I've got a cat. Lots of people have them and I am one of those people. It is a female cat and her name is Princess Buttercup. Did I name her? Yes.
When I lived with my little brother, Jon, a little over 3 or 4 years ago, we decided that we needed to become more 'responsible.'
Ah yes. Responsibility. The ability to be responsible. That's literally the translation of it. The ability to be responsible. I used to think that getting to work 'around' the right time and eating a salad twice a week was 'responsible.'
Nope. Getting a pet is (or a kid, but brothers don't get kids together, they get cats. No, that sounds wrong, too, but that's what we did, so... moving on!) A pet is a HUGE responsiblity. Vacuum, empty, feed, pet, walk, pick up after, bring to vet. Repeat.
So we goto the pound one day and sift through the cages and crates of various puppies and older dogs. They all bark at us. They all know we need them. And they need us. Pounds are so depressing. But here we are, debating whether that one looks cooler or this one is nicer. It's all very difficult, cause the last thing ya wanna do is get a puppy's hopes up. So ya kinda watch 'em out of the corner of your eye. You're watching, but they don't know you are, so they don't get too excited, hence forth they won't be sad when you don't pick them. I did this to a number of dogs and didn't get one hope up. It was a relief.
Jon and I are beside ourselves. None of the dogs felt right. I take a look around the pound and see they've got a 'cat' area. May as well, I thought.
My story could end right here. I see the 'cat' area. I've got a cat now. Put two and two together.
But let's continue, for the sake of divulging what it was about this particular cat that made me make a 15 year commitment to a species of pet other than a canine.
First of all, the 'cat' area is downright scarey. You walk into a plastic room lined with carpet walkways, shoots, tunnels and swings. And cats are everywhere. In globes spinning from the ceiling, in hammocks enjoying tuna-tini's, even sitting at a tiny dining room table licking themselves. Savoring a juicy smidgen of cat-nip.
It's like the secret temple from Raiders of the Lost Ark. When he falls into the snake temple area and snakes cover every square inch of the room. But just replace the snakes with cats and you're starting to get the picture. As if the 'tuna-tini' didn't do it for you.
Ok, so I walk into the Palace of the Unwanted Kitty and sit down. Right in the middle of the room. There's a little girl in the room with me and she likes to grab the cats and pick them up and hug them. I'm not sure that's the right way to handle cats but what do I know? I am merely a first time visitor to the Palace, and am eager to learn its ways and rituals.
After I've sat there for a little while, I eventually have petted every cat in the Palace. Except for one.
I see a tiny rail of a creature in the corner. I can't see it's face, but it's long body is draped in abnormally long white, orange and black hair. The other cats don't seem to pay this cat any attention. The little girl didn't either.
I call to the cat but it doesn't come. They're not like dogs, afterall. Plus, it didn't help that I opted for the classic 'here kitty, kitty' line. It didn't work.
I scoot over to the cat and get it's attention with a little ball-hair-thingie I found lying on the ground. The cat looks at me for the first time and I get a view of it's face.
It's eyes are crossed. Bad.
So much so that it's head seems to be angled so that it can look at me from its right eye. It opens its mouth to meow and out comes a little raspy hiss. It angles its head further. It rasps at me again. It stands up and walks around a bit and sits back down. I reach out to pet it and it shys away from my hand. I try to grab it and it backs out of my grip and scurries off. The cat in the hammock with the 'tuna-tina' lets out a guffaw and turns away. The cats at the tiny dining room table stop licking themselves for a second and shake their heads. Forget them.
I've found my cat.
I look around for the help and find a large woman in the corner. 'Excuse me, I'd like this one,' I say to her. She looks at me with wide eyes and asks 'You sure 'bout that?'
'Yes, I'm sure 'bout that,' I reply and leave the Palace in order to find my little brother and tell him of our new roommate.
Jon is apprehensive about the idea of a cat. I tell him he has to see her, though. I tell him that she's got cross-eyes and can't meow and is anorexic. His apprehension landslides into blatant unenthusiasm.
The Pound helper emerged 10 minutes later from the Palace of the Unwanted Kitty with a crate full of one moaning cat. Large scratches now adorned the helper's wrists and arms. I asked if the scratches were from the cat. She said no. She was a liar.
Wellp, I bought the cat that day and in thus doing so, gained 'responsiblity.' Jon seemed to like the cat early on, but the cat was definitely attached to me. It followed me everywhere I went, and still does.
Jon stomached it for awhile but got 'cat-antsy'. Right before I moved out, he went and got a slick gray cat for Buttercup to play with. His cat was a Russian Blue and he named him Chon Wayne.
Jon and I went our seperate ways after his junior year. I moved into a loft downtown with Buttercup and Jon moved in with one of his college buddies and brought Chon Wayne. All was well and now continues to be well, as Jon has since moved to Austin and lives with his girlfriend Blair and Chon Wayne.
It's now been 4 years since I rescued the cross-eyed, anorexic, meow-less cat from the Dallas SPCA. A grown, straight, 235 pound man that has a long haired, 7 pound calico cat named Princess Buttercup. It's a little off-putting, I know.
But I saved her. And I've been responsible for her ever since.
Even when she fell 3 stories out of my loft and landed in a pile of mulch.
And when I called to her from my window and all I got back was a raspy hiss in return, I knew she was alright.
She's not necessarilly the nicest cat. And I'd never go out on a limb and call her 'friendly' either.
But she can't see worth shit, so back off.
Princess Buttercup. If this picture could meow, it wouldn't.