How I “Won” the Cat
Posted by Keen Observer on March 5, 2011
Her father got a cat several years ago. Being a not-terribly-responsible sort, he didn’t realise (I guess) that it would take some effort on his part to care for the cat. And he was always driving it to his mother’s house, 90 minutes each way from his residence. Eventually, he just left it there, at least in part to assuage some of his guilt, I think. He was quite a mama’s boy in some ways, and a complete tool in others. I don’t know if that’s connected.
At any rate her grandmother needed to get put into a care home. Being an old-schooly farm girl, she decided that the cat would be put down, since no one anywhere would ever be able to care for the cat like she could. It seemed almost a psychopathic response to her change in circumstance, but I may be being harsh. She was certainly one of the more-delusional women I’d ever met.
Being told of the nature of the threat to an innocent cat, She decided we needed to rescue it. I love cats–don’t get me wrong–but we were in a pet-free apartment building at the time 7 hours away by car. But, we soon found ourselves with a very fat, DSH tabby cat. After he adjusted to the change, he settled in quite nicely, and he became very affectionate to both of us. Rather more so to me, however. Her father also became more interested in things here; he would call more often, but he would barely be polite enough to talk to his daughter for a few minutes before veering off onto the subject of the cat.
Ironically, he came to visit one day (the cat, not the daughter), and the cat largely ignored him. I enjoyed that. It was petty, but I don’t care. He was also largely ignored when we brought the cat back that way one vacation trip, even though he was minding the cat for us for a few days.
Anyhoo, long story short, the cat liked me more, to the point where he preferred to sleep cuddled tightly against me, with his paws wrapped around my arm; partly, that was because She didn’t let him do that to her. As time went on, his affection for me grew more pronounced, and I think there was some jealousy involved. She did much more to care for him (feeding, fur care, litter care), but he kept coming to me. I kept telling him that he owed Her his life, but it always seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Ultimately, when She said She couldn’t stand to live with me any more, She also said that I should keep the cat, because “he likes [me] better anyway.” It seemed to be true, but it was Her choice to rescue the cat, and I still don’t feel quite right about it. She’s now given up on the cat, to the point where She doesn’t really even try to win him over, and he seems okay with that. To him, it seems like She’s just another visitor (he gets excited about visitors).
I kind of blame him for making me feel like we needed to up the ante in our house search, so that we could have one before winter and not be trapped in our apartment with his litter box for six months. But I’m glad I had him around to help keep me a little more focused outside myself during the Recent Unpleasantness; he’s soft and cuddly and has a magical purr. But I still feel like I’ve stolen something from someone.
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