fling

My cat, who is named Fang, is fat and round, neurotic, a little retarded, cuddly and dog-like. My cat Fang is the greatest of all cats. He is the platonic ideal of cats, and without him I would never get any work done because he sits and supervises very carefully and puts his paw in my face if he senses I am slacking off, or if he wants to put his paw in my face.

I lucked out in the cat lottery, and because of that I am not afraid to sing the praises of my sweet little man, to acknowledge that I am a Cat Person, possibly verging on Crazy and Lady, if I’m going to be honest with you. I am crazy—about my cat (see what I did there?), to the point where I will talk about him on the internet without shame, and I will tell you also that he worries me.

He is not independent and brave and strong; he does not prefer the solitude of his own company and greet me as a tolerated interloper when I return. In fact, he gets very lonely, my sweet cat. He yells a lot. He tells me how sad he was and begs me never to leave again. He is a tragic figure, all big yellow eyes and sad round head. And then he grooms my nose until it is red and raw and I don’t know if I am being loved hard or punished roundly.

For the longest time I thought that the solution would be to get him a friend. I don’t want my fat little buddy to be lonely without me—I want him to be happy and fulfilled and Captain Purrs Contentedly of the Happiness and Tuna Brigade. Since his preferred solution is off the table—sometimes I need to shower and experience unfiltered daylight under the sky—I thought mine was a reasonable compromise. A kitten! A little pal who is fun to be with! Someone he can teach and mentor and love and cherish and cuddle and boss around and talk to! Someone to keep him occupied and alert and active! I am a genius.

Somehow I never got around to getting a kitten, because it involves a lot of planning and responsibility and an upturning of established routines and it is kind of expensive, a kitten. And what if I got a kitten and they didn’t get along? That is what stopped me from snatching up and hosing down the stray that appeared next to E’s house last year. What if it was a really bad idea? You’re not going to believe this, but sometimes I have really bad ideas.

When Jayrad asked if I could babysit his friend’s kitten while he went away on a romantic mountain biking weekend with his buddy, I said okay! Because I am a good person who likes to help, and because I thought trial kitten! A kitten trial! Fang is going to be so excited!

Fang was the least excited I have ever seen him. Fang was, in fact, the unhappiest cat you’ve ever seen. From the moment tiny, beautiful little Zoe the Glamour Cat entered his life, he considered it entirely over. He paced the length of the apartment mowing. Mow, mow, mow, mow, mow mow. I am unhappy. I am still unhappy. I CONTINUE TO BE UNHAPPY WHAT IS THIS TINY ORANGE THING I CANNOT EAT I AM UNHAPPY.

Zoe was unconcerned. Zoe was a tiny sweet kitten who rolled over and exposed her belly for love at the slightest opportunity. Zoe was made of love and cuteness. Zoe wanted to be your friend and my friend, Fang’s friend and the couch’s friend and the friend to everyone everywhere. Zoe was a Love Cat and Fang was unimpressed, and something inside me did not care because HOLY CRAP KITTEN.

Kittens are cute, you guys. They have big eyes and tiny paws and you want to eat them on a stick. They bounce! They play! They are in love with the world, and you, viewing the world through their big, wide eyes, fall in love with it all over again! Suddenly I understand May-December romance, and am ashamed.

I returned Zoecakes to her rightful owner last night, and Fang is as happy as if the Kitten Interlude had never happened. He is lying on my forearm as I type, making it difficult to hit the shift key. He will soon roll over and put his feet in my face, and then fall backwards, recover ungracefully and groom my nose studiously and with great concentration. We will neither of us discuss the kitten, because it is better that way. And also he doesn’t remember five minutes ago, let alone last evening.

  8 comments for “fling

  1. Sal
    February 17, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Oh bless him. It might’ve gotten better over time. Our older cat made ungodly vocalisations for a good month before she finally settled down and accepted our younger cat. But I don’t blame you for backing down on the permanent kitten plan.

  2. February 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    We have two cats and a dog. This is in spite of the fact that my husband is not really much of a pet person but is, in fact, a saint who loves me very much. Norton, our first cat, was very sickly as a kitten and as a result is tiny, neurotic, needy, and weird. Our vet recommended a second cat as a cure for his strange behaviour, and she ended up being right. The fat orange cat was a godsend, but I think introducing him into the family was simpler because both of them were fairly young at the time.

  3. February 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Your kitty is so cute. My cat charlie kind of looks like him, same build, different coloring and behaves quite the same way. I get up for any reason and he is suddenly sitting on my pillows. He warms my butt while I am on my computer, that is when he isn’t vying for attention. I need to give him some loving later, and Suki too. (she’s my other baby) I am already the crazy cat lady. I have pictures of them on my phone that anytime anyone mentions pets, I show them.

  4. Punchy
    February 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Careful! I heard boy cats will kill kittens if they are small just because they can!

  5. February 18, 2009 at 8:44 am

    My little boy cat is currently sleeping on my feet. Fang’s personality sounds very similar to Tiny’s and I’m glad you tried the kitten experiment so we don’t have to. I’ve often wondered if getting another cat would help Tiny not be so lonely when we’re at work all day or when we go out of town, but I have also wondered if he would just be angry and jealous at our suddenly divided attention. Kind of makes me wonder what happens when we get around to having a baby.

  6. Gracie
    February 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

    “Suddenly I understand May-December romance, and am ashamed.”

    Hee – now next time I see a “mature” man with a pretty young thing on his arm, I’ll be picturing her as a kitten.

    I am a cat person who fell in love with a guy who’s allergic to cats. So instead we have a big fuzzy dog and I use the neighbours’adventurous orange kitten as my vicarious cat.

  7. February 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    “Mow, mow, mow, mow, mow mow. I am unhappy. I am still unhappy. I CONTINUE TO BE UNHAPPY WHAT IS THIS TINY ORANGE THING I CANNOT EAT I AM UNHAPPY.”

    Obviously your cat and my cat are related! :)

  8. March 19, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Isn’t it sweet how he doesn’t remember just like you? And now neither of you will remember the little Zoe who came into your life and Loved you and proved to you that Fang isn’t all that weird for loving you so much after all :p

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