Three years ago, if you would have asked me if I could ever see myself owning a cat as a pet, I would have said hell no. That’s because I only knew dogs. Ever since I was born, my family has always had dogs as pets.
I never used to like cats. To me, cats were these ugly, anti-social creatures with big eyes that hissed, clawed and could attack your ankles at any second. I did a good job of avoiding them. Dogs, on the other hand, were these lovable balls of fur that I baby-talked like there was no tomorrow.
Everything I thought I knew about myself and my pet preference changed last fall.
My roommate and I had just moved into a tiny apartment, and with our very opposite schedules, we hardly ever saw each other. The emptiness of the apartment quickly made the pet-shaped holes in our hearts grow bigger. We missed having an animal around–for me, my dog; for her, her cat.
Getting a pet was the only option! We threw some ideas around–fish, hamster, lizard–but we couldn’t agree on one. Finally, she suggested we get a cat. I was very apprehensive at first. What fun would this animal be for me? Cats are mean and boring, I thought.
But somehow, on a cold October night, I found myself in the parking lot of a Target to meet up with a family that had posted an ad online looking for a new owner for their 1-year-old cat, Mr. Fluffballs. Background: the family was moving to a place that didn’t allow cats.
My roommate fell in love with him fast, as she held his soft grey and black body in her arms, cooing to him. Now it was I who needed convincing.
And to this day, I still don’t know why I said yes. There was nothing overwhelmingly adorable about this cat. His little face did not turn my heart into syrup. His eyes did not speak to me in a sweet little voice. He was just a cat that looked frightened to be outside and in the arms of a stranger.
I really don’t know what made me agree to take that cat home that night. But something did, and, as cheesy as it sounds, I’m glad I did. Because my cat, who we renamed Kevin, has changed my life.
He has taught me that it’s okay to just sit and watch the world from a high window, and that it’s okay to sleep in sometimes. He is my son and, as much as I always told myself I didn’t want to have kids, I am his mom.
And the best part? He breaks every cat stereotype I had. He is social, he never bites or scratches us, and the only noise he makes is a kitten-like meow. Nothing is cuter than him. Period.
At least in my eyes.