On Cats

  • We have two cats: Calliopea and Elodie. We let Elodie go outside but not Calliopea. Why? Because Elodie begged loud and long enough. Why not? Because I love Calliopea too much to risk her dying, getting sick, or not coming home. I’ve often wondered if this means that the child I “love less” will get their driver’s license earlier than another kid 😉
  • I’ve spent some time feeling guilty that I have Calliopea in an apartment and I don’t let her outside, and then I hear EEEEER Carszhicnk! [mental car brakes]. Because, I remember when we first saw Calliopea – she was crowded in a shoe-box sized cage that she shared with another cat. She would probably have been euthanized, or if the clinic was one of the “humane” ones, she would have likely been stuck in that cage for her entire life. Like….up till today. And then I think about other young-married-basement-apartment-dwellers, and how they raise a kid in the same amount of space. Arguably, my cat has more space than a kid would have because she has more walkable surface area (counters, fridge, desk, shelves, etc). And no one feels bad about kids that live in an apartment. And so after these mental gymnastics my guilt goes away.
  • But Elodie can go out. She needs it (whereas Calliopea is mostly curious—she doesn’t need to expel any energy; she doesn’t have any) and is a much happier kitty because she has the great outdoors. She gotten much more loveable and comfortable around us. For as long as she’s been alive, she has shied away from hands reached out to pet her, or ran under furniture when we walked into the room. Now though, she actually tentatively walks up to an outstretched hand if it is held very still. She purrs when I bury my face in her stomach and back. It’s wonderful. We have to be careful though, because if she’s out in the morning when Dan walks to campus, she will follow him. She’s pretty stubborn about it too; one day Dan walked back and forth down our street for thirty minutes trying to alternately catch her or scare her away from following him

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