Call Me Cat Woman

Gibson Girl By Gibson Girl, 22nd May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

In this page, I will discuss what makes me a "cat person" rather than a "dog person"

The Cat Charmer

When my mom was pregnant with me, she brought home a chocolate seal point siamese kitten... of course she was the runt of the litter. Her name was Mia (pronounced M-eye-ah). According to my parents, they named her after a character on the long running Star Trek series... my dad was and still is a serious trekkie.

When I was born, my mother kept me in a beautiful bassinet in our living room during the daylight hours, and Mia, just like any good guard dog (siamese cats are very dog-like in their characteristics), would sit at the foot of that bassinet, keeping watch over me, insuring that no harm came my way. Thus began a very special relationship.

As I grew up, Mia would come into my room in the middle of the night, slip under the covers next to me, and lie with her head on my pillow, face to face with me, front paws pushing outward against my chest... I have to say that is one of my favorite first memories of the close relationship that developed and continued to develop between us. Never once did she attempt to "take my breath" as a lot of people like to believe cats do. She was always independent... just like any good cat should be... but if ever I was upset about something, she was always there, ready to cuddle, console, whatever it took to make me feel better.

Mia lived to be 19 years old, having to be put to sleep after a 3 year battle with diabetes, and ending with her body depleting itself of most of it's white blood cells. The quality of life just wasn't there anymore. Our veterinarian said that he believed that the only reason she was still hanging on was that she felt she was still needed.... and she definitely was. To this day I still think back on her fondly, and still mourn her loss, but am so very grateful for the time we had with her.

After that, I began to notice that when I would come into contact with other cats, they were inexplicably drawn to me. Especially the ones that had a tendency to be more standoffish, or anti-social. There was one time in particular that sticks out in my mind. After moving to Nashville to pursue a career as a songwriter, I arrived at a co-writer's condo for a writing appointment. He opened the door and let me in, and then announced that he had forgotten to tell me that he had cats, and inquired as to whether I was allergic. Yes, I told him, but not bad enough that it would hinder my ability to write a song with him. "Well, don't worry yourself about it", he said... "the two of them are extremely antisocial when it comes to guests... you probably won't even see them while you're here." So began our writing appointment.

We were about halfway through the first verse, when I started getting the feeling that I was being watched. As I looked up and in the direction that the attention seemed to be coming from, I saw the white cat. She was about 2 feet away, peering around the side of the bookshelf at me. "Hello, kitty", I said in a pleasant voice. She responded with a meow, and walked over to sniff my outstretched hand. "My wife is never gonna believe me when I tell her about this!", he said as he looked on in amazement. "She doesn't walk up to strangers, let alone talk to them!" I just smiled and let her investigate me, and then as quickly as she had appeared, she was gone... slipping off to one of the bedrooms.

Once again we returned to writing, and once again, I had the feeling I was being watched. This time, when I looked to my left, there sat the black cat, not a foot between us, simply staring me down where I sat. Once again, my cowriter was completely flabbergasted. "I don't get it!", he said, shaking his head, running his hand through his hair. "She NEVER comes out of hiding when we have company!"

On my way home, my dad called my cell. I was telling him all about what had happened, and as we laughed about it, he said "Let's face it baby, you're a cat charmer." And I guess that I have to agree with him.

Cats vs Dogs

I've always been a cat person. Nothing against dogs, I know they have some wonderful traits, but for me, a cat just fits into my lifestyle a lot easier and neater. I think it mainly comes down to the fact that cats are so independent... you can set out a large container of food, give them access to water and a decent size litterbox, and voila... you're good to go on a weekend excursion and not be wrought with worry about what your cat is doing, or if you should have just broke down and took him/her to the boarder. I get to do my thing, and my cat does his thing, and we're both perfectly content. Put out a large container of food for a dog... I guarantee the dog will have gone through the entire thing before you can say "see you in a couple days". No mini vacations unless you take the dog with or board them... no finding things to occupy their time with on their own... you gotta toss the ball or frisbie, constantly watching them for signs that they need to go out to potty... the need to involve them in obedience training, etc, etc, etc.

I gave the dog owner title a whirl... adopted a couple rescue chihuahuas. Unfortunately, they were unwilling to potty train. I offered treats, crate trained, praised, and still, not five minutes after bringing them inside, there they are, squatting and relieving. Maybe it was just an issue of my own impatience... I don't know. Maybe a true dog owner would have had them trained in two shakes of a dog leash... I'm definitely not placing all the blame on the dogs. I have no idea what kind of living situation they were born into before they were handed over to me. All I do know is that the pleasure I got from them was grossly overshadowed by all the issues I was trying to work through with them. I just was not cut out to be a dog owner.

My husband and I bought a little house in a tiny country town, close enough to the city for me to go in and deal with business, but far enough out that we felt like we had gotten away. My husband, being an avid walker, started walking around our neighborhood... walking about 5 miles a day, just enjoying the tranquility. He was quickly accompanied by a pack of neighborhood dogs... some owned, some strays, some abandoned... all without collars or any other form of identification. I quickly nicknamed my husband "the pied piper of puppies", because it looked like a full on doggie parade when he'd make it home... here he was, in front of a bird dog, a sheltie, a corgie and a blue heeler. The blue heeler was abandoned... obviously she had belonged to someone at one point, but due to a foreclosure or just simply an owner not having sense enough to find her a good home, she had been left behind, and quickly adopted my husband as her primary sheep.

My hubby would tell me after coming in, "that dog was right on my heel the whole time, and occasionally she would press her nose against the back of my leg!" "She was herding you," I explained to him. About four months passed, the heeler had a litter of pups underneath a neighbors bass boat... it was the middle of winter. The local animal rescue was called, and they took ownership of the heeler, showed my husband the puppies in basket in their van, and that was that. My husband was still crying when he got home, it was like losing a best friend for him. For me, I was forever in that dog's debt for coming to my husband's rescue during an altercation with another dog... she literally would have fought to the death for him. But at the same time, I realized that it was best for her and the puppies to go with those women. It was a no-kill facility, they would be placed in loving homes, they wouldn't end up dead on the side of a road somewhere, all while searching for food. It was for the best.

Don't Hate Me For Loving Cats

So you see, it's not that I hate dogs, quite the contrary. I love their loyalty, and I respect that some people can't imagine their lives without them... that's exactly how I feel about my cat. I will never be the crazy old woman living in a shack with 100 felines... don't misunderstand me there. I will simply continue to be the owner of one... two at the most... independently perfect kitties. You can call me Cat Woman... I think it fits me to a tee.

Tags

Cat Behavior, Cats As Pets, Cats Vs Dogs

Meet the author

author avatar Gibson Girl
I am a singer/songwriter based out of Nashville, TN. Most of my writing will focus on the craft of songwriting in today's commercial market.

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