Fine, I guess I am a crazy cat guy...
At least once a week, I find myself having this conversation with my coworkers:
coworker: You are a cat guy, aren't you? I mean, you've got cats?
mad anthony: I have one cat. Geez. Why does everyone think I'm some kind of crazy cat person.
But maybe I'm just trying to escape reality. Last weekend, I walked out my front door to a distressing sight - a cat hiding in my bushes that had been hit by a car. Twenty three hours, $960, and a lot of crying later, I ended up having to have him put to sleep.
When I've told this to people, or blogged about, most people tell me that I'm a good person, that I did the right thing, that most people wouldn't have done as much. But a few people look at me with a kind of puzzled expression. Not coincidently, everyone in that second group doesn't have a cat, or in many cases any pets.
I never planned on getting a cat. But about 5 years ago, one of the student employees at the college I work out found some kittens behind one of the dorms, and needed a home for one of them quickly. I somehow got talked into seeing the kitten, who promptly fell asleep on my lap. Every time I picked her up to get up she would instantly get back up and fall back asleep on my lap. I took it as a sign, took her home, and named her Nibbler, after Leela's pet/superintellegent alien in the show Futurama.
And as I write this, she's still napping on my lap, perched between my chest and my Macbook Pro. She's quite a bit bigger now, though.
And in those years she's become a huge part of my life. She's the first living thing i see in the morning- and I usually feel her before I see her, because she's often curled up against my legs in bed, or occasionally on top of them. She comes running to the door when I come home. When I'm home she's often curled up on my lap, or running around whatever room I'm in.
And yet, she asks for so little. A half-cup of kibble that I suspect is made from meat-factory floor sweepings every night, some water, and a place to poop. I can leave her at home while I'm at work or the gym or out looking for eBay inventory, and she doesn't mind. I leave her at home for days while I'm visiting the parents out of state or taking the occasional work training trip, with a friend who lives nearby checking on her a few times, and she's fine.
Dog people often don't understand cat people, because cats don't exhibit the same eager affection as dogs. But they are a lot lower maintenance, and when they are affectionate you feel like you've earned it. I figure if my cat is spending time with me, it's because she wants to.
I don't always do well with people. I'm an introvert, I'm a bit socially awkward. I'm 32 and still single, and while I still hope at some point to meet someone, start a family, ect, for now my cat fills at least part of that hole in my life. She doesn't care if I'm short or have bad posture or don't always know the right thing to say.
And that's why I hoped that I could save the cat I found on my front lawn last weekend - because I knew how much better my cat has made my life, and wanted to do the same for another cat.
It's also why I think I might actively look into getting a second cat. My general thought has been that if another cat came into my life and didn't have another option, I'd adopt it. I came close once, with a kitten that showed up on a friend's porch, but he found another home. It's not something I would do until at least January - since I'll be out of town for Thanksgiving and Christmas - but maybe it's finally time to embrace my crazy cat guy ness and have cats instead of a cat.