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Living With Kitty

Posted on Jan 01, 2017 in Micah Davis , Cat , January–February 2017

A dog person adopts a cat, and discovers how fantastic she is By Micah Davis

You may be a cat hater. I get it. I used to be, too. To me, it never made sense that someone would want to own an animal with a reputation for unfriendliness and ingratitude when you could instead get a dog, which has been bred over centuries into the perfect human companion. However, since I’ve started living with a cat (named Dot) earlier this year, I’ve begun to see the appeal of these furry animals. I’m even thinking of getting another one, just so Dot has someone to hang out with. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to do a little pussycat proselytizing, and tell you some of the best parts about cohabitating with a cat. Perhaps by the time I’m done, you’ll be inspired to rescue a kitty yourself. If not, then at least you’ll have a better understanding of why the feline genus is not for you.

The most important thing to know is that you don’t necessarily even have to like cats all that much to enjoy living with one. That’s because cats provide a source of nearly endless entertainment. Part of the fun of living with one is observing just how weird these creatures really are. If you described a cat to someone who had never met one before, it would probably sound like something you had made up: “I have an animal that lives in my house under my furniture. Its eyes glow in the dark. Its insides rumble when you pet it. It leaves small animals at my bedroom door because it wants to be my friend.”

A cat’s entertaining weirdness is made all the more apparent whenever you give the thing catnip. Suddenly it’s doing the same strange things as before, but sped up, frantically, with a midair 180 thrown in every 20 seconds. As her tiny feline mind unravels before me, I wonder if I should feel guilty about dosing a creature for my own entertainment, or concerned about permanently frying her brain. As long as the Internet says I have nothing to be worried about, though, I’ll remain a drug dealer for one.

Cats are also entertaining because they feel like a puzzle to figure out. Often, the cat I live with will lasciviously offer her stomach to me and fix me with a ‘come hither’ gaze, in what seems like an unmistakable invitation to be pet. Yet as soon as I reach my hand towards her, she’ll hiss and bat at me with her paw. So it’s back to the drawing board, to see if there’s something I can change in my approach that will better please my kitten companion. This process of figuring out a strange creature’s mind presents an interesting challenge for those willing to put in the effort.

If you do eventually figure out what your cat wants, they may reward you with a modicum of affection. This tiny morsel of love can feel as gratifying as an entire day’s worth of doggy devotion, since any respect you get from a cat is as rare and exclusive as an invitation to sit at the cool kids’ table in high school.

These moments of tenderness feel special, in part, because of the amount of time cats spend acting like surly roommates. They keep to themselves, keep the place relatively clean, and sometimes say hello to you. And though it may not sound like the most exciting living situation, if you’re by yourself for the weekend it’s a comfort just to have another creature in your space.

So there you have it, all the best reasons to own a cat, from someone who had never spent much time with one before. Not the most convincing argument, I’ll give you that, but if even the most fervent dog fanatic like me can become a fan, you know they must be pretty cool. So why not start your year off right with a new furry friend? Just make sure to pick up some catnip as well.