It’s not that I don’t like cats, I do. In fact, I like all god’s creatures except for cockroaches, Donald Trump, and possums. But I just don’t want cats. I don’t want them living with me, and I really don’t want them pooping in their little litter boxes and spending 45 minutes obsessively trying to bury the world’s stinkiest turd and then ultimately failing and dragging half the turd and kitty litter around my house. And potty training your cat to shit in a toilet. Forget it.
Cats are weird. They have secret agendas. If you were suddenly shrunk to 1/20th your size and had body parts that flailed they would kill you in a heart beat. No questions asked. So you can only imagine how overjoyed I was when I was the lucky owner of a couple cats several years ago. They mostly just hid in my sweater closet or under the bed. Occasionally when I’d have a guy sleepover, they’d come out of hiding and spend hours running across us as we slept. When one of them jumped up on a window sill and dumped a jar of liquid turpentine on itself and wound up in the ICU I was traumatized. Mostly because it cost several thousand dollars (my dad’s reaction: Just euthenize it!!! Words of kind beauty from a man who once drowned kittens in a burlap sack in a river. He was living in the french countryside and claimed as we cried hysterically that it was “a cultural thing”). It was also traumatizing because the cat was returned to me as a disabled cat robot.
Having been utterly poisoned by the turpentine, It could no longer breath or eat or walk or shit without assistance and it had tubes connected to machines to help it live each little special kitty minute. I spent months injecting GRUEL into a tube that was surgically connected to it’s stomach. It had a special little kitty sling to hold the tube and sometimes the tube would fall out and the poor terrified kitty would race across the floor convinced a tube monster was after it. Eventually after thousands of dollars and hours of care bionic kitty was healed. I moved bionic kitty and my other cat who was addicted to marijuana (from a roomate); he was depressed and overweight and paranoid (the cat, not the roomate) to Los Angeles so we could begin our lives again. The cats experienced a joy and freedom they were unaware of in their lives in the East Village. They were happy, perhaps.
It didn’t last long. Within a year of moving, both cats, Bionic kitty and Stoner, had fallen victim to coyotes. It was strange, one day they were chasing invisible mice in plastic bags and the next day they were gone. I was sad, but the circle of life must go on. And it does.