Some years ago, one of my best friends coined the concept of being “a lady with a dog”, meaning having reached a particular social status, having accomplished something in your life. That day I was complaining about a grade I’d gotten or something as trivial as that, and she said “Dani, you’ll be a lady with a dog some day, and then this grade that bothers you so much now won’t matter at all, so let go of it”. Iani always has something wise to say to me.
I am not a lady with dogs yet, but I am a girl with cats. Maybe Iani was right. This sort of puts things into perspective.
After living together for more than a year, Nico and I decided to have a cat. Well, that was his idea; I wanted two, so that they could keep company to each other. In the end, I won. On a rainy night, we drove to the humane society and adopted them, Berta and Bandit. That night changed our lives in a way we couldn’t have foreseen.
They’ve been with us for over two months now. I had cats before, but it was completely different. These are our cats. My cats. It’s hard to describe, but I’ve never felt so responsible about another life before. Somehow, we’ve become parents, even though I was reluctant to admit this at first.
This “parenthood” thing has become even more obvious these past days. We were taking this weekend off to spend it in a cabin with some friends. We found someone to look after our cats and were ready to leave. However, Berta got sick on Thursday, and after a visit to the vet on Friday morning, it became quite clear that we couldn’t leave her at home. What could we do? Were we taking a cat with us for the weekend? Really? Yes, that was our only option. We were taking our feline baby with us…
And so we did. We left Bandit at home; a friend would look after her. And we took Berta with us in the car (I kept her on my lap during the 2 hour drive). One of the friends staying with us is very allergic to cats, so we had to keep Berta in our room. The first night was fine, she slept either in between us or on my chest, purring most of the time. The first thing Nico asked when he woke up was “how’s the kitty doing?”. Over breakfast, he gave everyone a detailed report on the kitty’s health, regardless of whether they cared or not. Back to our room, we found her eating… What a joy! We checked her litter box… What a joy!
The rest of the weekend went by lazily; Berta got better (I couldn’t help smiling every time I found her eating) and our friend’s allergy didn’t get triggered. The only bad thing was the guilty feeling of leaving Bandit alone at home.
I know this is not parenthood. But we are getting closer.