Last December, I needed a new place to live and a friend of mine needed a tenant for her empty condo. Win-Win.
Well, except that the condo wasn’t exactly empty. Along with a couch and chair and dining room set, the condo came with a cat. My friend and her husband had moved to Atlanta and they couldn’t take him with them. They’d been trying to find him a new home, but had so far been unsuccessful. So the cat, Cain (yes, as in Cain and Able), was living the bachelor life in the condo with his automatic feeder and waterer and self-cleaning litter box. Cain was fully automated.
I love all animals: horses, snakes, lizards, bats, squid, narwhals. I grew up with both cats and dogs, so I had no problem moving in with Cain. As long as Cain had no problem with me moving in with him.
That’s the thing about cats, they have opinions. Strong ones. Not having lived with a cat since I was a child, I’d forgotten most of what I once knew about cat behavior. As the days turned to weeks turned to months, I relearned a lot. Such as:
– Unlike dogs, clapping your hands and saying, “okay, let’s go” means absolutely nothing to a cat. They will continue to lay on your bed and stare into space like you don’t exist.
– Cats will adore you with the entirety of their little fuzzy hearts right up until the random millisecond when they want to rip your face from your skull.
– That “I see dead people” stare they’ll do at a spot right over your shoulder then run from the room like their tail is on fire.
– No flat surface is out of a cat’s reach. I hid a dime bag of cat nip on top of the refrigerator and Cain found it, chewed it open, and ate the entire contents. I came home from work to find him rolling and drooling on the kitchen floor higher than Seth Rogen celebrating his birthday at James Franco’s house.
– Cats show affection by causing pain, i.e., kneading your flesh with their claws while they snuggle and purr and you whimper and cry.
– Cats have a burning desire to chalk your nose like a pool cue with their starfish every chance they get.
– Cats are, basically, assholes.
Like with any roommate situation, there was an adjustment period, but Cain and I have settled into a routine. This mostly involves him doing what ever the fuck he wants and me trying not to trip over him on the stairs and kill myself. It works for us.