Friday, September 15, 2006

Settle down, cat people. I mean to stir no controversy.

I have a house guest this week. While my newly married friend, Lisa, is on her honeymoon, I'm watching over her cat, Noodle. I think Lisa was actually a little nervous about leaving her with me. Maybe she's just an overprotective cat-mother, or maybe she has little faith in me since I have no pets myself. I'm hoping it's the former--considering a few select people have, on occasion, actually trusted me with their real-life, two-legged children, I'd hate to think my best friend doesn't trust my nurturing skills with something as relatively low-maintenance as a cat.

Really, I think Lisa was just worried that having me cat-sit would be an imposition. She kept talking up how sweet and well-behaved Noodle is... how she never, ever relieves herself anywhere but in her box... how she never scratches on anything except her scratching mat. The cat was a hard sell for her boyfriend (now husband), so I think she's used to some reticence and backlash where cats are concerned.

In truth, I didn't dread Noodle's visit at all. Several people over the past many years have encouraged me to get a kitten, and I've said myself more than once that if I'm to be a proper spinster, I clearly need a cat. I never really thought myself a cat person before (or even much of a pet person at all), but I've met some cool cats* at my friends' and ex-boyfriends' houses over the years, and it's warmed me up to the idea a bit. I thought Noodle-sitting would be an excellent trial run to find out if I'd really like having a furry friend in my place.

* I mean cats literally; I'm not picking up some beatnik jive there.

So. What is the verdict on this little plan? Well, I don't think I'll be visiting a shelter or fancy cat breeder place any time soon. Yes, Noodle is sweet and lovely and all of that, but I'm still thinking of cats in much the same way as children: it's fine hanging out with other people's for a while, but I'm also really glad that someone else has to take them home eventually.

The past week, I've been basically itemizing all the reasons that a full-time, permanent cat is not for me, and since I had no other Friday Five planned for today, that shall be my list.

Five reasons I do not want a cat after all
(based on my friend Noodle as a reference point)

  1. On weekday mornings, I get up at 6:30. Noodle gets up at 5:30. But does she just sit there quietly watching cartoons and having a bowl of Lucky Charms while she waits for me to wake up, like I ever-so-kindly did for my parents as a child? No. Instead she meows and scratches at my door repeatedly until I let her in. If you are wondering why I don't just let her in my bedroom all night, in the hopes of keeping her less lonely, I need to point out that I tried that. Noodle climbing up onto my windowsills and scratching at my blinds at 3:00 a.m. quickly proved that a bad idea, too.

  2. Three times this week, I have walked into my kitchen barefoot and stepped in an unexpected and unexplainable wet spot. No, it's not unusual for me to spill a splash of water or drop a bit of frost from some terribly healthy frozen food item on my floor and notice the resulting small puddle later, but I don't think this has happened three times in the past five days. Since I wasn't sure how else to discern whether the wet spot was water or cat pee, I bent over and sniffed my foot. Oddly, it smelled lemon fresh. My kitchen floor is not lemon fresh, but Noodle's cat litter is. I still can't decide what this means as to the source of the spot, but it makes me uneasy nonetheless.

  3. Though it's a few years old already, I still really quite like my comfy purple chenille couch. So does Noodle. Unfortunately, I like it with all the threads and tufts intact, while Noodle seems to think it would be fun to see what's under all those threads and tufts. These are incompatible goals, I fear.

  4. Much as knitting and cat-owning seem to go hand-in-hand in the quintessential old maid lifestyle, I have no idea how anyone with a cat in their home gets any knitting done at all. Yarn is like crack to cats, and you'd never try to fashion crack into an afghan** while an addict was nearby, would you?

    ** This is a terrible example, I realize. Perhaps if I'd not been woken up by a cat at 5:30 this morning, I could have come up with something witty that made more sense. As it stands, that's the best I can do.

  5. And finally, the only possibly legitimate and not-unjustifiably-whiny item on the list... Despite the fact that I've never really been aware of any strong cat allergies before, I'm guessing that the watery eyes and itchy, sneezy nose I've had only at home and not at work this week can be attributed to Noodle rubbing herself all over my self and my house. I could pop a Claritin every day, I suppose, but if I'm going to develop a drug habit, I'd like to think I'd pick a more interesting one to be dependent on than that.

Still, she is pretty cute, is she not?


Darren McLikeshimself said...

I say stir it up. Everyone knows cats blow.

Give me a big eared, sad jowled beagle any day of the week.

3carnations said...

I'm so glad no one walked by my desk as I shook stifling silent laughter as I read your post. I have experienced most of those things with a cat, thus making it even funnier. Our cat does not sleep with us anymore, but believe it or not, you learn to sleep through the blind rattling.

Incidentally, I think Darren is thinking of a Basset Hound. Beagles don't really have jowls. I used to confuse the two myself, until we had two beagles join our family.

Darren McLikeshimself said...

Nope, I'm thinking beagle. I used to have one, and he had some droopy jowls.

stefanie said...

Aw, Darren, it's so sad to hear you have to say you "used to have a beagle." :-(

I figured you were talking about Harvey, and I figured you knew what kind of dog he was, so my question was going to be whether you knew what jowls are, as opposed to whether you knew what Beagles were. But I'm sure you're actually well informed on both counts.

Stinkypaw said...

Just being allergic is reason enough not to have a cat. It's not for everyone. ...just like kids! ;-)

Poppy Cede said...

She's adorable!

On a completely unrelated topic, I'd like to see a picture of your fridge magnets in full. You seem to have a very interesting collection. That should be the next "thing" to sweep the blogosphere: photos of fridge magnets!

stefanie said...

Poppy, that's a fine idea. (*scurrying off to take some more pictures...*)