I’ve always loved animals. I grew up with dogs, cats, horses, lizards—pretty much a whole menagerie. And I learned that while they’re totally awesome, animals are a lot of work. So, owning a pet became this adult goal of mine, one that would have to be put off until the day I was more responsible, more settled, and more into adult activities like afternoon walks and knitting.
Then I moved to New York and suddenly I needed an animal in my life. You can only pet so many street cats before it seems like a good idea to have one of your own. I had cat fever. My husband was not into the idea at all, but a well-timed mouse sighting convinced him it might be a good idea. We were sitting ducks. It only took one visit to the kitty pound and we found ourselves going home with a large, fluffy, very vocal cat that couldn’t wait to shed its white hair all over our black couch. We were technically “fostering” her, but let’s be honest, when you’re feeding this sweet little cat and cuddling with her and giving her a name, there’s no way she’s going back to the shelter. We own a cat.
I was a little apprehensive about the realities of joining the cat-owner ranks. The litter box, the weirdness, the cat hair all over your clothing, the tacky carpet-covered cat furniture taking over your apartment—these were all badges of honor in a club I didn’t really want to be a part of. But now that I have one, I get it. We bought her toys (she doesn’t play with them). We bought her dental-health treats (they appear to be large chunks of dry cat food but whatever). We bought her something called the Scratch Lounge (basically a $25 cardboard box). We are really into this cat. I’ve become a cat lady. So, when I saw this fancy cedar cat tree on Krrb, I knew it had to be mine. I don’t even care that it would dominate an entire corner of my apartment. I want this for Mrs. Ralph so she can climb up it once and then ignore it forever. I call dibs.