LIFE | Help, I’m Turning Into My Cat

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People often say that pets are like their owners. Or that owners are like their pets. They say something like that, at least. But the similarities I share with my cat are starting to unnerve me a little. I don’t know if he just takes after his mumma or if we share some strange psychic bond, but it really feels like we are one. I don’t want to sound like a crazy cat lady or anything; my life plan isn’t to live with thirty cats all called things like Mr Tiddlesbum and Lord Fluffington IV. But I do spend a lot of time with my cat. Watching him, talking to at him, carrying him around like a baby so he can’t escape. It may seem like a pathetic way to spend my days (it absolutely is), but it has given me an insight into the inner workings of his mind. And mine.

I first got Oakley when I was seventeen and he was a tiny kitten. Our days used to begin by me awaking at 7:30 (an hour before I would usually arise) and retrieving Oakley from his bed to cuddle with me before I went to school. Then I would come home from school, and instead of spending all of my time in my room talking to weird Americans on the Internet, I would scrunch up tinfoil and wiggle straws in front of my new cat bff’s face. I am pretty sure the reason my parents bought me Oakley was so that they saw me more than an hour a day. That didn’t last for long though, because soon Oakley got a taste of my way of life. A life of cynicism, pessimism, and introversion. And we have been the same ever since. Like Hermione and Crookshanks, like Sailor Moon and Luna, like Team Rocket and Meowth. We are a team. A team of melancholia. This is how we are one.

5. We Are Scared Of Other People:

My cat is criticised a lot by other people for being scared of absolutely everything. I am also frequently criticised for this too. You may often hear my mum crying ‘for God’s sake, Oakley, it’s only a vacuum hoover’, which is regularly interchanged for ‘it is not hard to make your own appointments at the doctors, Rosanna!’ No one understands our turmoil, our pain. The world is a scary place, and all we would like to do is stay indoors and eat treats.

4. We Prefer To Be Alone:

A simple one, but an important point nonetheless. If either Oakley or myself hear someone knocking at the door, we both immediately find a hiding place. I once hid in my room and pretended to be out of the house for the entire time my extended family came to visit. Oakley was doing the same thing under the bed. Neither of us could relax until we knew for sure that they had left our territory; watching, waiting, listening. And then as soon as we hear the car start we’re both downstairs again, filled with fake confidence and yummy food.

3. No One Else Likes Us:

Throughout my school life, anything I said was often received with cries of ‘why are you so weird?’ Although this dwindled at university, I would occasionally still see the widening of the eyes whenever any of my comments were met with confusion. Oakley is like me, except with other cats. On my street there is a point called Cat Corner, and it is the meeting place for Mogwai, Stanley, Ozzy, and The Bully Cat. They pretty much hate Oakley. I often see my baby run excitedly towards his buddies, only to have them dart off as soon as they see him coming. Interestingly enough, whilst other humans always want to touch Oakley due to his adorableness, other cats are often drawn to me. Maybe we should combine forces and learn from one another.

2. We Sleep For The Majority Of The Day:

I feel this is something I have learnt from Oakley; he is a terrible influence on me. Since my graduation, I have become a lady of leisure. And when I’m not sleeping until the afternoon, I’m usually lying comatose watching The Office on Netflix. When Oakley is not sleeping in his adorable bed that says ‘meow’, he is lounging on the sofa and taking up valuable room in the process. Not caring for anyone. A total Aristocat.

1. We Are Beautiful:

Well, we are.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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