before last year, I had not owned a cat since I was a teenager, and even then, they were outdoor cats. The world was their litterbox, and if we didn’t see them for a few days, we accepted that they probably had met the natsy side of a cougar or a grizzly bear, and got another kitten the next day.
Now, I’m an adult. And for the past year + 4 months, my life has been graced with an indoor cat who thinks that the sole purpose of our existence is to serve him, Almighty God.
Doesn’t he know that the sole purpose of my existence is to experience things like him and then blog about it?
ALL THE THINGS WALTER HAS BROUGHT UPON ME.
1. Litter. Litter Everywhere.
We have tried at least 56 different kinds of litter since we brought him home. Have you ever stood in the cat litter aisle of the pet store, and felt overwhelmed by all of your choices?
Fear not. We are your guinea pigs. We have tried them all, and they’re all pretty much terrible.
If it says “easy clumping”, that just means that every time you scoop out his pee, you’ll be wrestling with something like that looks like a chunk of concrete and breaks your shovel in half. If you decide to go with the crystal beads that smell lovely, that just means that all the pee has sunk to the bottom of the litter box and you can’t smell it until you clean it out from top to bottom. And then it hits you like an effin’ freight train. (Stepping on these tiny little crystal granules in the middle of the night are 97% guaranteed to be a more terrible experience than stepping on a Lego.)
Also, I’m pretty sure Walter’s paws are agents in the CIA. When you look at them, they look normal. But really, he’s walking around the house, dispensing tiny little “packages” of litter glue all over the floor and your furniture, and you have no idea how they got there.
Do you like having a throw rug in your living room? Us too. Our first one was a huge mistake: long, shaggy brown fibers. Pretty soon, it was just a matted knot of diseases. Are you debating giving your kids vaccinations? Just bring them over and stick their faces in our rug for awhile; they’ll become immune to everything.
(I’m kidding. We have since gotten a new, SMALL fiber rug.)
2. Confusing Boundaries
A.) We don’t really have a kitchen table yet, so every evening, you’ll find us sitting on the couch, eating at either the coffee table, or from our laps. Having ignored us for the most of day, also known as “naptime”, Walter figures now is the best time for some cuddles. And if you ignore him to eat your food, or gently nudge him off the couch, you are the worst.
But God forbid that HE is eating fresh food from his bowl, and you dare to walk by. He will run away, as though his food has suddenly been contaminated by the worst-ness that you are. He will not return to it. It is dog shit to him now.
So, either learn to tiptoe at least a foot-wide berth around his food bubble, or waste a lot of money throwing away his first world problems.
B.) In relation, Walter has an emotional bond to food. It’s not about being hungry; it’s about being bored. Granted, I don’t blame him too much because he literally cannot go outside or he’ll die – there’s not much to entertain him inside. Sure, we have toys, but they are the equivalent of your life’s worth, and to be ignored. He has 3 effing beds to choose from, yet he will martyr himself upon a crumpled cardboard box.
So, if boredom strikes him at, say, 4am — you’re the 24 hour drive thru, as far as he’s concerned. Since we have no bedroom door (no bedroom door, no kitchen table, ahhh, the young married life), he has no qualms about sticking his shitty, cold nose in our possibly-open mouths to get our attention.
He has not learned that this will get him nothing but hatred. And yet, if HE is the one sleeping and you happen to wake him up, get ready for the stank-eye because he will be PISSED.
I HAD a lint roller that worked pretty well for catching hairs and bits of fluff. But that lint roller rolled right on outta town because it couldn’t take it anymore. So now I can’t have nice things OR a lint roller.
I’m pretty sure my cat has multiple personality disorder, in which he can alternate between being a whiny little boy, an “eff you, mom” teenage boy, and a persnickety old man boy. It’s exhausting trying to keep up. We are only two humans, who can only take so much. (Dear God, tell me actual children will be easier!)
He basically just doesn’t give a crap. About our feelings or our lives.
I’ve started learning what different “meows” mean, in true mothering fashion. These are ones I know so far:
mrow = i’m hungry
mroww = please i’m dying i’m so hungry
rowwwwwww = omg there is someone in the yard kill it
mRaoaoaoaowowoaoaoaoaoaw = help i’m pooping
*silent pounces* = spider on the floor i’mma kill that bits
And if I ever need to be reminded that he doesn’t give a flying frack about me, all I have to do is watch this. I was announcing to my loved ones that I had found my life’s passion, and he vomited on the floor.
5. Welllllll Okay. Lots Of Love Too.
He truly has come through as our practice baby, because — despite all of these things — we love him like crazy. At times, he surprises us with a mutual affection, even appreciation. Mostly when we are rubbing his happy spots. But we’ll take it.
Thank you, Walter. Thank you for teaching me how to love something unconditionally, something that is pretty selfish most of the time. My future children (who you’re probably gonna despise also) now have a chance at a Nice Mommy.