66: Whose House Is It Anyway?

66: Whose House Is It Anyway?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

Whose House Is It Anyway?

Cat people are different to the extent that they generally are not conformists. How could they be with a cat running their lives?

~Louis J. Camuti

“My living space is shrinking,” I lamented to a friend over coffee. “I used to have a fairly decent-sized rec room, with plenty of space to entertain my friends, but now…” I slowly shook my head. “Now it’s nothing more than a Romper Room for cats.”

My friend, also a cat person, smiled and knowingly nodded. “How many cat condos do you have in your rec room?”

“Cat condos?”

“Carpeted cat trees,” she clarified.

“Oh those,” I said. “Never heard them called condos before.” I paused, wondering if my response was going to be judged as too many or too few. “As of last week, there are three cat trees in the rec room.”

“Only three?” she inquired, her eyebrows raised.

Clearly, she expected a larger number. “Three trees for two cats,” I explained defensively. “Three is quite enough.”

“Says you, or say the cats?” She grinned mischievously.

I glowered at her. “For your information, my cat trees are in three different colors, shapes, and sizes. The small one is brown, the medium is blue, and large one is beige.”

“And you say they’re all different shapes?”

“The tallest one goes clear to the ceiling and has four platforms. There is a cozy, carpeted basket at each level. The shortest has a coiled hemp post and just a single platform on top. And the middle one is, well, mid-sized — it’s about as tall as my shoulder — and has three fuzzy perches.”

She took a sip of her coffee. “Three trees for two cats doesn’t seem like it would take up all that much space.”

“But…” I hesitated to tell her the rest of the story. “I also have three cat beds, also of various shapes and colors, strategically placed on two chairs and a couch, plus their food and water dishes are in the room, and their cat box, of course.”

“Of course.” My friend clucked her tongue and shook her head sadly back and forth. “Sorry, honey. You can’t apply for membership in the Crazy Cat Lady Club until you get a few more.”

“A few more cats, trees, or beds?”

“All of the above.”

I can’t imagine ever bringing any additional feline companions into my home. The two I have are driving me nuts as it is. Up all night, running the length of the hallway that ends at my bedroom door, then streaking back down the hall at amazing speeds. I don’t know what kind of game they’re playing at 3 a.m., but it sure is noisy.

She peered at me over the rim of her cup. “I thought you assured me a year ago that you were a one-cat-at-a-time person. Didn’t you tell me that two cats were twice the trouble?”

“They are! Oh believe me, they are!”

“So why’d you bring the second one home?”

It was a long story, beginning with me going in to make my annual end-of-year, tax-deductible donation to the Humane Society, but the bottom line was that I took one look at the furry little guy with big eyes and the huge 90-degree kink in his long tail and fell instantly in love.

“The gal at the desk caught me in a weak moment,” I replied. “And I decided cat number one needed a playmate to keep him company when I was not at home.”

“Uh-huh.”

The way she said it immediately put me on the defensive once again. “Seriously! I didn’t bring home another cat for me — I just got my cat a companion, that’s all!”

“You got a cat for your cat?”

“It was the day after Christmas, and my resolve faltered.” I sighed. “And now they’ve claimed the entire rec room as their own personal living space.”

“It sounds like they’ve got it pretty sweet,” agreed my friend. She shrugged good-naturedly. “And it could be worse.” Her eyes twinkled. “By now they could have taken over your entire house.”

I laughed. “I suppose you’re right. I suppose I’m lucky they let me live with them.”

“Darn straight!” she replied, enthusiastically striking the table with her now-empty coffee cup. “That’s exactly how I feel about my seven.”

“You have seven cats?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes, and if I had known when I got the first one that I’d end up with seven diverse little feline personalities, I’d have started right off naming them after the seven dwarves.” She laughed, paused, then asked, “So what are your two named?”

“Well, they’re both shorthaired orange tabbies, so they’re kind of chipmunk-colored with striped tails,” I began. “When I brought the first one home, I named him Alvin, and number two became Simon.”

“No Theodore?”

“No Theodore,” I replied, adamantly shaking my head. “Nope. Not in this lifetime!”

She howled in mirth. “Wanna bet?”

No, I didn’t want to bet. But this year I’ve decided to mail my annual donation to the Humane Society and not stop by for a visit. I’m not about to take any chances.

~Jan Bono

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