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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?