Thursday, June 18, 2009

Viva la cat!


Last week, I had to make a hard decision - moving from a 1500 sq. foot apartment to an 858 sq. foot place meant that taking care of the three cats I had (yes, three. I know. I was becoming the scary single cat lady) was pretty much impossible. I've never been a love 'em and leave 'em kind of pet owner - I feel like if you make the commitment to accept a pet into your home, you need to care for them forever. Unfortunately, space-wise and financially - I just couldn't do it anymore. So after lots and lots (and lots) of tears and family and friend consultations, I decided to find good, loving homes for Herschel and Gunther. I'm still searching, but my parents have graciously offered to keep them until those homes are found.

I decided to keep Gilbert (named after Gilbert Blythe from my favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables) - I've had him since he was just a little over five weeks old when his mom abandoned him on my aunt's front porch almost six years ago. Gilbert's always been a sort of loner cat. He's seemed really content to just hang out under the bed or on top of the couch (or once crawling up into a hole in the cabinets in my last apartment and inspiring a terrifying search by yours truly, who was convinced he had somehow managed to escape onto the crazy busy road outside), and very rarely much of a lap-cat. I've always known he loves me - he waits until I get home every night to eat dinner and always comes to rub appreciatively on my legs afterwards. But apart from an occasional cuddle, Gilbert's seemed to prefer "alone time."

Until now.

The first night without Herschel and Gunther was tough. I came home sad and Gilbert just seemed confused. He kept jumping up on my bed during the night and meowing at me, and then going from room to room making little mewling sounds. I know he was looking for the boys. It killed me. But the next morning, to my surprise - I woke with Gilbert stretched out beside me, his head on my shoulder, fast asleep. I even made a little "awwwwww..." sound and he woke up, looked at me with that great lazy-eyed cat stare, and proceeded to nuzzle his head into my neck. Pretty out of character.

This has happened every morning since then. At some point during the night, Gilbert jumps up on the bed and curls up next to me just like a little kid - he even manages to get under my arm so I'm actually cradling him. I know to those of you who read my blog and don't have pets, this must sound sort of nuts - but I'm LOVING it. I'm beginning to think that Gilbert isn't actually a loner cat - maybe he just missed having one-on-one time and had felt a little neglected.

I really think that as a single chick, having a pet makes a huge difference in your outlook on life. They force you to think about someone other than you - you can't indulge in self pity and just lay in bed all day long, because guess what? There's litter to scoop. There are food and water bowls to fill. If you have a dog (and I love dogs, too), they have to go outside a couple of times a day. There's play time that must happen.

Plus, what's more homey and comforting than coming home to a cute living room with books and candles and a lovely cat curled up on the sofa - who's happy to see you?

So. Viva la cat. Or dog. Or even goldfish. Whatever makes you happy.

Song I'm digging today: "The Scarlet Tide" by Alison Krauss

Both of my grandmothers passed away within a month of each other - one two days before Christmas and one in January. It was a pretty tough time for my family. My parents gave me this CD for Christmas, and we all listened to it and actually decided to use one of the songs - "Away Down the River" - at both Grandma Iva's and Grandma Dorothy's funerals. So this CD means a lot to me and my family.

That being said, I've always loved Alison Krauss. She has this completely other-worldly quality to her voice that always amazes me. I know if I ever met her, I'd scare her - mainly because I don't think I'd be able to form any other sentences than "I...just love you. So much."

This song, which I think is actually from the "Cold Mountain" (saddest movie EVER) soundtrack, reminds me of people sitting out on the front porch of old antebellum homes and drinking lemonade whilst (yes, whilst) fanning themselves and chatting about prohibition or something. Okay, maybe that's a bit too specific. But that's how this mind works, friends.

Best line: "I thought I heard a black bell toll/A little bird did sing/Man has no choice/When he wants everything"