I am not a cat person. I know I’ve said that before when I’ve talked about our cat, Moxy, how we got her, and even how I almost adopted another. But I feel like because I have successfully coexisted with this feline hellion catnip addict I may have lost some credibility. So please, let me be perfectly clear: I AM NOT A CAT PERSON!
I love all animals and so cats are naturally included, but appreciating them from afar is the person I want to be, not living with one. But Moxy, who I have called Roy’s (my husband’s) daughter – not mine, or a stepsister or more commonly – the squatter, is… please don’t make me say anything nice about her here.
But the truth is, yes I love her. There is no getting around that. During the first year we had her, which was the most difficult for me, because I am NOT a cat person, she had a few near death experiences. No, really, she kept trying to take a flying leap off our loft – it’s at least a sixteen-foot drop to hard wood below. Roy and his mom and a few other cat loving friends said things like, “Cats know better,” “She wouldn’t do that,” etc. and I still remember that first night when Roy got home from work and she was about ready to take a leap for real, butt wiggle and everything (there is more than fifteen feet of open air before she’d strike a wall) and I immediately yelled, “ROY!” and he looked at me from the family room, “Go get Moxy! Hurry!” And he didn’t hesitate and I stood under where she would fall if he didn’t make it in time, going between thoughts of “Please let her be okay” and “Please don’t let her land on my face!”
Obviously, if I didn’t care about her, I would let nature take its course. (We turned a spare bedroom into a kitty paradise after several “falls” falling from the second floor. She’s only free around the house, during the day, when we’re home for obvious reasons. We also had to baby proof certain electrical outlets because she kept trying to stick her claws into them. No, I am not even kidding.) I wouldn’t work so hard to make sure her room is pretty much pimped out with cat trees and beds and houses and toys and lounging chairs. I wouldn’t give her so much catnip (actually that’s a lie, she is much more tolerable when she’s high). I wouldn’t give her treats including a campaign to let her have actual fish (my husband is against it because of the smell and – I know there are other reasons).
So, yes, I love her dammit, but it’s important we don’t speak of it. Moxy is an affectionate, sweet lap kitty but she is still a cat. So if I give her a treat in the morning it’s like permission for her to go around knocking crap over, eating things that are not edible and may require another trip to the vet, etc. Oh, we have done several trials, you start the day out with kindness and she really pushes it, even for my cat-loving husband. So we just have a routine. I’m Bad Mama Cat. I say this because if I hiss, she instantly stops looks at me and moves her mouth quickly while making unintelligible sounds, but she stops. I just have to give her a look and she stops dead, looks at me and then comes over to me to cuddle or gives me the evil eye and tries to wait me out.
But she won’t even look up at Roy if he hisses, she doesn’t even acknowledge him. Roy jokes she’s scared of me, but I don’t think that’s right because A) I have never mistreated her unless bad jokes, sometimes not tasteful, is a form of abuse; B) half the time I hiss or acknowledge her in a “Don’t even” way, she’ll come over to me to cuddle, as if trying to make nice; C) She approaches me just as much as anyone else, never avoids me, and sometimes prefers to sit/cuddle with me as opposed to Roy and this is just random snuggles not post-hiss peace keeping. I just am what I call “the Alpha cat”. It’s been said that cats think we’re just bigger weird looking cats, and I’ve established myself as boss. Moxy is still a cat who will test boundaries as often as possible, but when confronted with my attention she backs down and stalks off or comes to rub against me. (I feel I’ve gone off point here, this seems like its own post, really.)
At the end of the day, Moxy is adorable and the dozens of pictures on my phone prove that I find her to be cute and sweet. She’s affectionate and while I think a male orange tabby probably has the ideal cat temperament, I also acknowledge that we’re pretty luck that Moxy is such a sweet, entertaining cuddle bug. And that is why we can never get another, because part of me doubts we’ll get this lucky again – and also on those trying days I find myself thinking, “She’s one of the good ones?”
But she is. I would be very sad if anything ever happened to her. She’s a part of our family, even if she is the most dysfunctional part. I love her, okay. I love her. Just please don’t tell her that!