I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but since my incarceration, I have probably shed the most tears over my cat than any other person. Most humans have the capacity to understand that I am in the hospital because of a reason that is beyond my control and are sympathetic to the fact that I would much rather be living my regular life. However, my cat, although I would like to think of him as a person, has a minute, feline brain that prevents him from even partially understanding why I have not been home in over a week. That being said, I have met humans whose brains are probably less developed than my cat's, but for argument's sake, let's say that my cat has a fair disadvantage over the average person.
So, from my cat's perspective, he is lonely and doesn't understand why his mommy has not been home to play with him. He is even lonelier because my husband has hardly been home to give him any attention. So, for now, he sits and sleeps most of the day away, not understanding why loads of laundry have been piling up, his house is probably a mess, and his toys are most likely trapped under the furniture. To make matters even worse, this is a cat who has a history of abandonment issues.
Although my husband and I know little about Tiger's first life before he came to us, he already had experienced his fair share of kitty trauma. Let me enlighten you with a fluffy tale (no pun intended) of Tiger the Cat...
As a stork would deliver a baby, Tiger was presented at our door step cocooned in a soft, dowry of white fur and a squished-in Oscar-the-Grouch face. With little explanation, our neighbors informed us that he needed a home and asked if we were interested in adopting him. In literally two seconds flat, my husband and I looked at each other and enthusiastically nodded our heads in unison. We actually had intended to adopt a cat and this cat was way too cute to pass up! Our neighbors, surprised at our instantaneous decision, eyed us skeptically. "Really??" they asked, suddenly suspicious of our intentions with the purebred Persian, "Well, we just had him neutered..." they quickly added, just in case we were secret, purebred breeders.
Our neighbors later provided us with Tiger's origins and how he came to be in their lives: Tiger, two years old, was abandoned at the groomer. When his owner no-showed, the groomer called the local vet who quickly retrieved him and examined him in his office. The vet discovered that Tiger had ring worm, ear problems, eye problems, and a slew of kitty issues. Having my neighbors as clients and knowing their compassion to care for Persians, he called them to adopt Tiger. Sadly, when Tiger was brought home and introduced to their three other Persian balls of fluff, it was soon discovered that Tiger didn't play nicely with one and was soon sequestered to a cage. Feeling guilty, our neighbors decided that Tiger needed a good home, where he could roam freely and be an only-cat child.
Oddly enough, during my last night at home, Tiger had been snuggling in bed, squished up against my body for warmth. I awoke to a humid, not-so-fresh breath in my face and am extremely poignant MEOW. Twenty minutes later, when I emerged out of bed, I noticed that my water broke.
I have never been a lover of animals, much less cats in particular. When my husband and I first met, I had an extremely traumatic experience with his cat, Smokey, whom I am sure was the devil incognito. The Spawn of Satan hated a woman infringing on his territory and hissed, growled, and punched me whenever I so much as breathed. Sadly, my husband eventually realized that it was either me or the cat and we parted ways with Smokey.
During our year with Tiger, I have become much more maternal than ever before. I feel guilty when he is left alone for to long, guilty if I don't play with him long enough, guilty for not being able to fully cure his recurrent eye infections. Before my arrested state, I had been dealing with taking Tiger to a vet for frequent conjunctivitis and had been in the process of scheduling an appointment with a feline ENT specialist. Now, that I am in jail, I am too afraid to ask my husband if Tiger's eye infection has returned. I know that if it did return, my husband and mom would refrain from telling me, knowing how much it upsets me.
So, in conclusion, my lock-down state affects other people and animals other than just myself.....My poor cat is probably re-traumatized; Every time I see my husband he appears another pound thinner and haggard; My mom, stressed from frequent hospital runs and my demands, has an eye twitch (the single most horrific, debilitating, oppressive condition ever!!)
Can't wait until I am outta here and will have two little boys to care for at home (three if you count my husband). So, maybe I should just try to enjoy my bed rest while it lasts??