In Which I Share A Little Bit About My Relationship With Some Of The Animals.

I was born into a family that hated cats. Humanity was divided into two sorts: dog people, and cat people.* The first thing I remember about them is that my mother received an “I Hate Cats” book as a gift when I was a young child. Or maybe she’d had it even before me, and I discovered it in our basement as a young child. Regardless, it was a little comic book of cats being killed or obliterated in weird, semi-hilarious situations. A chubby cat being slingshotted into a brick wall is one I remember in particular.

I really, really liked dogs. I remember every house in every neighborhood we lived in by the dog, not the family. We finally got one when I was 12. Her name was Cocoa. She wasn’t really ‘my dog,’ but she was my responsibility, so, she was basically mine. I loved her infinitely, and I helped her give birth to seven tiny, perfect puppies. When I was 15, I came home from a school-related weekend trip and my parents had given her away so that they could travel more, or more easily, or more something.

I lived on my own for five years after moving out at 18, and I always wanted a pet. A dog was a pet that loved me, liked me, and spent time with me. Cats were never an option as I’d sworn in allegiance to my mother that I would never own a cat. (Besides – they bit and hissed without reason, and were the fuzzy embodiment of Fuck You.) She told me when I was 14 that if I ever had a cat as an adult, she would not come visit me. I don’t know if she was joking, but I always remembered it – even after I became estranged from the family, and visiting wasn’t an option for more serious reasons.

Since landlords said dogs were out, and my belief system said cats were out, I owned a very depressing series of goldfish. None of them outlived the 2 week mark, and the man at the pet store became very concerned with my regular “purchase.”

At 23, I met a man who said he loved cats, but wasn’t really a dog person. He also said he wasn’t a guy who was crazy into hugging people that he wasn’t immensely close with. These two things nearly kept me from even replying to that email.

Two years later, I and this man (that I ended up marrying) brought home three tiny kittens (which aren’t cats) to babysit them for an adoption agency in town. Within 24 hours, I identified tiny personalities. Within 48 hours, I knew which was my favorite. And within 2 weeks, I had decided I couldn’t live without one. Her name is Pixel, and I adore her, and she adores me.

Last week, I texted my mother a picture of my tiny kitten. She told me to stop irritating her. I was sad about it, but the kitten-happiness cancelled out the sadness, and I realized I was still happy.

As I sit in a coffee shop writing this, my husband asks if I want to stay or leave. And I tell him I want to stay, but I miss my cat.

I think there is a lesson somewhere in this.

*More accurately, there were Christians who were dog people, and then there Not-Christians who were dog people/Christians who were cat people/cat people. Religiously and non-religiously, I have happily returned to the one-sort-of-people outlook, where people are just people, and that is that..

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  1. michelle says:

    beautiful, poignant, concise. i love it.

  2. Brittany says:

    This is the sweetest post.
    I’ve always identified myself as not a cat person. I wasn’t a dog person either. And the. I got one, and then I wasn’t a dog person. I was just a LuLu person. But how quickly things change web sweet creatures crawl into your heart. I still wouldn’t call myself a cat person, but I would say that if it came down to a cat dying because no one would rescue him or me rescuin the cat, I’d take the cat.

    I’ve learned a lot about love in the last year and part of that was because I my dog. All of His creatures are lovable. It’s a sweet moment when you see people, little creatures and creations as more to love and less to hate.

    Loved this post. Pixel is just precious :).


  3. Emilie says:

    Dear Lauren,

    Thank you for this post! I’ve enjoyed it.. a lot :). I think that cats/animals have a way of bringing to our attention the little things in life and along with that much joy. Mine is named, “Dot” aka “Dotty.” Anytime you want to exchange cat pictures… ;).

  4. Liz says:

    This is so precious. Thanks for sharing, Lauren. My kittens bring me so much joy and so glad that Pixel does that same for you. 🙂

  5. i love this. i love you. i love pixel.
    which reminds me, i need to come up with some fresh thoughts for Pixel & Spricket’s next big adventure 😉

  6. Brittany says:

    animals are precious, whether cats or dogs. they teach us something about ourselves, i think.

    my mom told me that if i ever get an arm tattoo, she’d disown me. like you, i couldn’t tell if she was joking or not. but i’m still considering getting one. 🙂

    • / / / / lauren nicole / / / / says:

      1. the really awesome thing about having a body is that it’s yours.
      2. i totally agree. i have never met an animal that didn’t teach me something.

  7. I’ve got a big heart for both dogs AND cats….

    just sending you love by saying that I sometimes read your stuff and you talk like you get a lot of crap from strangers on the internet but I really enjoy your site and the bit I know of you from it…. keep doing what you do! xoxo

  8. Diana P. says:

    My cat is named Pixel too! haha 🙂

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