Hi. My name is Cary, and I’m a cataholic.
It’s been one year, five months, and sixteen days since my last rescue. This brings the total number of rescues within my now-condemnable home to *cough* five *cough*. But I’m done. No more rescues. My tubes have been tied. However…
I shouldn’t be here. I mean, I’m supposed to be here (at least, the sentencing judge thought I could benefit from being here). I just don’t think I should be here. Sure I write tongue-in-cheek articles about animal cruelty, and I’m probably at the top of Cat Fancy magazine’s annual list of Most Irresponsible Cat Owners for the past four years (right up there with David Thorne). But when they aren’t chained inside the Solitude Trunk, you can ask any of the cats how much they love me, and they’ll gleefully respond “with all of my dark heart” if they know what’s good for them.
“But how did I end up with five,” you ask? Oh. I didn’t realize this was an interrogation. I mean, I didn’t interrupt you bawling about the humane society confiscating your 52 cats, did I, Hazel?
Fine. I’ll honor one question, but no more. I have a cat infestation for two reasons:
- I love my animal-loving partner more than I hate living among a cat plague.
- Handicats are my kryptonite.
It started over six years ago when a stray my Partner named Mr. Tiddles clawed at our bedroom window late one night, desperate for shelter and food. I only let it inside so I could go back to sleep, but eventually it never left. As time passed, more strays wandered to our front door. There was a flea-ridden, young, white kitten we named Reese that wandered up during a party, and then Elvis Cat showed up during the freezing winter. The two handicats (Blind Murphy and Zoe) were adopted by choice, though.
The first day I brought Blind Murphy home, he was frightened and unsure of his new surroundings, never leaving the comfort of the bathroom where we placed his food, water, and litter box. That night, as I slept, I awoke to something scaling the comforter that draped down the side of the bed. I was prepared to backhand whatever reached the top (I assumed it was Mr. Tiddles), but as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realized it was Blind Murphy. He navigated an unseen and unfamiliar terrain, following the sound of my breathing, so he could be with me. For all he knew, the next step could have dropped him off the edge of the world, yet he endured it because he found comfort and safety in my company. He slept on my chest and purred for the rest of the night. By morning, my heart grew three sizes.
What? No, I’m not crying, you asshole. There’s…a lot of dust floating around the room. I swear, whoever you hired to clean this place should be fired. Shut up, Hazel.
Anyway, thank you for letting me share a piece of my story with you today. It feels nice opening up about my woes, even if you are a bunch of weirdos. I mean, 52 cats? Really, Hazel?
Oh, and if any of you should happen to relapse, please consider sharing your home with a disabled or special needs cat. If you do, you’ll learn that handicats are not only more loyal and loving, but they provide an emotional reward on which you can’t put a value.
by Cary Vaughn (2014)