“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” ― Robertson Davies
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” ― Ernest Hemingway
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” ― Robert A. Heinlein
“I think you might have a dysfunctional relationship with your cat,” Olivier said as he watched the cat curl herself around the top of my head.
“What? Crazy talk. Nonsense. We have a perfectly normal & healthy relationship.” I nuzzled my face up against her whiskers. “I’m sure lots of people share their pillow with a cat every night.”
“Lots of weird cat people.”
“Careful. You’re offending the cat.”
I suppose he could have a point. Me & Cat (yes, my cat’s name is Cat) might have a dysfunctional relationship, but it’s been functioning quite well for the two of us for the past decade & a half. Me & Cat, we prefer to think of it as a symbiotic relationship.
See, we lived alone together for a long time before I married Olivier. I wouldn’t say I was a crazy cat lady. I mean, I’m married, I don’t think I meet the minimum age requirement just yet & I think to officially be a crazy cat lady, one should have several cats. A shit load of cats. I just have Cat. Singular.
Never mind that me & Cat have frequently engaged in full-length conversations. Forget the fact that we used to sit on the couch destroying a King Sooper’s rotisserie chicken & a wedge of roquefort together. I’m sure all cat owners do this. They do… don’t they?
Cat has been with me through 2 failed relationships, 6 moves (one across the Atlantic), the first 6 years of my marriage & 3 jobs. She’s traveled at my side by car, train & airplane. We’ve taken long walks & camping trips together.
So far, she’s been the longest & most stable relationship in my life.
When I wake up from a bad dream, or cry because some horrible life thing has made me sad, she’s there, tiny cat arms on either side of my big, stupid, human neck. Her tiny paw touches my cheek, she looks me in the eye & squeaks out some comforting words of cat-speak.
Laugh if you want to. Roll your eyes if you like, but she helps me out when I need her to.
Just as I’ve laid on the floor next to her or held her whenever she got sick, or had a medical procedure.
When I trudge up the stairs to my home office, getting myself psyched up to write, she’s already there, standing on my desk, waiting for me. If not, it’s because she’s trudging up the stairs right along with me.
The night that Olivier & I stayed up all night talking about his big move to the U.S., when we decided at 2am that it would probably be a lot easier for me to move to France instead, the first thing I said to him was, “Can I bring Cat? I won’t come if I can’t bring my cat.”
And it’s not just me anymore. It’s happened more than once where Olivier, after a particularly bummer of a day has said, “I’m sad. Where’s Cat? I need Cat.”
“Well, sure,” Olivier says. “That’s all fine & good, but… do you have to let her drink out of your glass?”
“Hey,” I say, “if it was okay with Hemingway, it’s sure as shit okay with me. Besides, do you expect her to drink from a bowl like some kind of dog?”
“Okay, okay… yeah. Maybe sometimes it is kind of weird,” I say.
“Whatever, dude. You’ve got your own dysfunctional relationship going on.”
“No idea what you’re talking about.” My husband turns his nose up to the air, scoffing at my accusation. But, I’m pretty sure I’m right about this one.
Dysfunctional? Yeah. Probably. Is sitting in the dog’s crate or sharing eating utensils with the cat some wacky shit to do?
Maybe… but so what. It’s not like we’re fucked up enough to dress them up in humiliating outfits.
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ― Charles Dickens