Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cats aren't dogs, but they're still pretty cool

The bookends, Bella and Otis. © kittelberg writes

Years ago, a friend said after many drinks and whatnot, "Cats are cool, but cats aren't dogs." And while it was a running joke for the rest of the weekend, I got what he was saying. You see, for much of my life, I was a dog person.

When my sister was still a baby, we briefly had a cat. Two kids had come to our door with the cat, and told my parents their dad was going to leave the cat outside if they didn't find him a home. My parents took pity on him, and Fluffy moved in.

Fluffy did okay with me - likely because I fed him multiple times in an hour playing house with him - but he took one too many swipes at my sister, so Fluffy was given away.

After that, we were a dog household.

Cats 101

I was reintroduced to life with a cat when I moved in with my fiancé (now my husband). Silent Bob had lived with George and his roommates since she was a kitten (yes, Bob was a girl).

At first, ours was a tense relationship. Bob would look at me defiantly as she scratched my sister's chair, which was temporarily in our apartment. Her trademark bitchy meow seemed to sound extra bitchy when directed at me.

No matter. We grudgingly began to tolerate one another, and that tolerance eventually became friendship. When she became ill with advanced kidney disease and had to be euthanized, I cried for days.

I initially made George put all of Bob's things away and proclaimed that I did not want another cat for some time.

Enter the bookends

Then our friend Katherine told us about a women she had met who was looking for a good home for not one, but two cats, a brother and sister.

I had a good feeling about them. We visited them and about 10 seconds after we got into our car to drive home, I said, "I want them."

Days later, we returned and experienced an extremely awkward moment as their owner bawled her eyes out, and we left with her our cats, Bella and Otis.

Bella died last year. We all miss her. We will not have another cat until Otis joins his sister. And it may take longer than a month this time as our son has become quite attached to our big boy cat.

Cat people

I give you all this backstory in an attempt to illustrate my evolution from dog person to cat person. Don't get me wrong. I still love dogs very much. But I think something in my chemistry has changed.

I now meet a strange dog, and a lot of the time, they take a long time to warm up to me. Like they're not too sure about me. Or they're indifferent.

I meet a cat? And it's instant love.

Sure, cats aren't dogs. But that's why they're cool.

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