Things he says to my cat

Note: I was digging through my drafts this week and came across this beauty that I wrote last fall and didn’t publish. The guy it was written about is no longer a boyfriend (and his sinuses are rejoicing), but he’s still a good friend. (And I told him I was posting this).

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What do you get when pair a self-proclaimed cat lady with a funny guy who claimed he’d never date a girl who owns cats? As it turns out, some pretty hilarious conversations between the boy and the cat. I have one orange cat named Frank (@hello_imfrank on Instagram) who can’t stand to be out of my presence, one gray one named Mouse who’s happy hiding from everyone and one boyfriend who’s allergic to them both.

Don’t let him fool you, he actually likes Mouse. More than once, I’ve heard him call her “Pretty girl.” He feels less than love for Frank, though, and it’s made for some pretty funny interactions. Here are some of my favorites recently:

“Are cats just scared all the time? What’s the deal with cats?”

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Him: “Why’s he vibrating?”

Me: “He’s purring.”

Him: “Oh, I though he was getting a text.”

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Me: (Picks up Frank as guy opens the front door): “You want a cat?”

Him: “I don’t even want you to have a cat. Write that f***ing down.”

Me: “OK, I will.”

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“F*** you, Frank.”

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“If it were up to me you’d be in a glue factory… Actually I don’t think they make cats into glue… Oh, by all means get on my lap.”

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“You’re meowing at the one person who hates you the most, how stupid is that?”

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(Whispering) “I don’t like you.”

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“Hey Frank, I’ll give you a peanut if you tell me you’re allergic.”

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“I wish you were nicer… and a dog.”

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That time I was mistaken for homeless

The other morning a man thought I was homeless. Well, he didn’t come out and say it like that, but that’s what he meant. I was going out to get in my car when I saw him walking up the middle of the street. Melting snow, ice and slush have made our sidewalks impassable lately, so I didn’t really think anything of it when I saw him in the street, which is mostly clear.

I was wearing a puffy blue coat over a t-shirt and jeggings and I carried an orange bag with a peace symbol embroidered on the side. It was warmer that day than it has been for a while so I was letting my hair dry on its own, but it hadn’t really gotten there.

He saw me and nodded in my direction. “What do they have good to eat?” he said.

I just looked at him, perplexed.  “At St. Johns,” he continued, referencing a church just up the street known for its soup kitchen and ministry to the city’s homeless. “Didn’t you go eat?”

“Ah, no,” I said.

“Oh, OK,” he said as I opened the door to my car and got in. He gave me a sheepish grin.

I probably wasn’t dressed my best, but I thought it was at least a step above homeless.

I guess I don’t mind being mistaken for homeless. I’m sure there are hipsters who are similarly misidentified, or who would like to be. It didn’t offend me; it made me laugh, actually.

It’s a little strange to me though, because there are different assumptions you could make about me by looking at my clothing. Every time I wear black and look down at all the cat hair I couldn’t get off my clothing, again, I know people must think I’m a crazy cat lady. I imagine that they imagine me at home by myself with my two cats, just knitting them cat sweaters and baking them tuna treats.

I try to get it all the cat hair off, I really do. The last thing I do before I leave home is to run a lint brush over my clothes. But with two cats, black clothing might as well be a fur magnet. I usually think I have all of it off, until I step out of my apartment and into the daylight and it’s just everywhere.

I’m not homeless but the crazy cat lady assumption wouldn’t be too far off.

You might be a cat lady if

Earlier this year I adopted my second cat. I joke that a cat was the only thing a woman should buy herself when she’s in her late 20s and still single. Actually, I didn’t intend to have two cats. I was happy with Mouse, a small gray thing I’ve had since 2008 when I first moved out on my own.

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But I was browsing through the adoptable pets at Petsmart one day when I saw him — the prettiest long-haired orange cat I’d ever seen. I just had to have Frank.

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“How many cats can I have before I’m a crazy cat woman?” I wondered aloud, and even asked the question on Facebook. But I’m beginning to think maybe “crazy cat lady” isn’t about the number of cats you have. In other words having two cats doesn’t make me a cat lady, but maybe the following does.

You might be a cat lady if:

  1. You decide whether or not to wear a clothing item based not on if there’s cat hair on it, but the amount of said cat hair. I mean, cat hair is a way of life. I gave up trying to be completely hair-free when I adopted a long-haired orange cat. A little hair is OK and a lot of hair can be usually be fixed with a lint roller.
  2. Someone offers you a pillow with cat faces all over it, and you accept it. “This would look great beside my cat figurines and cat-training books,” you say. OK, I don’t really have cat figurines or cat training books. But my aunt gave me this pillow the other day. ImageShe said she thought of me when it came into her possession. Isn’t it fabulously tacky? There was also a cat soap dispenser, Brillo Pad rest and three cat books. “Oh. My. God. Are they grooming you to be a crazy cat lady?” That was the response I got from a friend when I sent him a picture of all my new cat things all laid out in a row. I think I may be well on my way, no grooming needed.
  3. Hearing about a strangers cat dying makes you cry. Again, this happened to me this week. I was curled up in bed under my electric blanket with my cats laying on top of me, reading Slate. In one article, the writer thought her cat told her she was going to die. That story had me choked up twice. And I very rarely cry. Read it for yourself if you need a good cry.
  4. You keep lint rollers in your car, at your front door and at your desk at work. Just in case.
  5. Your Instagram feed is two-thirds cat pictures. (And your friends probably secretly hate you for it).
  6. The Instagram and Twitter accounts you follow are two-thirds cat pictures.
  7. You celebrate National Cat Day by changing your Facebook profile pic to a cat selfie and posting more Instagram pics of your pride.
  8. It’s early November and you’re already thinking of what your cats might want for Christmas.
  9. A typical first date question for you is, “Are you allergic to cats?” Because if it’s him or the cats, it’s the definitely the cats.