I obsessed over kittens and cats and would ask my parents at least daily if we could get one. They are NOT "cat people." My theory on "NOT cat people" is as follows:
- They have never had a cat
- If they did, it was not a friendly cat and wanted nothing to do with people
- They are allergic
For years I would thumb through the colorful pages of a book I had all about the proper way to care for a cat. I studied up and felt I was ready for the challenge. My big day came when I was about eight years old. Unfortunately, I still sucked my thumb at that age. I know, I know, that is way to old to be sucking your thumb. That story is for another day. My parents tried everything to get me to stop... pepper spray on my thumb, socks on my hands at bet time, etc. Nothing worked. Until they said to me, "we will get you a kitten if you stop sucking your thumb." My thumb never touched my lips again.
I was so excited to get my new kitten I could hardly contain myself. I remember it like it was yesterday... The "warehouse cat" at my Dad's work had a litter of kittens and I was told I could pick one out of a box. I entered the smelly, dank warehouse clutching the bright pink collar I had picked out for my girl kitten of choice. There she was... brownish-grayish in color and feisty as ever. I named her Sarah (duh, what did you think I'd name her) and I promised to love her forever.
Forever was short lived once I realized my beloved Sarah fell into category #2 listed above. Covered head to toe in scratches and fearing for my life whenever I would go down the stairs because I knew she was waiting for me at the bottom, I gladly handed her over to my uncle who had a better living arrangement that suited this mangy kitten.
Being a lifetime cat lover I was not about to buckle. I was not going to convert to the dark side of a cat-less world. I've had cats throughout my life that were wonderful and perfect in every way. But there is only one to date that has trumped ALL other cats. My Stanley...
It was college, and it was a beautiful summer day. I had gotten off work early and my long time boyfriend (now my husband) was waiting for me. We were bored and had a pocket full of money that we had no business spending. We decided the best thing to do that day was to buy a kitten. After all, we already had one and remember... Cats are like potato chips!!
We went to the shelter and there he was. A grey and white, plump little bundle of fur. I walked straight up to him and he meowed right at me as if to say, "hi, I'm your cat!" From that day on Stanley has never left my side. When I am home he follows me EVERYWHERE. Where ever I am, so is he. He has to sleep right by my side, literally touching me at all times. When I was in college and going through a "down period," as I called it, he was there to cheer me up. He was my therapy cat. He got me through those dark times and then some.
Today Stanley has to share me with another plump little bundle, my son. My cat is a trooper. It has quickly gone from focusing at-home-time to snuggling with Stan every chance I could, to cursing his name when he tries to climb on my lap while giving Baby Boy his bottle. I find myself no longer aware of his presence as I once did. However, he still loves me and is just as hopelessly devoted to me as the day we met. After our awful week when our son was sick, my mother-in-law took Baby Boy for an over night stay so Hubby and I could catch up on much needed sleep. I experienced a restful, uninterrupted slumber and awoke to sun shining through the window and birds chirping. I can't remember the last time I woke up AFTER sunrise! I rolled over and there was Stanley, touching his nose to mine. Being that close to me his face looked like I was staring through the peephole of a door. Up close and personal. He was just as pleased as I was to get that uninterrupted slumber with HIS Mama. We snuggled like we always had, he forgave my absence with a familiar pur-r-r-r-r and then he followed me downstairs to make a pot of coffee.
I love that cat. I will always love that cat. He is my Stan-Pan-the-fattest-Man-of-a-cat and I love him to pieces!