On Friday, I came home in the mood I’m usually in at the end of the week. Tired, unsettled, and mentally worn. And so much so that my mind runs, but generates almost no focused or sensible thoughts. Tired, but grateful for the two days I have ahead of me to make eggs and cinnamon rolls for breakfast and to sleep a little later in the morning.
My dearest love had been hyping up a “weekend surprise” since last weekend. I get anxious about surprises and if I try to guess what he’s going to give me, I will usually figure it out and ruin it. If I guess it early enough, I won’t spend too much time fantasizing the numerous catastrophes it could turn in to. Or I just won’t get a stomachache from the apprehension–a little worry, with a little giddy excitement, with a little crippling sense of impending doom.
Naturally, I guessed what it was by Tuesday. So he had to just lie to me.
“Well, I know it’s not a cat, because I already said I’m not ready for a cat. This apartment is too small and I don’t think we could afford one yet. So, it’s not a cat, right?”
It was a cat. Well, a kitten to be more specific. A two-month old, rescued gray tabby. This cat. I adore this cat. This cat stalking my fingers as I type, wiggling her butt to steady herself before she leaps over my tablet and onto my keyboard. Vicious, fluffy, domesticated human-appendage hunter! It’s just too much. I have to snuggle her. I grab her and lean back and she lays on my collar bone and purrs in my ear.
This is one of many things I can say for certain that Daniel gets right about me. Sometimes I need to not listen to myself. Sometimes he has to ignore me, and do what both of us know would be good for me. Even if only one of us can see at the time that it would be good for me. I get lost in what could be this or that, and forget to actually live what is.
So he ignored me and got me a cat.
In just the weekend we’ve had her, I’m beginning to see how she’s going to change me.
Instead of worrying about money or stressing about something rude someone said on the phone to me at work, I’ve been giggling and snuggling with her all weekend. She makes me giggle when she’s running from the kitchen to the porch door and she skids to a stop, surprised when she kicks her mouse toy. She looks me in the eyes when we snuggle, and I know she feels care and love from me. She sleeps next to me all night, curled up and purring on my shoulder at the bottom of my pillow. She is a distraction from the outside world, the world which I distort as I allow it into my mind, my memories, and my consciousness. Her affection, her clumsy, adventurous spirit will give me a break from my equivocal inner-world. And if I’m smart, I will take what she gives me and go out into the world a little better prepared to reconcile what I see with what I think I see.
And she has improved my relationship with Daniel just a little bit already. I’ve been more grateful this weekend. More affectionate and less on edge. He’s been tempering well the transfer of some of my much-wanted affection to the cat. But when I hug or kiss him, I hold longer and kiss sweeter.
Hell, I even dusted this weekend! And vacuumed. And cleaned the kitchen.
Now I have to figure out how the heck I’m going to leave her to go to work tomorrow. I’m already imaging her sitting at the door waiting for us to come home. She’ll probably just run around, knock over some stuff on my bookcase, jump into the trash can and knock it over, and take a lot of naps.
Part 2 is later this week. Something you will probably have seen coming, but not in the way you expect.