This week, my boyfriend Carlos and I adopted a fur baby, and if I didn’t anticipate myself becoming crazy obsessed with my cat beforehand, I know it full well now.
Carlos is a staunch dog-person, while I grew up with four cats who were treated like immediate family members who shared our very same blood– that is to say the least, I am a cat-person. So needless to say, when the debate was had, “we” decided on a cat.
Being such kind, generous, caring, thoughtful, considerate, heroic, wholesome, and giving people, Carlos and I went to a pet rescue to seek out adoptable felines. A pet rescue is like a pet store except a pet rescue just collects really messed up animals and sells them for an arm and a leg, which some of the animals don’t even have. They basically save animals from mean humans and resell them to nice humans. It’s like a thrift shop for animals.
So, we went there and mingled with some very suave cats trying to schmooze us over, but when I saw Esmeralda, there were instant sparks. (She shocked me.) In the first place, she must have killed a chinchilla and took its fur for herself because she’s the softest cat I’ve ever touched, and in the second place, as I was petting her, she would give little licks on my hand that I found especially endearing in the moment. All the other cats in her room were bored with putting on a fresh face for potential adopters, but Esmeralda was still young and hopeful! “We’re not leaving without her.” And we didn’t.
I filled out some paperwork (“How will you deal with any inappropriate behavior from your pet?” Do you want some sort of ten-step plan? I don’t know!) and Carlos handed over his card (Ah, getting a dog-person to pay for a cat; it’s so satisfying). Then, just like that, Esmeralda was ours. What a scary but exciting new responsibility!
As we left the pet rescue, I heard Arms of the Angel playing in stereo cannon for all the cats I indirectly and directly rejected. (Sorry, I’d adopt them all if I could, but then that’d basically be like transferring them to a different pet rescue: my house.)
On the drive home, Esmeralda had to do that patented cat thing where they meow dramatically the entire trip. She was a lot calmer about it than my previous cats, though (I’m talking to YOU, Wolverine). My previous cats go for the Oscar when they only have a four-minute car ride to the vet! Quit the sob story, we get it! Anyway, Esmeralda was fairly reasonable during her 20-minute commute.
When we got home, at first, she was really freaked and hid on top of the fridge. (One second she’s on the floor, I turn around and she’s transported to the top of the fridge.) But after several hours and some forced relocation, she was able to walk around our bedroom with more ease. And the next day, we had some hardcore bonding and she’s since become almost acclimated to her new kingdom.
I already know I’m going to be annoying about her. I’ve embraced it. You know first-time (or second-time, or third-time, etc.) parents on Facebook? I feel like that. How they post a ton of pictures of their baby doing their “first” everythings, like “Baby Alice’s first bath! Baby Agnes’s first hair cut! Baby Ruth’s first time pooping in the shape of a baseball diamond!” Well, get ready for the onslaught of cat doting, because Esmeralda will put all your baby photos to shame with her unadulterated cuteness.
Plus, I’m 20-year-old cat-person, so this is–in my eyes (my crazy, cat-obsessed eyes)–the equivalent of a human baby. I’ll be talking to someone in my age group, maybe a little older, and they’ll be like:
“Keegan just hit 29 months!”
“What is that, like 5?”
“It’s a little over 2 years old.”
“Yeah, I forgot my calculator at home.”
“Keegan’s so cute, the other day he smeared his food in the shape of a heart.”
“Ah, that’s adorable. Esmeralda likes to lick me. Of course, she also licks her butt so I guess I shouldn’t be that flattered.”
“Um. She-uh, she licks her butt?”
“Yeah, Esmeralda’s–what do you call it– like probably around ’29 months’ too.”
“Yeah? When did you have her?”
“Well, I adopted her last week and that’s what the place guessed at her age being.”
“Uh. Okay. You adopted her?”
“Yeah. It was between her and the three-legged one, and I chose her!”
“She came fixed too, which is a relief.”
“Are you talking about a cat?”
“You say cat, I say fur baby.”
“That’s… That’s not the same…”
“Okay Angela. Whatever you say.”
I did the calculations, and with Esmeralda’s degree of cuteness and the amount of storage left on my phone, I’m going to run out of room on my camera roll in 2 months. Guess I’ll have to delete pictures of my family to make room for my new angel ❤
She’s such a sweetheart and I’m such a sucker. She’s restless for love and I’m restless to give her love. This equation is bad for productivity, but good for overall quality of life. I just want to lovingly stare at her for hours. (I’m told this is what new parents do, too. See? They’re the same. Human baby = fur baby.) I want to buy her all the treats and spoil her and reward her for being so lovable. (Carlos, on the other hand, is feeling the full force of sheer neglect.)
However, Carlos, for being a dog-person, is remarkably entranced by her compacted awesomeness, too. He is very amused by her and likes to pet her (she likes him, too), although they are in the habit of accidentally scaring the shit out of each other.
So, if the pet rescue people are reading this, I can assure you Esmeralda is in the best home possible and will have no lack of love in her life. You do not have to tap my phone lines or hack my emails to make sure that I’m a reputable pet owner, because I’ll tell you straight up: Esmeralda is my fur baby, and a fur baby is a lifelong commitment (unlike a human baby (I tease)).