As far as domesticated household animals are concerned, the American feline (kittius americanus) is about as cute as they come. Sure, ladies drool and ogle over those calendars with pictures of puppies dressed up like firefighters and spacemen, but so do the calendars of kittens in similar garb. There are, without question, in the top two among the list of World’s Cutest Baby Pets.
And, since Amy and I bumped into a feline rescue display at Petco a few weeks ago instead of a bow-wow rescue display, the idea of adopting a cat won over. Their having been cute really helped push the whole transaction along. What can I say? I’m a sucker for cute things, like kittens, tiny dollhouse furniture, and Coleman’s yiddle muscles.
So there we are, eyeballing the seven or so cats up for adoption, looking for (in Amy’s words), “One that really likes to cuddle.” I, on the other hand, preferred something a little more vicious—perhaps a cat that escaped from a high-security jungle prison for viciously devouring his innocuous little animal friends without mercy or regret. Seriously, I want a cat I can watch football with. Cuddling is for chicks. So are Nicholas Sparks books.
In the end, Amy won out and we picked two cuddlers, a rambunctious little lion cub and a sleek black panther, both in their toddler stage (By “lion” and “panther,” I literally mean “orange cat” and “black cat”). By the time we had the animals for a week, however, Amy became dangerously close to returning our boys to the Cat Store for one simple, overlooked reason:
They refused to leave us the hell alone while we slept.
Buddy Guy, our orange cat, is generally so needy for love and affection that he rousts us at 3:30am just about every night. He pounds on our chests, jams his nose lovingly against our mouths, and gets on Amy’s pillow to bite her hair. Throw him off the bed and he hops right back up. He’s a resilient little soldier.
Even worse was when BB King, the black cat, had to go back to the doctor’s house for a week because he got really sick. Buddy went insane due to loneliness and demanded even more attention than usual, resulting in a relentless mopey mewing for days. I haven’t heard anything that sad since the time I stole that candy from that baby. I love gummi bears.
In protest of having had his partner in crime removed from the house, Buddy literally made it impossible for us to move. Cats have this uncanny ability of wrapping their bodies around your legs so that every step you take they seem to be in the perfect position to make you fall over yourself and smash into a door frame. You’re only recourse for this is just stepping on the cat, but no one ever has the heart for that. Would you step on a crawling kid in diapers if he got in your way? Exactly. This is why we make our cats wear diapers, just in case we ever forget that.
The answer to our bedtime problem seems pretty clear to most logical human beings, but “most logical human beings” does not include women who are cat lovers. My wife, for example, can’t stomach the idea of leaving our animals locked in their food and potty room all night so we can grab some shut-eye. She feels bad for them, as if their little walnut-sized brains could maintain the memory of an unthinkable night of horrors amidst food, water, bathroom facilities, toys, a roof, and adequate heating or cooling. Who could possible endure such a nightmare day after horrible day?
No way, says The Wife. They’re staying upstairs. At least that was her philosophy until the time she had to toss Buddy off of the bed thirteen times instead of indulging in some delicious REM sleep. “I can’t take it anymore,” she whined, and I carted our little Garfield down to his safe room and locked him up good.
“Problem solved,” I thought. But then BB came back, and Amy’s humanitarian (animalitarian?) spirit returned fully rejuvenated.
Last night was the first in over a week in which both guys were around for bedtime, and I was sure we were in for twice the trouble since Buddy had gotten used to bothering us all night. But, for whatever reason, they stayed off the bed. Amy’s hair wasn’t chewed and I wasn’t pulled out of another awesome “Prison Break” dream via wet cat nose in mouth. I haven’t slept that well since before the move.
Now, our two cats spend the majority of their time playing kitty-cat grab-ass and engaging in what I’m pretty sure are playful UFC death matches. They enjoy fruitlessly pursuing the laser pointer’s evasive red dot and leaving incredibly stinky #2’s in their litter box.
It’s a fine existence as an owner one of the world’s top two cutest pets, ain’t it? To be truthful, for all I complain about the little goobers I’m pretty attached them. Maybe, if they’re lucky, we can do a little cuddling later tonight.