How to Get a Cat: An Illustrated Guide

For the last couple of years, I have sat at home all day alone.

alone

Chronic illness can do that to you. It hasn’t been too bad, really. I don’t live alone, so I have company for non-working hours, and some wonderful friends and family members visit and take me out on my good days. A lot of people with my illness have it much worse.

But still.

Being alone wears you down.

(Even a super introvert with social anxiety disorder and occasional agoraphobic leanings, like me.)

So, easy solution, I got a cat.

We were renting and weren’t allowed pets, so it only required us to spend all our current and future money to find a house, sign over our souls and move, just before Christmas, the worst time of the year to do anything other than eat gingerbread. It was no trouble at all.

I like cats. I had a cat when I was growing up whom I loved to bits.

Although, actually, it was me who ended up in bits. That cat was a psychopath. When I was eight she invented a game where she would lurk outside the bathroom when she heard the shower. She would pick a natural bottleneck—a doorway, the hall—and wait for me to emerge, vulnerable, wrapped only in my towel.

attack1

attack2

Sometimes that’s all she would do. Just watch me as I edged past her, staring with pouncing eyes, knowing I was nervous. Other times…

attack3

Remembering this, I thought a great deal about the type of cat that would be best for us. And it turned out my partner and I had met a lot of other types of cat over the years that we didn’t think would suit.

the-floor-is-made-of-lava-cat

We didn’t want the kind of cat that hates people so much it lives on top of bookshelves whenever anyone is around.

no-touchies

We didn’t want the type of cat that pretends to like you, but acts as though it will catch fire if you actually touch it.

murdercat

We didn’t want the type of cat that murders animals larger than itself in the dead of night, then eats their entrails. I know people who live with this type of cat, and since the Possum Incident, they haven’t been the same.

seen-some-things

Armed with a clear picture of what we didn’t want (literally, see cat types 1-3 above), we walked out of the shelter with the complete opposite. The most clingy, affectionate cat to ever exist.

He needs to be close to people, either sitting tucked under your chin or participating in whatever you are doing, at all times. For the few days after we took him home, he only stopped cuddling and kneading on my throat for eating or pooping (his eating or pooping, not mine).

He’s getting better at separation, but he can’t handle being left out of things. He follows me from room to room. He watches as I brush my teeth. He pounces on books and my computer so he can play with them too. When we do the dishes, he claims the rinse water as his personal paddling pool. Tiny, prickling claws are involved in every activity, and if you try to stop him, he climbs you with them.

It’s kind of like living with an affectionate cactus. Or wearing a scarf made of hedgehogs.

It’s very different to my previous experiences with cats. Showering with my old cat in the house was like starring in a B-grade slasher movie. My new cat turns showering into one of those romances that are supposed to be swoonworthy but are just super, super creepy. He won’t let me shut him out of the bathroom. He sits in front of the shower glass, sometimes with his face pressed up close, sometimes playing with the water droplets he sees running down my side of the glass that he can never catch. Sometimes, if he can paw the door open a crack, he jumps in.

(I let him in the first time because I thought it would teach him a Valuable Lesson about consequences and personal space. It didn’t. Now he thinks darting in and out under the sprinkling water is part of the game.)

As a human, that kind of thing gets you restraining orders. As a cat, it gets him whatever he wants.

He’s a whole new type of irritating cat.

codependent-cat

But I love him.

And I’m not alone.

not-alone

 

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You can find four of the illustrations from this story in my store! The Floor is Made of Lava Cat, the No Touchies Cat, the Murder Cat, and the Extra Strength Co-dependent Cat.

If you love my stories and comics, check out my Patreon page. You can support my work and get unique rewards!

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14 thoughts on “How to Get a Cat: An Illustrated Guide

  1. I have one that’s type #5: Secret Agent Cat. Secret Agent Cat follows you around the house, scouting ahead to make sure rooms are safe and free of potential enemies. He will become aggressive when I’m upset, however, and I’m forced to immediately make it clear that Husband (or whoever) isn’t to blame, because SAC is vengeful and super-stealthy.

    SAC cares little for other humans: he’s all about the job.

  2. I/we “cheat” as you mite have noticed, and try to live with more than one ‘type’. rite now ‘killer’/queenie/languidosity-kitty is outside harvesting mice. mickey (‘the tiger”) searches for a swath of furniture that has NOT been scratched-up. walldough with the power of his immense intellect, directs cat hair from his butt onto this computer keybored. and then there’s mel … (mel must have a Dr.Hoo tardis (or whuddever itz cauld) and goes into and out of other dimensions and times, the incarnation of furtivity that he is).

  3. We have 2 cats. Alice 6 year old tortie mostly chill, very loving mostly for her fav person my husband. Our cat Samantha grey/white 8 months old. Sam on the other hand . . . its like a mix of wanting to bite,claw, pounce at any given moment to then totally lovey dovey. But you never know what mood she’s gonna be in. lol Love your comics btw! I shared this link on my comics fb page. ^_^

  4. My cat is number #4. Somehow, he’s always in the room you’re in. “Whatchya doin’ in here?!” Desperate to be involved, he is never deterred by my utterances of ‘furry asshat’ and threats to make him into gloves or furry boots.

    Luckily for him, he is made of adorable so I can never find it in my heart to follow through.

      1. This might just be a new tactic…

        Kitty McFluff: “The hoomans are getting wise to us. I saw a book on my hooman’s coffee table ‘How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Murder You’. This is bad news. The element of surprise is essential to our master plan.”

        Sparkles: “Don’t worry. I’ve recruited a whole new PR team to lull the hoomans back into a sense of complacency. We’re dropping our image of ‘cold aloofness’. Step 1 is edging out the dogs and taking over the internet. Our new handle is #catsofinstagram – get ready for Fluffy Fridays.”

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