Like children, like houses, like new lovers, pets are the unwilling recipients of our longings for a certain kind of life. And like children, like houses, like new lovers, they often struggle to keep up with our expectations. We adopted kittens last year because we missed the fat old tabby who used to doze all day on the couch. We imagined the calm presence of two cats stretched out before the fireplace, the comforting purr of them flopped in our laps. But when these two came home, they came at us claws first. That first week we had scratches from our faces to our feet. It wasn’t malice that had them tearing up our home and bodies. Just kittenhood, that excess of energy and lack of manners. Even today they dismiss etiquette, pushing the bathroom door when one of us is sitting on the toilet, inspecting us from the tub’s edge if we take a bath, attacking our feet under the blankets when we stretch out for a Saturday afternoon nap. But they’ve started offering some calm as well, sometimes stretching long across my legs while I watch a movie, sometimes indulging in a nap taken on top of the fridge.
January 23, 2015