Column: Spinster Seeking Cat
Published: Friday, February 10, 2012
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 14:07
I moved home three months ago, which means for the first time in four years I’d be bunking in a houseful of cats.
When I was in college I “had” a feral cat. His name was Grey Gangster because no other cat ever came near my apartment when he was around. I didn’t feed him, but he slept on the hood of my car at night. We were tight.
But I’m not a cat person. This holds for the obvious reasons. Cats are moody, high maintenance, anti-social and have no sense of compassion or guilt. They’re the sociopaths of the animal kingdom. Like I said, I’m not a cat person although my spinster lifestyle would suggest otherwise.
Knowing the cats would be the hardest part of moving home, I still decided to come into it with an open mind. I had to assimilate with the pack before I could expect them to like me. I got it.
But I had no idea just how whacked out my mother’s scheming cats would be.
Meet Carlisle: A three-legged Turkish feral cat my mother’s bleeding heart took in when my family lived in southern Turkey. In addition to his disturbing tripod hobble, he’s mentally deranged. He bites, claws and attacks anything in his one-paw grasp. He sleeps on top of my old prom dresses in my mother’s closet. He’s also scared of the dark. In Operation Oust Amanda, he’s the brains and kamakazi.
Next, meet Tuesday: A six-pound tank of a cat that was ironically the runt of a litter living in a bathroom until my mother adopted her. She’s like a disgruntled DMV employee and Class-A biznatch. The kind of cat that’ll claw at your feet any time you’re in the proximity of food. She’s also incredibly clumsy and always knocking things over, falling off counter tops and getting beat up by Carlisle. In Operation Oust Amanda, she’s Pinky.
So, why am I telling you this?
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I feel it’s every 20-something spinster’s obligation to assess his or her love life and come to terms with how they feel about cats. After all, they’ll end up predicting my death when I’m all alone and dying in a nursing home. So, I’ve been working hard at getting these cats’ approval.
They just weren’t having it. In fact, they’d sprint out of every room I entered. It was like middle school all over again. Granted, the cats probably aren’t afraid I’ll snitch on the baggies of catnip in their gym lockers, but it feels equally irrational. The last few weeks, I’ve been offering cat treats, canned tuna, warm milk, and engaged in long games of throwing these little mice they love to fetch and dangling feathers on a rope for them to play with. They still hate me.
I know this because every time I pet Carlisle, he immediately cleans the patch of fur I touched. And it’s not the cats. They curl up and cuddle with my parents and sisters when we watch movies and Carlisle actually sleeps on my mother’s head every night. No joke. It’s not them. It’s me.
As I’m typing this between packing for my return to Phoenix, I notice Carlisle and Tuesday napping on top of my boxes of clothes. All’s fair in love and war. Dudes and cats are essentially the same, you know – a game. And to save myself from being a 20-something spinster for life, I guess I just have to play.
Yeah, I still hate cats. But they did teach me a hell of a lot about love.