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July 19, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Nos-tal-gee-uh

As a former dog person, a fair amount of my childhood was dedicated to laughing at the misfortune of my neighbours’ portly feline, particularly when it attempted anything akin to running. But now sitting comfortably on the settee with three overweight balls of kitty squeezed onto the one cushion beside me, I can’t help but wonder—how the fuck did this happen?

Adjusting from athletic canine owner to apathetic cat minder was a bit of a culture shock. When I was 14, Mrs Bennet decided, without proper consultation, to rescue a timid kitten from the Cats Protection League. Adding insult to injury, a then-12-year-old Atticus decided to name the ridiculous creature ‘Princess Tinkerbell’. For the next six weeks, we spent hours attempting to coax Princess Tinkerbell, or my no-nonsense moniker of ‘Kitty’, out from under beds, in cupboards, and behind drawers. Clearly, like a first-born child, your first cat is an experiment. A second cat was needed to ensure we were not failures as parents.

‘Princess Mittens of the Cabbage Patch’ was a welcomed addition to the household, even if Atticus was trusted to name it. Again. Another rescued animal, Cabbage, hails from the Maori Focus Unit at Rimutaka Prison and spends most of her time attempting to escape out of windows at home. Ha! Irony! But after an unfortunate encounter with an SUV, Cabbage became that ‘three-legged cat from down the road’. Sure, we still love the adorable little moron, but let’s face it; she’s not exactly a ‘real’ cat.

In the years that followed, Mrs Bennet added ‘Daisy’, ‘Thackeray Binx’, ‘Gizmo’, ‘Annie’, and ‘Princess Alice from the Palace’ to our itty bitty kitty committee. Daisy and Gizmo both have a strong aversion for plastic bags while Binx is our intellectually stunted uncle we don’t talk about. Annie’s my clever little protégée and has an obsession with putting red McDonalds straws in her water bowl. And Alice from the Palace? Well, I took one look at the little bastard and informed Mrs Bennet Alice was actually an ‘Alex’. It wasn’t until I pointed out his testicles that Mrs Bennet sat back with a decided “Oh, shit.”

He now leads a comfortable life under the name ‘Mr Bingley’.

But looking back, it wasn’t enough to label us crazy cat ladies. Certainly we don’t use the cats as missiles or let them roam free. No sir, they are lazy house cats who expect regular feedings and affection. Sigh. Geoffrey, however, was the tipping point. A scraggly stray who hung around the property, Mrs Bennet began feeding him a little over two years ago. His weight improved but his behaviour was atrocious, often swiping our delicate female felines with his dirty paws. After explaining to my mother that “No! Thou shalt not neuter the resident stray!” I returned home one evening to find poor Geoffrey had sneakily undergone the procedure. To make matters worse, his owners gave him a hot pink collar. Yes, owners.

You know, I’m willing to bet a dog person doesn’t have to deal this kind of shit.

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