Friday, September 5, 2008

September 5

I used to not care for cats. Growing up we mainly had dogs, and the two cats we did have weren’t very friendly. In college I wanted a puppy so badly but Daddy said no. I think he knew that puppy would be like Mary’s little lamb, and everywhere Mommy went that dog would be sure to go. Dad feels about dogs like I do cats, and I think he didn’t want one visiting his apartment all the time. He did agree to a cat and I was so desperate for a pet I settled. Lucky for me, the cat we got knew I preferred dogs and did the best she could to act like one. Misty comes when you call her name, plays fetch, chews on small objects, gets into everything and I on several occasions I have caught her drinking from the toilet while a full bowl of water sat only a few feet away.

Two years ago, on Christmas Eve, Mema found a tiny kitten in the cold rain. Christmas day Daddy and I drove to Mema’s, washed him up and brought him home so I could take him to the vet the next day. He was malnourished, had all sorts of worms, mange, eye herpes—the vet wasn’t sure he would make it. But I woke up every two hours for a couple weeks to syringe feed him. We named him Nicholas, call him Nicky. He pulled through just fine and now he is a huge, healthy, beautiful cat. It’s amazing how pets become part of your family so quickly.

I woke up last night at midnight to feed you and while I was pumping Nicky jumped up onto the edge of your bassinet while you were sleeping. Immediately the adrenaline rushed in and I yelled at him “NO!”; I had visions of him sitting on you and suffocating you or accidentally clawing you up. Startled, he looked at me and jumped down, but when he did his weight shifted and your bassinette rocked. I chased him out of the room, down the hall and behind the couch threatening to clobber him if I ever caught him looking at the baby again. When I got back to the room I shut the door and decided all cats are banned from any room you are sleeping in. And just like that Nick went from being Baby Number Two to Public Enemy Number One.

As I write this I hear Nicky scratching at the door. I found enough grace to fill his food bowl this morning, but I am still fuming at him for almost hurting you. I feel bad because I know you scared him just as badly as he scared me. He tries to stay pretty far away from you, but he still thinks of your bassinet as his territory. The nine weeks you were in the hospital and Daddy and I stayed at Mema’s, Nick slept in your bassinet and Misty slept in your crib. I thought once you claimed your beds with your scent they would relocate. I think he just got confused. And even though the bassinet rocked a bit, it wasn’t even close to tipping over. As it is the cats must feel neglected since now all my attention is on you. Misty usually sleeps right next to me at night and Nick by my feet—I hate to take that time away from them. But then, I feel bad for feeling bad because it’s my job to protect you no matter the cost. So keep on scratching little buddy—it’s not gonna happen.

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