My boyfriend has wanted a cat since I’ve known him. I have had a beagle named biscuit since he has known me. Breaking up with my boyfriend ignited the desire to acquire a second beagle last year. I did and I named her Gravy.
Biscuit and Gravy became boyfriend and girlfriend right around the time that my boyfriend and I became boyfriend and girlfriend again. Thankfully, they were the only couple to reproduce. Now we also have Maple – a short and stubby female beagle.
Given that I have three demon spawns at this time, my boyfriend’s pet addition ideas aren’t really taken seriously. At one point he was obsessed with the idea of getting a micro pig. I told him that I was all about it, Just so long as I get to call it bacon.
My boyfriend – who I call Beebs – informs me of the inhumanity in naming a pet pig Bacon. We argue about the decency of this for a while until beebs discovers most of these pigs end up growing to full size. It also helped significantly when I told him of my plans to feed actual bacon to our micro pig named Bacon.
Now anyone that knows me knows that I hate cats. I haven’t always hated cats though. I was a feline lover once. Her name was Bubbles, and I believe I was around four or five. It was love at first memory and I was crushed by the loss.
When she ran away, I was devastated. What could I have possibly done wrong. Was I such a horrible companion for Bubbles, she would prefer to brave the harsh jungle that was our southern Illinois suburban neighborhood, over staying with me? I must be such a horrible person.
I had absolutely no idea a close encounter with our garage door had rendered Bubbles completely retarded. Unable to eat or walk, the cat had to be put down. My parents did the right thing. Aside from lying to a child and scaring her for life.
An asthmatic brother later, I decided to fully hate cats. I couldn’t please the one I had, so it left me. Owning another cat won’t happen, so i might as well hate them. To avoid the uncomfortable emotions of explaining myself, I adapted the “dogs rule cats drool” type of reasoning for hating cats.
Beeb’s love for sharing funny cat videos and cute cat memes only encouraged this hatred. It became fun to tease him about their stupidity. All the while I’m telling him to get one.
My hatred of the little purr boxes is irrelevant in this matter. I don’t think people should ever hold each other back. If I want to date a cat lover, I have to be willing to own a cat. Not that I believed beebs would ever actually go through the steps to acquire one. Which would explain my complete shock at the rather attractive veterinarian student’s appearance in my home.
Suspicions came when my messenger feed contained pictures of an actual furry devil friend. These weren’t foreign internet cats filmed for the worlds entertainment. This was a real life homeless furball.
Beebs works security at a local bar in our college town. This job puts him in the middle of a vast array of people. One of the waitresses at this melting pot is the veterinarian student. She begins telling him the story of this kitten in hopes that Beebs may know of a potential parent. Beebs knows of someone alright.
This kitten was found stuck in the engine of a gentleman’s car. He called animal services, and the critter was taken to the schools veterinarian department. Outside of having it’s left front leg removed, the twelve week old string bean is perfectly healthy.
When the photos begin pouring in of said creature, I don’t really think much of it. I begin joking that Beebs will love this brat more than me. Beebs informs me that I’m going to fall in love with her too. I inform him there is no way that is going to happen.
The Great Debaters
After some fun joking around and some rather horrifying stories from ex-cat owners at work, I start thinking about actually owning this cat. I begin wondering if my three beagles will play tug of war with it like they did with the squirrel.
Responsibility isn’t exactly one of Beeb’s strongest traits. The litter box could present a problem. This is all appearing to be more work and stress for me.
It’s now Monday night – our day off together. The veterinarian student will be over to introduce the kitten to our home soon. If I plan on making a stance, it’s now or never. “My one compromise to owning this cat is the litter box staying in your office.” I say. This begins a pretty heated debate.
Beeb’s argument being that he spends the majority of his time in his office. He does so because of his video game addiction. Which is why he doesn’t want the litter box in his office. He doesn’t want to spend a majority of his time in the same room the cat shits. This all makes perfect sense.
However, I spend a majority of my time in every room except Beeb’s office. I also do not want to spend that majority sharing a room with pussy pooh. Since I also do not want to own a cat, it appears my sacrifice is already being made. Therefore, the cats litter box goes in Beeb’s office. This will also ensure it’s routine maintenance by someone other than me.
After Beebs shouts his inability to own a cat due to my insufferable cruelty, the kitten is exploring our home. I’m following the cat around the house as it explores. As it’s checking things out, I’m hovering over it. Ensuring that it doesn’t tear anything apart or poop anywhere, Im listening to beebs and the vet student.
She’s answering all of his what if questions and explaining things that will happen if we decide to keep her. They’re dancing around the possibility of us owning this thing as he watches it like a love sick girl. That’s about the time I interject with, “ There is no if. We are getting the cat.” Beebs looks at me with a smile while still being skeptical of his impending fatherhood.
We’re on our way back from Walmart a couple nights later when Beebs tells me that he thought of a name for the kitten. He’s decided against it though. He doesn’t think it’s appropriate.
After some pressing I learn the name he was thinking of. He tells me he wanted to name her Lieutenant Dan, and I can’t help but explode with laughter at the irony. I instantly decide this has to be her name.
Beebs informs me that we can’t call her that because it’s just plain wrong. Plus the kitten is a girl, so it doesn’t even make sense. I decide that this is another condition to owning the amputee, and I’m calling her Lieutenant Dan no matter what. He decides he’s going to call her Dany. Since a Lieutenant and a Khaleesi aren’t that different, I decide these both work together.
I’m sitting in the living room the following Monday. Beebs has cleaned his office over the weekend. He’s cleared a corner in which he has placed a rug. On top of the rug he has made Lieutenant Dan’s home base complete with litter box, feeding bowls, and a scratch post. He just picked up some cat nip and has sprinkled it on her scratch post.
She clearly loves it. The crazy crack head is soaring through the house on her three legs, leaping on and off of furniture. Beebs comes out of his office. He looks at me and this is what he says, “ You know I’ve gotten this feeling before. This painful flutter in my chest. I get it when I look at you sometimes. Things you do. Things you say. Nothing’s ever made me fell like that before you. Until her. Every time I look at her it hurts.”
That’s about the time that I fell in love with Beebs all over again. He is a cat lover. Adopting Lieutenant Dan brought him closer to who he is. Helping him become closer to himself brought me closer to him as well. I may even become a cat lover too.
– Megan Groff 2016