As Charlie runs like a madman around my apartment, pouncing on imaginary things and every once in a while pausing to mew at me as if to ask, “Why aren’t you running around chasing all of these magical things?” I ask myself, “How the heck did I end up with a cat?”
My answer to the age-old question: dogs or cats? has always been dogs. I’m not sure why…maybe it’s because my family always had dogs growing up, and it wasn’t until my sister wanted a cat that we got Cuddles, perhaps the most inappropriately named cat ever. Period. Imagine being a fourth grader and going into school with ugly scratches all over your face and having to explain to your teacher and friends that your cat did this, and yes, your cat was also named Cuddles. She liked to sleep on the stairs and to be able to go up to my room I would literally have to do a running jump over her or else she would gnaw the heck out of my leg. Unpleasant. Now that I think about it, maybe Cuddles is the reason I’m a dog person.
Cuddles ran away and was probably eaten by some animal. I was only sad because my sister was sad. I still remember her standing at the back door calling and calling Cuddles’ name with tears in her eyes. Despite this cat’s tendency to attack and be anything BUT cuddly, my sister loved her. I can’t say I missed the daily leg gnawing or face scratching, though.
Then we got Oscar, and of course I loved him, because he didn’t scratch me (well only if I rubbed his belly) and overall was a good cat. He didn’t much like to be held, but was affectionate, especially around meal times.
However, through all this time, my dogs were always my favorite. Buddy, the Doberman mix my parents got before I was born, was my best, well, buddy. I used to ride him around like a horse. However, the Doberman got the best of him and he became over-protective when my brother was born. For years after, the UPS man would drop our packages off at my grandparents’ house for fear of Buddy. He was gentle as a lamb around us kids, but the last straw was when he wouldn’t let my grandfather in the house. He had to be put down. Then we got Tippy, who was my main pet throughout my childhood. She was a beagle-border collie mix who liked to chase cars and eat cow manure. She always smelled like the barn and on two separate occasions brought dead snakes into the house, but we loved her. She was completely loyal to us. She loved to have her belly rubbed. When we would get home from vacation, she was so happy to see us that she would race around the yard in circles. And now, Ruby and Stella, well I love them to pieces.
But now I have Charlie and in the few days I’ve had him he has already brought me so much joy. I honestly never though I could feel this for a cat. I mean, I’m probably more of a cat person than many dog-people you may have met, due to the simple fact that I just love animals in general (when you grow up surrounded my hundreds of cows plus Nutmeg, my horse, too many barn cats to count, my dogs and the occasional chicken or pig, it’s inevitable).
Anyway, the point is, I love my cat. I can’t promise this will be the last post about him ever, but I promise this won’t turn into an “I love my pet” blog because that’s just boring. But he’s pretty great, especially right now as he is running like a maniac around my bed pouncing on my pajama pants as if they were his mortal enemy. Priceless.