My Life as a Cat Lady

 
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    February 18, 2013 at 4:00 am

    In this episode of My Life as a Cat Lady, we explore what it’s like to bring someone home to a dark room filled with shining little eyes, dealing with the landlord, dealing with the police, and having children.

    Dating


    First of all, I don’t trust people who don’t love animals. I just don’t. Those are the people who fail to understand that humans are animals themselves, and who underestimate the intelligence and companionship other species have to offer. I don’t think that everyone should have a cat or a dog, but I do think that there’s a certain ignorance and closed-mindedness to a person who dislikes or fears animals. And ain’t nobody got time for that in the Cat House.

    I never even attempted to hide the fact that there were 25 cats occupying my house to anyone, ever. I would sometimes be afraid of judgment (having over two dozen cats is weird okay I know it is, you don’t have to tell me), but the energy it takes to lie was, for me, better spent on other things. Like building three-foot-tall mountains of Friskies pate in the shape of a snowman.

    I just assumed that those who were scared away weren’t interesting enough to be involved in my life, and those who stuck around had “passed the test.” Because “Those who matter don’t mind; those who mind don’t matter.”

    And yes, I could name every goddamn one of them.

    The Landlord


    I was the landlord. I was free to hoard as many cats as I wanted. I bought one on Craigslist for $20 from a woman whose walls were covered in life-sized cardboard cutouts of Xena, Warrior Princess. I took in one Doctor Meatballs from a couple of out-of-state morons who were going to dump him at the shelter because the new roommate they chose “had allergies.” I picked up the ancient and filthy Dirt Cat from up the block, old and abandoned. Man, he was the best cat ever. I even caught one in my own backyard, which I later released after he tried to claw up my leg and gouge my eyes out.

    There was no one to stop me. I don’t know many 20-year-olds who are left to rule a cat-filled house alone, in Brooklyn, but I assume that the rest of them would act similarly. Cats? Check. Drugs? Check. Commence party.

    Band Practice
    I would have band practice in my basement. Our best song was called “The Cat House” which involved a lot of keyboard effects and screaming. Band practice was often cut short due to the guitar player’s allergies, but he lived upstairs and so could never truly escape. The drummer had brought a cat and so had the bassist, and their little creatures would pee on their dirty laundry and fight with some of the other cats as they were not properly integrated into the rest of the population.

    Sometimes, my neighbors would call the police. The police always liked to listen to our band play, and enjoyed my company more than my neighbors because, despite the constant fog of weed smoke and kitty litter dust, I was always polite and welcoming. Unlike my neighbor, who once stood screaming profanities at me from the bottom of my stoop, everyone was invited into The Cat House for a beer, which they never accepted, and a song or two, which they seemed to enjoy.

    Cat Fights
    The cats rarely fought. This may come as a surprise, but they had plenty of room and claimed small territories; on top of a bookshelf, beneath the kitchen counter, under the bed, one corner of the basement, another corner of the basement, a certain chair. Doctor Meatballs lived on top of a tall closet. He hated everyone else.

    But many of them got along and would snuggle constantly. I didn’t suddenly acquire 25 cats; some had been in my possession since childhood, so most were pretty familiar with one another.

    Child Protective Services
    The only real problem I ever encountered because of my cats was the custody battle I had to fight over my young daughter after my ex-boyfriend discovered her playing in the litter box one day. I don’t know how she crawled in there, but it took two days to wash the smell of cat shit off of her and he was really mad about it to say the least. After calling CPS, little Nancy was taken away from me and placed in protective custody until I proved, six months later, that I had gotten rid of 90% of my cats and adequately scoured my home. And by “gotten rid of” I mean “locked in the basement,” but CPS was none the wiser and I finally won my daughter back. After that amount of time, however, she no longer recognized me and feared me as one would a stranger. It took years of therapy to gain her trust back and I am currently suing the state for the thousands of dollars it cost me. Also, nothing in this paragraph is true.

     
     
     
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