Actually it’s my cat. But he wasn’t always my cat. And in fact, he is not my cat, he is my baby, my precious, the only one in the house who is allowed to wake my whenever he wants, scratch me until I bleed, demand to be fed and sleep in my space leaving me a quarter of the space needed for appropriate sleeping. The ironic thing about this is, I hate cats. Or I did. I used too. I have changed. In the past few years many things have changed, and this is one of the things that is at the top of the “Recently Changed List”. Let me expand.
As my dear, dear friends Lynnie and EJ will tell you, I always said a good cat is a dead cat. Now, before you judge or unfriend or un-blog me, let me finish. I promise it will end with repentance. It is not that I actually wanted to kill cats, or truly wanted all cats expunged from the earth. That is not at all true. I just never had cats and I was always allergic to them. They made my eyes water, nose run, sneeze and sneeze and sneeze. My ex-husband had some really good friends (I’m assuming they are still good friends, just with him, not me) that had cats or a cat. And said cat loved sleeping with their daughter. When JoDee would come home from their house, I would have to wash her pillow and blanket right away or I would suffer miserably. So I sort of felt like they torture me, I should torture them back, but in a verbal way, not actually torture them. No cats have ever been harmed in the name of my cat dislike. I promise.
Anyway, I have lived my whole life believing that I never wanted to be in the presence of cat. Ever. And nothing really ever changed to make me think differently. I have a dog. I have watched other dogs. When AC ex-wife got sick, I let his girls bring their dog (which has since passed away, no fault of mine either but still super sad) here for two weeks while she was in the hospital. I said hell to the no about their cats. I was not budging. Those cats were not coming to my house. No way, no how, fah-get- it yo. And I had no guilt about that. Then said cats got preggers. And then said cats had 4 kittens. And the kittens were cute. I saw them a couple of times when we were dropping off the girls. Yup. Cute. Cute in the way of knowing that you can hold them, cuddle a little bit, and give them back. Just like babies either before you want any or after yours are all grown. And then there was JoDee. Every ridiculous decision I have made as of late has been the result of something relative to JoDee.
JoDee was just really trying to get clean. And by really trying, I mean vocalizing it but not really following through. She was about to head off to Arizona for her first real attempt at rehab. This was when I was in the begging, bargaining and pleading stage. You know, if you stay clean I will buy you a small Caribbean island. I’m sure many can relate. So, JoDee wanted a stupid kitten. And I did not, but I said ok, if you stay clean we will take the kitten. I flew out with her in October, my aunt and uncle live in the area so they picked us up at the airport and dropped her off. About 4 weeks later, the kitten was ready to leave his mother. JoDee was at rehab, doing well, and I made a promise, so I did what I said I would, and took the damn kitten. That was a Friday. Saturday morning I got the phone call that JoDee was on the run in Arizona, smoking crystal meth. Awesome. Now I have a kitten, I didn’t want and know nothing about. I did not know jack-shit about kittens, cats or how to introduce kittens to a dog. The dog was terrified of the 2lb kitten and he is 130lbs. I was not happy. I wasn’t sleeping and when I tried to sleep the cat would jump on the bed and knead my blanket purring so loud he sounded like a boat engine. I felt like I was being motor boated by a kitten, talk about really screwing with your mind!
I spent those weeks JoDee was running amuck with no mercy to her family, sending her Facebook messages and picture of the cat, trying desperately, pathetically to leverage the stinkin’ cat as bribery to come home. I mean, I have read it in all the psych books, the getting of a new kitten always shakes addicts out of addiction. Duh!!! Even as I think about it, I am horrified at my stupidity. Reality frequently would shake its judging head reminding me a kitten will not fix this. Under any circumstances. But Denial and I were BFF’s then so I let Denial convince me that it might work. The idea of seeing beautiful Mr. Diego might make JoDee see the error of her ways and run home to my open arms swearing off drugs for life and becoming a world-famous doctor and lawyer while being a Noble Peace Prize Winner. She would of course, win the Noble Peace Prize for finding the cure for addiction. CATS!!!! Oy vey. The dumbeth run deepeth. If you have been reading this blog, even a little bit, you know that is not at all what happens. But, when JoDee did finally come home, many, many weeks later, she walked through the door, still wearing I don’t even know what because I had never seen those clothes before and they should have been burned they were so nasty, crashed on the couch, and the baby kitty, crawled up on her pillow, nuzzled her face, and fell asleep with her. It was the most precious site. She was sound asleep and the kitty crawled under the covers with her, keeping her safe.
The ironic part was how Diego and I become best buds. I did not want that cat in my house. I was dreading it. I was nasty about it. I kept telling the girls to keep “that thing away from me”. In my feeble, closed mind (hopefully the only time in my life I will refer to myself that way! I am anything but closed-minded normally!), the cat was the devil incarnate and I didn’t want him anywhere near me. The girls, who love cats and all things feline more than most humans, were worried about me hating the cat. They were worried Bud, my dog, would try to eat the cat and I wouldn’t do anything or would care. And they were sort of hoping I would send them packing with the cat so they didn’t have to watch me glaring at the cat with disdain. Until, one night. It was 2 in the morning. I was sleepless, depressed, worried and agitated. I got out of bed to watch TV in the living room where I wouldn’t bother anyone. I sat on the couch and suddenly this tiny ball of fur and claws jumped out of nowhere onto my shoulder, scaring the every lovin’ shit out of me. I yelled. He yelled. We both stared at each other, and then he did THE thing. The thing that made me love him. He licked my nose. It was the cutest little tongue, with crappy sandpaper feel, but it was so innocent and so cute. It made me think of all my kids as babies, and how much of a pain in the ass they were, but so adorable, you want to squeeze them. I sat back and baby kitty crawled onto my chest, licked my chin, started purring and feel asleep. I was hooked.
What I really love about my baby kitty is he hates everyone else. He bites, scratches, attacks and ignores everyone. But me. If I walk in the door, he runs to greet me. If I have to use the bathroom, he has to follow me in. At night he sleeps on my side, usually spread eagle on his back. I’m the only one allowed to let him scratch his back or his belly. I am the only one he seeks out to lay with during the day. If I work from home he is on my papers or on my laptop or stealing my ruler or pen. In the end, it is true love. That cat is allowed to do whatever he wants. For some reason, he has a particular hatred for Jared. He lunges for him, he swats him, scratches him and then runs from him. He is allowed. He bites SC on the nose and face. He is allowed. He scratches OC and bites her hands. He is allowed. He scratches at the basement door when he is ready to come up, even if it is the middle of the night, he is allowed. He cries when he is hungry, even if it is at 4 in the morning but he is allowed. He is allowed to do anything he wants. Always. No matter what. He wants your eye-ball? Give it to him. He wants your first-born? Hand it over. He wants to crawl up and sleep on your face? Don’t even think about moving him off! He. Is. Allowed. He is allowed because I was wrong. Cats are wonderful and lovable and beautiful. I love my cat. Maybe I’m not a cat person, maybe I’m just a Diego person, but I will be forever changed as far as my opinions on cats, for the better.