I waited for my parents to say, “a pet is a lot of responsibility…” but then I realized I’m in college and they aren’t here to tell me that.
The theme of a character wanting a pet and his or her parents being initially disapproving lingers with me; every children’s series had a chapter or an episode that went like this. I waited and waited to hear those motif words, but they never came.
So I’m here now, laying in my bed with a purring cotton ball glued to my side. Lately,
I’ve been lulled to sleep by motor-powered purrs and woken from my slumber by a paw-full of claws, shoveling down into my skin, gripping my arm like its the final rock before she reaches the peak known as the top of my bed. This routine, along with realizing my hands reek of cat food, getting an occasional whiff of litter-box aroma in my apartment, waking up to a cliff hanger on the middle of my wall dangling from a tapestry, has brightened up my year.
For every ounce of mischief and frustration this stupid feline brings to my day, she compensates with grateful snuggles when we nap after class, silky fur my hands are addicted to and substantial reassurance that someone loves me, unconditionally.
My roommates and I had discussed getting a pet a few times but never seriously. One day I spotted a hot pink sign ornamented in big letters shouting, “FREE KITTENS.” A phone number, written in the same messy handwriting, trailed the message.
After one solid day of persistent convincing, the three of us hopped in the car and, like a pin on a map, I directed us to the sign. We copied the number from telephone pole to a cell phone and texted, who we found out later was, a young girl. My roommates and I were at this girl’s house about 24 hours after contacting her.
We knocked on the door and were promptly invited in to a sardine can of a house, packed tight with a billion unknown substances, cardboard boxes to board games and a giant momma cat sitting atop it all. She apologized for the mess, whether she excused them because they were “renovating” or “redecorating,” I can’t be remember.
We sat at the bottom of the stairs, waiting anxiously and containing our laughter as best we could. A giant man stood adjacent to us, in the kitchen and shirtless and hairier than mine eyes had ever seen. Giggling, we composed ourselves or at least tried to when the young girl returned to us, holding two snow white kittens by the skin of their necks.
I don’t like labeling her with the word “pet.” She’s our pet… We’ve had to take responsibility for our pet… Yuck. There’s something demeaning about the word “pet” and for a cat with more attitude than a lot of people I know, I can’t bring myself to call her our pet. She’s our cat, our baby, little girl.
Maybe I’m just turning into a cat lady.
The little dervish of white fluff terrorizes our toes and hides in our drawers. She kicks up all the litter out of the box when she is frustrated with us and meows desperately when she’s hungry or, as of recent, thirsty… lately she’s been running to her water bowl like some malnourished creature who’s strode through the desert forty days and forty nights.
We named her Sosa. “Aw that’s so cute,” my mom said. Little did she know it’s entirely based off the infamous Chief Keef rapper and his anthem “Bitches Love Sosa,” and let me tell you, bitches certainly do love our little Sosa kitty.
She also goes by “kitty” and “meow”.
Her coat is completely white, the only deviations being her nose, an outline around her eyes and her nearly hairless ears – all of which are bubblegum pink, like spots where the snow is melting and some rose colored ground below is peering through.
My mom said that, like human babies, most of the time kittens that start out with blue eyes end up with another eye color. That’s my favorite feature on Sosa kitty. Her eyes float on her cumulonimbus cloud of a body like big, blue saucers. They’re huge.
Depending on the lighting, they’re adorable or demonic; it either sparkles off her eyes like she’s a darling plush toy or reflects off her pupils turning them red like some possessed critter prowling our apartment.
I love Sosa kitty. I love when she lays on my neck. While I’m typing, curled up in bed, she hoists herself up via the little piece of comforter dangling off the side. Then, even if I don’t see her, I feel her little paws tiptoeing onto my stomach. Her head pokes out of the side of my computer (“peek a boo”).
Because she is the only thing that matters, the duchess of the house, she tromps over the keyboard, her way of letting me know, “game over… I’m here now… pay attention to me.” Then, like some reverse neck pillow she stretches out her penne pasta cylindrical body, settling like a stone on the bottom of a creek bed, right across my neck. I like sleeping with a kitty scarf on.
She’s going through her “lengthy teenager phase,” my mom said. Her legs are noodle-esque and her curiosity and crave for mischief is peaking.
Sosa is taking risks left and right. She went so far as to hop in the shower with me the other day, only to fly out promptly after the shower head hit her like some electric force.
I’m not really sure what the plan is for Sosa, over the summer or next year… but I love that damn cat. It’s to the point where, even if she does keep growing, I’ll still think she’s cute as an adult feline. I’ve outgrown my kitty-mesmerization. I love her young and old. We all do.
I feel some sort of pride in the responsibility I’ve tacked on to my life: I’m like a grade B parent, basically.
She just moseyed into my room and I picked her up. We nuzzled and cuddled and then BOOM she jumped out of my hands and bit me. Come on stupid cat. I just talked you up. Parenting= love/hate relationship, for sure.