Cats are much maligned creatures, in my opinion. Think about how horribly they're protrayed in the media. Garfield is fat and lazy and really at best only marginally humorous. Tom & Jerry: Tom is incompetent, irrationally mean, and constantly defeated. Sylvester & Tweety: well, much the same, plus the debilitating lisp. Suffering succotash. And those horrible Siamese animals in Lady & the Tramp! Yeesh. And think of the historical oppression of cats through the ages, witch's familiars and stuff. (Of course, they seemed to like cats in Egypt...good for them.) This is the reason my cat's named Tiamat, by the way. I figured, why not celebrate our reviled feminine chaotic-ness?
Well, anyway, in a world, or at least an apartment complex, full of dogs and dog lovers and dog poop picker-uppers, I have a cat. And I'm not sorry.
You may have missed this (ha) but I've been feeling pretty crappy lately. If you got to the bottom of the last post (if you didn't who could blame you?) you will have noticed that I was contemplating prospective simultaneous loss of intelligence, sanity, hair, and the onset of halitosis, body odor, those grody toenails they keep showing on TV... Yeah, my thesis being, failure is contagious and pretty soon everything's bound to go. So I guess you can say I've been feeling pretty bad.
Today wasn't, honestly, any better. I nearly overslept and missed a 10:00 meeting with 2 professors and 4 other students, arrived breathless, just a smidge late, with evident bedhead. I came home and had a lot of trouble making myself get to this paper and then worked diligently for hours on it and now have...whoopee...a paragraph.
But as I was sitting at the computer at my desk in the bedroom (not a great workspace, very claustrophobic), in comes the cat. She walks right up and jumps in my lap. Not satisfied, she decides to drape herself over my shoulder and settle in--kindof like the way moms prop their kids on their shoulders after feeding to be burped. But Tiamat wasn't (thankfully) experiencing any indigestion. She apparently just wanted to stay close and purr.
It was really nice. Cats can make you feel so special. Sure, they don't come when you call them, and I will never be able to break Tiamat of her dreadful habit of sharpening her claws in my Turkish carpet (lugged by hand all the way from Turkey, love that rug). And they don't do tricks like dogs and they look at you with disdain as often as not. But it means something when they seek you out and purr on your shoulder. 'Cause they don't have to, and they know you know it. Little kids are that way too. You feel this burst of "oh goodie" when they accept you, because they don't just like everyone. You're special. You're chosen.
So my day got a little better. The universe has shown me some gratuitous affection. I don't have kids, but I have a cat. And yep, that's enough for me. Well, maybe I could handle another cat.