Dog. Dog, dog, dog, dog.
When we signed the lease for our current apartment, the real estate agent told us the magic words we’d been waiting to hear: “The owner is ok with dogs.” And we immediately started fantasising about life with a dog: what breed we wanted, where we’d rescue, what we’d name it, how we planned to take care of it (I’ll admit our plan of “both quit jobs to stay home and play with the dog” wasn’t as practical as we first thought it would be), etc. We were dog people. And late last year, we decided that 2017 was going to be the year of dog. Our dog mission became much more important when both of our dogs back at home passed away in February (within an exact week of each other — fate is cruel sometimes).
But then, a few things happened. First, our new property manager re-approved us for a dog, but they added the caviat “dogs/pets must be kept indoors while you’re not home” ie. our plan to keep the bottom window of our front door open so the pooch could run in and out during the day was quickly dashed. Without an option to run outside during the summer, it seemed really mean to keep a dog cooped up in an apartment for 9 hours, 3-4 days at a time with no air con when the temps start to soar. And we thought, if we had a nervous dog, it would need to be crated during that time so it wouldn’t scratch at the glass door and window (a cost we’re obligated for). So we sort of resigned to not get a dog. We never really said this out loud, but we both realised it and internalised it by following heaps of adorable dog accounts on Instagram and crying (maybe that was just me).
Then, we went to Tokyo, and on my birthday we visited a cat cafe.
Something magical happened. I mean, something fully and completely expected, but something magical nonetheless: we were charmed. Being around the big floofy cats made me miss my Bill Purray (currently living with and being spoiled within an inch of his life by his grandparents), and it made us re-think our “we can’t have a cat” policy. As we left the cafe, Joel said “Maybe we should get a cat, instead.” and I was all, “Yes, let’s go back and get the fat orange one. And the grey one with the shmooshed face!” I have impulse control problems.
And thus, our 4 legged plans shifted from canine to feline. Cats are more independent, so we wouldn’t need to worry about staying out too late at dinner, or when we go on non-pet friendly adventures, long shifts at work, etc. Cats are also beautiful and hilarious and moody and I miss my Bill Purray every day. We decided on a few changes to our balcony to make it escape proof, and to make our screen-less windows cat-falling-to-their-death proof. We got the OK from our property manager, and made plans to rescue a kitten when we had recovered a bit from our holiday damages.
Then, destiny. Joel was telling our friend Craig about our kitten plans, when Craig mentioned his cat, Pancake. His family had rescued her a few years ago, but now they were moving into a place that didn’t welcome pets, and they needed to find a new home for their sweet girl. I had had my hopes pinned to a tiny, rambunctious kitten, but after I sat and thought about it, the timing of everything was nothing short of destiny, like the universe was telling us that Pancake needed us. There was no way we could say no.
So on Saturday, September 9, we welcomed Pancake into our family. She spent her first day hiding from us under the table, and most of the next day hiding under the bed. By the end of the day Sunday, she decided to come out and meet me, allowing me to feed her a couple treats and take a quick selfie with her before she immediately hid again. On Monday night while Joel was staying over night at the zoo for a work event, she eventually came out and sat beside me all night. Slowwwwly but surely, she started to relax. We cheered each milestone (“She let me hold her!” “She came out from the bed when I called her!” “She used the litter box!” “She ate from her bowl!” “She’s a cat!!”), and now, 3 weeks later, she’s adjusted to us, and she’s a real, actual, floofy part of us.
She’s very shy, but also very loving. She hangs out with us while we’re lounging, gives us head butts, demands scratchies, and I’ve woken up most nights to find her sleeping on my chest. She loves treats, has a complicated relationship with cat nip, and feels totally ok licking the water in the tub after someone takes a shower (creep). She’ll occasionally meow at me when I talk to her (as you do), and she’ll chase you down and make you clean her box immediately when she does a poo (totes understandable).
We won her love by plying her with treats and just letting her come out at her own pace. So far, she’s becoming more chill, and has even started to greet us at the door when we come home (holy crap, that’s so cute). She hates it when we vacuum, and she hates laundry day, and she really hates when the washer/dryer and vacuum are happening all at once (sorry, mama).
It’s been so sweet having her around. I love knowing I get to go home to a cuddly little pal. And I forgot how a little thing like seeing your cat wait for you at the door can make even the shittiest of days melt away. How getting a little head butt or feeling her curl up beside you as you sleep makes you feel like you’re a chosen person. When we’re home from work, watching our shows and making dinner, and I see little Pancake playing with a toy or just being a jelly-cat in the middle of the rug, it just feels… right. Complete. Like we were missing a little piece. And now she’s here 🙂
Welcome home, Pancake. We are so happy and lucky to be your pals!