Their names are Squeaks and Snugs, or at least that’s what they would be called if we were talking about a couple of 1920’s mobsters. The analogy isn’t so far off, in truth. They are both the loves of my life and the bane of my existence, and so I thought it would be only appropriate to dedicate this very first post to them. As a warning, they’re likely to get a lot of airtime here in the future too. Mostly because if I ever disappear under mysterious circumstances I want you to know who to finger.
I’m not particularly a cat person; never have been, despite growing up with them as a child. Sure, I loved my pets – all of them – including a very large, overweight, black and white badass cat whose mob name happened to be Fats. (He was The Boss, no question about it). But, his lack of cuddliness and abundance of sharp teeth and claws combined with his overwhelmingly ornery personality made me think maybe I’d had my last cat.
A little over a year ago I moved into this apartment building. I remember signing the lease and being asked, “do you have cats?” I quickly answered no with a chortle and a dismissive wave of the hand, because that’s how preposterous of a suggestion it was. Me? A cat lady? Umm, no.
I moved in. I went back to my day job. I casually mentioned it to my co-workers in a hah-hah, do-I-look-like-a-cat-lady sort of way. This would turn out to be a critical mistake, however. Hindsight, my friends. Hindsight.
Within minutes my e-mail started flooding with pictures of kittens. I was receiving random chat messages with questionable links that turned out to be cat rescue websites when I clicked on them. It quickly escalated to the point where I was completely overwhelmed having seen hundreds of kitten bios in a two-day period. I’d like to say I was dreaming of kitten snuggles, but the stress of it all was like a fluffy nightmare. To cope I just started tuning it all out, but I was no match for the determination of these co-workers. They were wearing me down.
Co-worker: Eeeeeeeeh!! (waving hands in my face gesticulating wildly at my computer screen)
Me: Yes, that’s a kitten.
Co-Worker: Are you going to get him!!??
Me: What!? NO!!!
Co-Worker: Yes! Yes! Look, this is his litter-mate! Get TWO kittens!
Other Co-Worker: Oh my gosh, YES!!!
Me: Have you lost your minds?? Seriously?? Have you??
There was some serious side-eye thrown at both of them to further make my point.
My resolve didn’t last. One thing led to another, and all of a sudden I’m in the market for a pair of litter-mates. Oh joy. Except not really, because I was actually just going through the motions to get everyone off my back. Sure I had scheduled a full weekend of visits to foster homes, hoping I wasn’t about to be axe-murdered by these so-called animal lovers. Sure I intended to show up to these appointments to watch the kittens give me some serious side-eye and skulk away, indignant at my mere presence. Actually adopting kittens that weekend? It was never going to happen.
I arrived at the first foster home early on a Saturday morning thinking let’s just get on with this already. Or maybe I was thinking about what I’d rather be doing with my weekend. I can’t quite remember, because my whole life changed the moment the woman opened the door. Two little heads popped out from behind her, bright eyes fixed adoringly on my own. And, I just knew in that moment. It was love at first sight or as close as one can get with a couple of fluffy, shiv-wielding, murder-beasts.