Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cute and Cuddly Fluff Balls of Destructive Fury

Considering I work in a library, it should come as no surprise that I own a cat. Perhaps the shocker comes from the fact that I only own a cat and not cats, plural. Much like when eating Lay's Potato Chips (tm), few library employees can stop at just one. As it turns out, the stereotype of the cat loving librarian is scary accurate on the whole. I've heard rumors of some people in the library business that are without cats (or worse... they own dogs), but like leprechauns and friendly TSA agents, I don't believe they exist.

I should note that I am not a pet owner because of some innate need for an animal companion. I don't think I even liked animals at the time. I am an accidental pet owner. Somewhere about 6 years ago, my roommate moved out with half of my possessions but not her cat. I guess there wasn't room in the car with all my pots and pans taking up valuable real estate. So now I find myself coming home at night to a destroyed apartment and looking into my cat's face while saying with all sincerity as if she could understand, "We do not teach books to swim in this house!" Over the years there has been a long list of things we don't do in my house: lick the eyes of sleeping people, jump from the top of bookshelves onto passerbys, leave rat heads as gifts on pillows, etc.

Like all those stories of the rambunctious animal that causes its owner to despair yet ultimately learn the "amazing power of animal companionship and unconditional love" (otherwise known as Marley-istic literature or "instant best-seller"), I have a fondness for that little tornado of hedonistic wholesale destruction. If it wasn't for her, I'd be able to keep furniture for longer than a year. Now I get to redecorate constantly. It helps keep things fresh. Plus, when she gets the "zoomies" (a behavior that typically occurs in the wee hours of the morning when cats go temporarily insane for no good reason), I get to experience the joy of waking up at 3 AM. And let me tell you, the day is much more interesting when you are hallucinating from sleep deprivation.

A vet friend of mine recently informed me that cats can live over 20 years. And since mine is in excellent health, possibly longer. I cried a little when I heard this. I can't be certain that they were tears of joy.
posted by jw