I’m not new to the cat rodeo by any means. Sidenote: can you even imagine a cat rodeo? I’m dying just thinking about it. Anyway, I’ve had Miles now for almost 3 years now, so I get cats. Still, they’ve failed to crush all my optimism, but they are getting closer. The thing is, I talk a a big game about how absolutely annoying the cats are, but I really love those little jerks and will do pretty much anything to make their lives happier. I don’t admit it often because a major part of owning cats is never letting them think they’ve got the upper hand. It’s a constant battle. Anyway, I continue to strive to make their lives better, and I continue to make our lives more miserable. Let’s review:
Exhibit A: The Anxious Cat. Miles is an incredibly anxious cat. Chris seems to think there’s some link between his upbringing by me and this anxiety. I refuse to accept that. Moving forward. The “perk” of cat ownership is supposed to be that they demand less attention than dogs and therefore afford their owners more of a life. To this I say, “LOL.” Miles doesn’t like being alone. When he was little, he used to do the saddest meows outside my bedroom door when I went to sleep. I let him into my bed, and he scratched the hell out of my face. That’s the thing, Miles doesn’t like being with people either. He just likes to know that people are there, but he likes all of us to leave him alone until he’s ready to be petted. Basically, he’s a cat. Still, I felt so sad for him because he just seemed anxious and depressed any time we weren’t in the room with him.
At that point, it was either quit my job and become a stay at home cat mom or get a second cat. Chris didn’t like either option, so I waited until he went away on business and adopted a second cat. #worstroommateever. It was a brilliant plan. Miles would have a buddy so he wasn’t alone, and we wouldn’t have to worry about constantly being around him to keep him happy. False. Turns out the cat we (I) adopted, Moshi, is the world’s neediest cat. Unlike Miles, he would like to spend his entire life eating then being rocked to sleep in our arms. If he had his way, he would never set foot on the ground. He’d just be held all the time. He also adores Miles who has decided he feels mostly lukewarm about Moshi. Miles’ anxiety did get much once he got his almost-friend, but we replaced his anxiety with a cat who literally cannot stand to be more than 6 inches from our faces at any given time. Good work Kate.
Exhibit B: The beds. When Miles’ was little, I bought him three different not-cheap cat beds in the hopes that he would sleep in them and not on the couch. He hated all of them. One day I bought a not-cheap basket for our coffee table, but it was too big, so I left it out to return it, and Miles began sleeping in it and never stopped. Ok. Fine. Obviously I’m an idiot for thinking a cat would like a soft, cushy bed when he was clearly waiting for a wicker basket the entire time. Then we got Moshi, and Miles would obviously not allow him anywhere near the basket, so I thought I was being kind and smart by breaking out one of the beds that Miles did not care for so Moshi would have a place to sleep, and Miles would have his space. It was great for one day. Miles had the basket. Moshi had the bed. I had my smug satisfaction. Idiot. Once Miles realized that Moshi was enjoying the bed, in true eldest child fashion, he overthrew Moshi and reclaimed the bed. Ok. Fine. Moshi is an adaptable cat, so he just switched to the basket. That was not really ok with Miles either, so Miles proceeded to pee all over both the bed and the basket. I had to throw both out, and now both cats sleep on the couch.
Clearly, I am not a smart person. I have no idea what makes the animals happy, and all my efforts seem to make things worse. That is why I really, really should have seen this next failure coming, but as I said, the process of snuffing out my enthusiasm and optimism by the cats has been slower going than any of us would have expected.
Exhibit C: The condo. (ps I did not at all plan the A for Anxiety, B for beds, C for Condo thing, but I love it!) Most recently, I was trying to solve the problem I created in exhibits A and B. Moshi was so bored around the house. He would just wander from window to window to bowl to our laps and look at us with this face that just begged us to answer his question of, “What should I do? I’ve forgotten how to be a cat.” Everyone was getting annoyed with his pacing and wandering. Miles was starting to hide from him. We were all at the end of our ropes. Add to that the fact, that I am so sick of seeing our cute couch covered in grubby blankets to ward off the ever present cat hair from two cats who now rarely leave the safety of the couch for the cold hardwood floors. Miles had started sleeping on the radiator covers, so that problem was kind of solved, but I still felt bad for (and annoyed with) Moshi. So, I proposed to Chris that we get the cats one of those climbing towers.
He laughed and accused me of secretly loving the cats. I told him he was nuts, and I really just wanted them out of my hair. Literally. When my hair is in a pony tail hanging over the edge of the couch, Moshi mistakes it for a woodland creature and climbs my scalp Rapunzel style. It’s as enjoyable as it sounds. To put this in perspective, each time Chris and I go to Ikea I start looking for the furniture that we two income earning adults will use by finding the absolutely cheapest item in the store and maybe possibly going one level nicer. I would never dream of spending more than $75 on a piece of furniture for myself. So, obviously I needed to buy the cats a $110 “Cat Condo.” Still, it seemed like a good deal. Miles prefers to be down low and hidden and Moshi loves to climb. We bought a condo with a lower, inner tube and an upper level for lounging. What could be better?
Here’s how things played out: predictably, both cats enjoyed the box it came in vastly more than the condo. They were devastated when we threw out the box leaving them with the garbage condo. Next, Miles took over the top level of the condo, and has not moved from it in the week we’ve had it. I check every morning to make sure he’s still breathing, and the cat we rarely saw to begin with, we now never see. Moshi, who could sometimes coax a previously homeless Miles into playing is entirely banned from the condo. He’s not even allowed to step foot on the grounds, and nothing he does can convince Miles to leave his (literal) ivory tower and spend time with him. As a result, Miles is absent, Moshi is distraught, and a giant corner of our living room is occupied by a carpet covered coat rack. A carpet covered coat rack that I am forced to look at while sitting on my couch covered in shabby blankets as an aimless brown cat crawls all over me desperate for something to do and lonely. It was a great move on my part.
Probably I should just add a dog to the mix. That would fix all my existing problems and not generate any new ones at all, right?l