Nine years ago. I brought home a foster cat that lived inside of this couch for over a month.
For a solid month. Maybe two. I never saw him. He only came out of this couch when I wasn’t around. He had zero trust in me.
Until he did.
I call it the cat couch.
Twelve years ago I brought home this little guy and his siblings.
And he has refused to leave my side since.
Just starts purring the moment I walk into the house.
No one has ever loved me as much as this cat loves me.
Yesterday I took him to the vet. To have his teeth removed.
He has Stomatitis.
My brain processes the explanation given to me as, his body is attacking his teeth. All the way down to the roots.
So the solution was to remove them.
Which they did.
So when I rolled into the vet’s office. After work. At 5:20. Far earlier than they’d told me to pick him up.
I had to sit. And wait.
“Who are you here to pick up?”
“Ok, let me see if she’s ready.”
And I didn’t want to be that cat mom. And get all pissy because she’d mis-gendered my baby. So, I just said ok.
Except now this chick was wandering around in the back looking for a girl cat.
And she came back out. Confused. “What did you say her name was?”
“Oh! I thought you said Sasha!”
-I probably should’ve corrected you when you called him a she. But I try to save my asshole-ness for very specific, warranted scenarios. Misgendering a cat didn’t seem like one of those scenarios…
So she went on back to look again.
And as I was sitting. And waiting. I hear, “Ok, they’re bringing Sunshine out from the back now. Let’s get her checked out.”
And that sounded confusing. But I stood up anyway.
Except a man stepped in front of me.
“Here she is. Hey Sunshine. Are you the goodest girl?”
Yes….I mean, I am…oh I see…
And as I stood there. Awkwardly. For clearly no reason. Because Sunshine was a beautiful golden retriever. And not me…
Did I just sit quietly back down? And allow the awkward moment to pass?
Or did I double down. And make it more awkward?
-See, this is funny, because my name is Sunshine, too. So I thought you were going to check me out. Because I’m also the goodest girl. I mean, maybe the goodest is an exaggeration. But I am the adequatest girl…
(Stop talking, Sunshine)
“Oh, I’m so sorry!”
-No no! Don’t apologize! It’s funny! Because the dog and I have the same name! Haha…
And now this was Sunshine’s owner. Who was elder. And mostly deaf. So he didn’t hear any of the previous exchange. Or even notice me standing there. Until that moment.
So I had to really double down again. Because it was important that he laugh about this. And not just look at me like I was a freak. Or a threat…
-I have the same name as your dog. Except she carries it much better than I do. She’s much prettier than me. I’m not pretty enough for the name. But she is.
And I probably didn’t need to throw in this last part. But I’m me. So I can’t not.
-I could probably be a decent stripper, though. If I don’t have to dance…
(Sunshine. Stop. Talking.)
So I stopped talking.
And sat back down.
And several minutes later. I hear them talking behind the desk. “Oh, they already gave her Pierre.”
And I’m not gonna lie. I panicked.
There was this one time. When my kids where young young. And they went to a birthday party. At one of those places where they lock the children inside. And when I went back to pick them up. I couldn’t find them. Right away. And I just knew they’d been kidnapped. And the world started collapsing around me…
That’s the level of panic that swept through me in that moment.
– NO THEY DIDN’T!
“Oh no. They’re removing his catheter still. They’ll bring him up in a minute.”
-Ok. Cool. It’s cool. I’m cool.
So, anyway. I got my baby back.
Brought him home.
And gave him some wet food.
Which he promptly fell asleep in.
Woke up. Tried to eat. Was confused. Fell asleep in it. Again. Just nose first into the food dish.
Woke up. Again. Tried to eat some more. With a little more success. Fell asleep again. Just all the way over this time.
So I scooped him up. And brought him to the new couch. Where I assumed we would cuddle. Like we did after his neuter surgery.
When he cuddled with me like this for an entire night…
Instead, he said, “No. I have no interest in cuddling with you.”
He hopped up. And wobbled his still medicated ass to the cat couch.
And under it.
And he has remained there ever since.
He refuses to leave it.
Or acknowledge my existence.
He hates me.
He hates me more. After I had all of his teeth removed. Than he did after I had his balls removed.
Which is fair.
But I’m not sure I’ll survive my baby never loving me again.
Also, they did find my kids. They were never lost. They just didn’t want to stop playing.