|Cat-sitting success, Lindsey's baby Cali...|
I had that dream again. I wasn’t falling. I wasn’t dying. I wasn’t at my high school reunion dressed awkwardly in a tux drinking
(that was Tuesday). No, it was that dream where I became a father. My child? A young red tabby cat. Champagne
It’s an all-too-recurrent dream of mine. I want a cat. Well, actually, I think I want a dog, but I can’t leave a dog along for a day without paying the price. I always grew up with dogs, rabbits, turtles, sea monkeys, birds, fish. We had animals everywhere in the house, and even outside. One summer we decided to set my brother digging in the backyard resulting in an aquatic garden, an ornamental pond full of tadpoles and koi. The large golden fish were beautiful, and apparently very tasty to the endangered blue heron that they attracted to our backyard…
Though as long as I can remember, while the puppies ran around the house chewing shoes and the parakeets squalked in their cages, I had a stuffed reddish-orange cat that at one point lost an eye. No one in the family wanted a kitten. Cats are off-standish, unaffectionate, unfriendly. Who needs that when you have a gushing, slobbering dog on the couch just yearning to be pet? So I kept my plush cycloptic cat hidden safely in my room, never manifesting any real desire for a kitten. While raised a dog person, I think I may be a closeted cat person. Sorry, Mom.
|Not quite a parakeet...but I've owned birds already...|
|A goat: affection and cheese..hmm...|
Here in Paris, friends with cats rave about their feline pals. Everyone loves them, no one complains about them, no one rushes home because the cat has to be walked. I even babysat for one recently during two weeks – well, cat-sat – for Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland and I convinced myself that living with a cat isn’t that bad at all, as long as the litter box is cleaned regularly. It helped that her cat, pictured above, Cali, is the cutest thing ever. My dog-loving friends are visibly more constrained. “Oh it’s five already? I have to go, the dogs…” I understand the canine parental instinct, especially since there is rarely a litter box to catch their doggy droppings, but between freelancing and studying and attempting a social life, I could never add a puppy on top of that.
|A bunny in Paris...doubles as dinner in times of need...|
A kitten, however, now that’s another story. A little Parisian kitten, a red tabby, is exactly what I need. It must be a kitten so I can mold its habits and values from the youngest possible age. I will be a good parent. I’ll feed it every day. I’ll brush its coat. I’ll clean its litter box. I’ll even give it treats if it does all of its chores on time. But first I have to find one. Friends have been telling me to go to the vet, to check out listings online, but I’m secretly hoping the kitten will find me, a stray will wander in through my fifth floor window and wait for affection. That’s how it works, right?
If my dream is any indication, however, I need to be careful. Last night I dreamt that my red tabby ran out the apartment door that I foolishly left open and escaped into the city. Hijinks ensued. I eventually retrieved it, but forgot to close the door yet again. Bad parenting, nightmare, or cautionary foretelling? Who knows, but I think I’m ready to take my chances.