Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Need a Cat

Over New Year's weekend I stayed with a friend in Vancouver. She has two cats.

The night before New Year's Eve I was sleeping soundly on my stomach when I faintly noticed one of the cats climb onto the bed and situate itself on my butt.

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For several moments it simply sat there. I expected it to settle and fall asleep, but this did not happen. Instead, the cat began to convulse rhythmically as if someone had switched on some techno music.

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I knew the cat's heaving would soon lead to cat barf being spewed all over my back. Suddenly wide awake, I violently twisted my body, flinging the cat off the bed, and not a moment too soon. The stench of cat vomit filled the room and my nostrils before the poor feline even knew what was happening.

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I kicked my friend awake and gagged dramatically as she cleaned up the barf. The whole thing should've been enough to set me off pet ownership forever, but it somehow triggered the opposite reaction. On the contrary: all I can think about in 2012 is how badly I want a cat.

I've owned cats in the past, but I find myself in a period noticeably lacking in animals. It's a shame, because I'm a pretty awesome pet owner. For starters, I don't puss out when a cat gets rough with me. When playtime turns into a killing game, I'm willing to let a cat go to town on me, no matter how much blood is shed. That's commitment.

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Secondly, I don't make a fuss when cats plant themselves on my computer keyboard. I totally wouldn't mind a cat sleeping in my hands while I try to blog. Hell, I'd probably enjoy it. My apartment is cold, so it would probably help matters. In fact, I'd like to surround myself with cats. I want cats everywhere.

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There are two obstacles in my quest to gain feline companionship. The first is that my building doesn't allow pets. This is, of course, incredibly unfair. If you Google "Least Free Countries in the World" the number one result is my apartment. I briefly considered trying to smuggle a cat into the building, but I'm not certain how I'd go about this, save for a wacky scheme à la Little Rascals.

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I lamented my building's profoundly unjust pet policy to my mother, but she had no sympathy for me.

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The second obstacle I'm facing is that I'm ever so slightly allergic to cats. And by "allergic" I mean I hate getting cat hair on my clothes, which is basically the same thing. It only takes a few cat hairs to send me into a frantic tailspin of distress.

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Compounding the issue is that no matter how often I take a lint roller to my clothes, my beard attracts cat hair like a vacuum, and I can't very well take a lint roller to my face. In reality I doubt much cat hair is coming in contact with my face, but it feels like my beard has doubled in size whenever I'm around animals.

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The dilemma of cat hair can be circumvented, of course. Short of getting a cat and shaving all its hair off, I think the best plan of action would be to simply get a hairless cat. There's a place in Portland that breeds Sphynx cats, and while I'm normally a staunch advocate of animal rescue, my case requires special needs. And since it's clearly a medical issue, maybe insurance will cover it. Does Kaiser Permanente buy designer cats for their clients?

Once I overcome the guilt of buying an expensive pet, I think owning a Sphynx cat would be pretty great. They're weird and wrinkly and they look sort of bitchy, like Donatella Versace in feline form.

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So I can't get a cat right now, but so what? I feel it'll happen in the near future, so at the moment I'm trying to plan and brainstorm. Pet supplies are the most pressing matter, and they're easy enough to acquire. While recently browsing pet supplies on Amazon, I learned that they now have robotic litter boxes. This sounds brilliant to me, as cat poop is on my "list of things never to touch," along with centipedes and Courtney Love. I can't imagine a cat would ever feel comfortable using one, though.

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Electronic cat boxes seem a bit lazy to me, though. How long until Amazon is selling actual robots that will take care of your cat for you?

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Of course, anything that poops in a box can't have super high standards, so why not buy it an electronic litter box?

Once supplies are squared away, that leaves cat names. If I get a Sphynx, I feel like I should give it a completely stupid name to offset the high price. I'd need to keep my cat grounded with a name like Snurgles von Fartface or Maddox Jolie-Pitt.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I might take it one step further and put my cat to work doing something mundane, like when rich parents make their teenagers work at McDonalds so they can develop a work ethic before their trust fund kicks in and they forget how to even spell the word work. It's the same with pets, right?

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Maybe in a few months I'll be blogging about knitting cat sweaters and asking people on Twitter what kind of organic cat food is easiest on a Sphynx's digestion, in which case I hope someone will slap me and tell me to get my act together.