Becoming That Which I Said I Would Never Be
For years I wanted a pet. A dog. There were many reasons I wanted a dog and not a cat, chief among which was that I did not want to be a "single woman with a cat."
Then my roommate finally relented and said we could get a pet, but it had to be a cat. No dogs. I figured a cat is better than nothing. I could settle for a cat.
When we left Artemis alone for Yom Kippur, I hung toys and bells all over the salon so she wouldn't get bored.
When I turn off the light and get into bed for the night, Artemis jumps in and curls up in the crook of my arm. In the morning she lays down on my abdomen while I pet her and she purrs. Neither of us likes to wake up. It's nice to wake up with another live thing who is happy to be there, together.
Artemis has a new friend. Every day she goes up the block and hangs out with a street cat who lives in the garden next door. They touch noses and take naps next to each other.
Artemis was spayed last week, and though at first she was healing beautifully, she now has an infection. I have to give her antibiotic pills twice a day. She responds like the fourth cat in this video (starting at 2:05), except more violent.
Conversation recently held in my apartment:
Sarah: Artemis is looking at us like "I can't believe I tolerate these people."
Liza: It's so funny, the range of thoughts you ascribe to the cat.
Sarah: Well, look at her.
Liza: She'll be walking around with a look that says "Hi, I'm a cat." And you'll make up some complicated set of emotions for her.
Liza: As far as I'm concerned, she has four emotions: happy, pissed, hungry, and tired.
Sarah: Don't forget bored. Also, there are two kinds of happy. There is "Yay, I'm playing with a toy" happy, and "Mmmm, I'm purring because someone is petting me happy."
A few nights ago, I wanted to go to sleep and realized that Artemis was still outside. I need her to be inside so that she won't wake me up later to let her in. It was about 1 am and soon I was walking up the block in my silk bathrobe and slippers, whispering "here, kitty kitty" to the night air, and I realized that not only am I a single woman with a cat, I am A CRAZY CAT LADY.