I hated cats until my 25th birthday. They’re coy, demeaning, and self proclaimed secret emperors. Their attitude is rotten and they play games until they get what they want--much like the girls in 8th grade. For all of these reasons and more, I loathed them.
Then one halloween night in 2008, while dressed as a Christmas tree, I met a furry man, who informed me that he came to the halloween party dressed as himself--as a cat. “Oh really?” I said, “So you’re telling me you are actually a cat.” And he said yes. And I said, “Then in that case, I am flower because I need sunshine, water, and coffee or I die.” And he told me it wasn’t the same thing--that he was actually a cat. My feet started to turn toward the punch bowl, but his eyes were so kind and his large beard was so intriguing that I stayed and talked for a while. By my 25th birthday, 4 months later, I had made peace with cats. The cat-man and I married on October 16th, 2010, nearly 2 years after we had met. The following halloween I was an elf and he was a cat--again--this time with a mask, whiskers, and vintage swim trunks.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that God and the universe punished me for hating cats by making me fall in love with a cat [lover]. Rather, I believe that loving and marrying the cat man was an invitation to enjoy all of creation. I have now adopted a cat named Baxter Hood Morgan, on whom Brandon and I dote lavishly. We buy him beds and wet food and funny toys and cat nip and oat greens, which make him go crazy, and many other things, actually. We comment on new behaviors of his and laugh every time he tries to jump onto the chair, somehow misses, and slams into the wall. He only misses because he’s lazy, which is why it’s funny.
Not only can loving animals be expensive, but it can make them fat. Baxter had slept on Brandon’s chest since he was a kitten (since Baxter was a kitten, that is). When Brandon and I got married I, Baxter’s Mommie Dearest, banned him from the bedroom due to a cat allergy. He was not happy. For the first month we were married Brandon and I didn’t sleep because Baxter was yelling at the door all night (among other things like running and slamming his body into the door, scratching the walls, and sticking his snout under the door to yell, just incase we hadn’t heard him before). I couldn’t believe he still had a voice by the next morning. Then we discovered wet food. We found that if we fed Baxter wet food, turned off all of the lights in the house, and ran into the bedroom, that he would eat the food, whine for 1 minute, then pass out for the rest of the night. They say that you’ll gain 15 pounds after getting married--sort of like your freshman 15 all over again. I think Baxter took 2 for the team. Though Brandon and I didn’t gain any weight, Baxter earned the name ‘Baxter the Hut.’ Something had to be done about our large mass of a cat.
How do we keep him thin, keep our wallets full, and still sleep every night? A friend gave us the magic answer. She suggested feeding him pumpkin. Not only is pumpkin cheap and good for the feline digestive system, but Baxter loves this stuff. Every week we mix 1 can of pumpkin with 2 cans of wet food. We stick it in a container in the fridge and feed him a couple tablespoons every night. It’s the cheapest sleep we’ve had a long time--believe me. And Baxter has returned to a manageable weight (note, this is a treat for him. We still feed him dry food as well. I am not sure how nutritious pumpkin is--I wouldn’t suggest feeding your cat just pumpkin).
Following are a list of things we have done for Baxter, which have also helped our budget/his unlikeness to Jaba:
- Pumpkin and wet food concoction for a happy cat and well rested owners. Note, if you don’t put the amount of desired wet food your cat personally prefers, there will be war.
- Dawn dishwashing soap is just as effective as flea shampoo and has fewer chemicals.
- Instead of lying on the nice $30 bed Brandon and I bought for Baxter at Target, he has chosen the lay on the $3 bag of tidy cat litter. So, we bought him a bag of litter, put it in a pretty pillow case we found at the Goodwill Outlet, and he’s a happy cat.
- Catnip is a member of the mint family, so we are growing our own since it’s so easy to grow. This is much cheaper than buying it at the store. Just put the seeds in the ground. Trust me, it’ll grow.
- Baxter loves oat greens. Buy oat seeds from your hardware store instead of Petsmart.
Do you have any cheap cat tricks? Better yet, has anyone been able to teach his cat any tricks? Tell me.