Friday, January 30, 2009

A Tale of Four Kitties, Or How I Became a Cat Woman, Part One

Once upon a time, about ten years ago, Dr. Lobo and I were enjoying an empty nest. We liked being both child free and pet free.

Wild Child had a girlfriend from South Korea then. She decided he needed a cat, so they got a tuxedo cat kitten. He told her she could name the kitten, but that he had veto power. Since English was her second language, she wasn’t familiar with the word “veto.” But she liked the sound of it. (I think it sounded Korean to her.) She decided to name him Veto. Wild Child did not veto Veto’s name.

Not long after they got Veto, Girlfriend convinced Wild Child that he should move back in with us and resume his college studies. I didn’t mind Wild Child's return, but I wasn’t happy about gaining a cat. I insisted that Veto would be Wild Child’s responsibility. I would have nothing to do with him.

At first Veto stayed upstairs in Wild Child's room most of the time. I was writing at home while Dr. Lobo worked and Wild Child went to college. Gradually, during the hours that Veto and I were the only ones in the house, he started spending that time downstairs with me. Mostly he sat or slept on the bed next to me as I worked on the computer in our bedroom. After a while I found him to be a comforting presence. I began petting him and feeding him now and then. Then I started picking him up and loving on him. By the end of the first year, Veto had won my affection.

When Wild Child married The Blonde a few years later, he didn’t even try to take Veto off to live with them. He knew I wouldn’t let that precious cat go without a fight.

Since then, we've acquired other cats, but Veto is still first in my heart. And the feeling is mutual. When my car pulls into the driveway, Veto runs in front of the car and lies on his back so I’ll pet him. (I never said he was the smartest cat around.)

When I’m on the computer, he’s often lying between the keyboard and the monitor. Occasionally his paw makes contact with the keyboard, causing interesting or disastrous results, but I still let him help with my writing. (His spelling isn't too good, but his plotting is excellent.)

I once swore I'd never let an animal sleep with me, but Veto often sleeps between my head and our bed's headboard. Sick, I know, but I love to hear him purr and feel the warmth of his body against my head. He also snores—yes, snores—but I think it adds to his unique charm.

I am so grateful that Wild Child’s girlfriend decided he needed a cat! We’re living happily ever after.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Veto is such a pretty kitty!