I’ve always been a pro-dog, anti-cat person, so the question I have to ask myself is – why am I in a pet store pushing a cart filled with cat bowls, cat toys, kitty litter, and other cat accessories every new cat owner needs?
There’s only one logical answer: to connect with my younger son.
This summer on his normally uneventful drive home from work, my son found a donut-sized kitten curled into a little black ball on the side of a busy road. I was out of town when he texted the horrible great news. I pretended to be excited as I Googled “how to acquire a pet allergy,” to make it impossible for him to bring his new bundle of cat joy into our pet-free home.
When I came back to town, I was ready to lecture my son about the pitfalls of pet ownership and how his timing could not have been worse, especially with his impending move to college in two months. I was determined to strengthen my leave-no-cat-behind campaign by creating a gorgeous PowerPoint presentation, detailing what I hate most about cats: they walk, climb, and jump onto every counter-top, scatter enough kitty litter to open their own private beach, and walk through the house with litter clinging to their paws and dropping on the counters like dirty fairy dust.
I had already made up my mind. No kitten. No way.
A few minutes later my son walked into the house and handed me a small velvet ball named Natty. I held her up and could have sworn I heard the theme from The Lion King playing in the background as I looked into her green, silver-dollar-sized eyes.
That was the point I realized she was not only the cutest kitty I had ever seen, with her tiny paws and a nose the size of a Tic Tac, but also the first kitten I had ever held. Being a cat virgin, I almost dropped her when I heard what sounded and felt like a tiny motorcycle humming inside her.
So much for my “You don’t need a cat” lecture. It was love at first purr.
My son was right that she does keep me company, although when I go to bed she wants to play and often awakens me from a dead sleep with a ninja-like sneak attack. But Natty does even more: she gives me a reason to text and call my son without coming across as an overbearing, pushy, why don’t-you-answer-my-texts? type of mom.
I text him pictures of Natty or post photos and videos of her on an Instagram account I opened called KittyLeftBehind. Soon after, he calls or texts to ask about her or to find out more about the pictures I’ve posted. I’ve tried to put her in Elf-on-the-Shelf poses, but no luck.
At this point in my life, I never thought I’d own a cat or ever consider myself a cat convert, especially when I can’t commit to having a cat tree or kitty condo and the thought of buying a 40 pound bag of cat food makes me break out in hives. Yet, living with Natty has changed that.
Not only do I spend time with a cat I admit I love – although I’m not ready for a sweatshirt with a cat embroidered on the front – I have an excuse to stay in touch with my son. And if that excuse is an adorable, mini-ninja cat who doesn’t mind posing for pictures, that’s even better.
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Not Quite a Cat Lady was written by Lisa Kanarek exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.
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