Well, when I write that down it does sound mean and heartless. About a month ago, I fulfilled my year’s long dream of getting an orange tabby cat. There were a couple of opportunities afforded to me to get my hands on a cat, but they required some effort or I didn’t like the color of the kitten. But it was meant to be as the creepy guy that lived in the basement of my old apartment building reached out to me to tell me that he had captured and quarantined the fat alley cat that lived by the trash cans.
I was told that the cat was old and had the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. He only had a few months to live. “Well that’s great news,” I thought to myself. I’ll bring it home, I can pet it a little, take some pictures and then throw his fat ass across the rainbow bridge when the time came. It all seemed good at first, he looked sick and mangey. I could tell just by looking at his eyes that he wasn’t meant for this world much longer, it was too good to be true.
How hard could it be to take care of a cat? It can’t be any harder than growing fruit flies, right? I mean, he’s the color of a pineapple so it can’t be that different…boy was I wrong. First of all, you have to feed it. Not just once but at least twice. A day! Still, he’s constantly hungry and scavenging for more food. Many a times I leave mid-meal to use the bathroom only to find that he’s eaten my chicken wings or pizza.
With the eating, comes the shitting. Boy does this cat take after his owner, he loves going to the litter box after every meal. From the corner of my eye I’ll see him waddle off and disappear into his litter box. His THIRD litter box, by the way. The first box set me back over $150, marketed as a self-cleaning unit. It came with purple crystals and a mechanical rake that would move his shame out of sight without me having to do anything. I mean…purple crystals, it all seemed legit to me.
It was fine until the end of the first week…when the rake couldn’t move anymore of his excrement. The crystals couldn’t dehydrate his urine. Each crystal pack was supposed to last a whole month. This would not do, even I could smell how bad it was when I walked into my apartment and I know a thing or two about stench. So, I got him another box…this time with pellets and a urine collection tray and it only cost me $50. I’ve never wished a living creature contract a UTI more than I did when he started using this box. The sheer volume of urine could not be contained by the collection tray and what could be described as a maxi pad that swelled up three times its initial size.
So, I got him a third box…one that uses traditional kitty litter. Who would have thought that something so simple would do the job? However, it only works when this cat uses the bathroom the right way. I don’t know if my cat is dumb or he just stupid or something, but in a panic to get out of the litter box, he steps all over his crap. Then casually walks around my living room/bedroom/kitchen like its no big deal. Tracking his mess everywhere. I wanted to grab him by his most likely already broken tail and hurl him out my window.
I don’t think I was ready for a cat. Many people warned me not to get one, but I just blew it off as homophobia or racism towards me. I thought that taking care of a dying cat would be easy. He’d be here for a few months and I’d move onto something new, like a baby. However, he’s flourishing in my house. His coat is thicker. He’s more energetic. His infections are gone. He purrs. I saw him outside in the alley for almost two years and I don’t think he would have made it this winter outside.
It’s only been a month and there have been some growing pains…but I actually love this creature. I just wish he would die and put both of us out of our month long misery.