Getting Adopted By A Cat

The cat and my wife, who claimed to not like cats

They say write what you know and, right now, I’ve got a cat literally crawling all over me. It may not be of particular interest, but he’s in front of the keyboard so this is what you get.

Our daughter has always wanted a cat but A) we have a dog and B) my wife (says she) hates cats. What I forgot is that you don’t get a cat, a cat gets you, which is what happened. It’s the rainy season (out of season) and this kitten appeared under where the security guards sit, for some shelter. He found its way inside Paati’s house (the great-grandmother) and my daughter was called. That’s where the story ends, though there’s more to it.

For a day the cat lived there, running around the back garden. At night we put it in a cage next to the porcupines and ducks. We occasionally get monitor lizards or monkeys or polecats so the animals have to be put in at night. In my old village a cat was taken away by a hawk. It’s wild. No place for a kitten, really. So a few nights ago we brought it to the house.

So now I’m back where I never wanted to be, dealing with more shit. I find that ‘adulting’ means literally dealing with other people’s shit, namely my kids’, a bit the dog’s, and the whole septic system in general. Now I had to figure out a litter box, but cats are remarkably clean. They just know, from very young, and they cover up. Unlike our dog, who used to just shit on the floor as a puppy, leaving us to wake up inside a redolent fart.

The dog has not been introduced yet, but the kids love the cat, as does my wife, who still pretends like she doesn’t like cats but obviously does. I like the cat, but it’s also disrupting my routine as it settles in. I’m scared to leave the thing though it survived well enough on the streets a few days ago. Ergo I’m writing about the cat rather than other stuff, because my mind is occupied. Though right now, it’s just curled up next to me and sleeping.

The last cat I had was epileptic and had no particular business surviving, but I got it a prescription for Valium and it somehow did. Until it didn’t. I remember burying that cat in the garden of my rented house and weeping. Still feel sore thinking about it, but that guy wasn’t long for this world. Hopefully this fellow, named Pippi, is.

It doesn’t really make sense for us to adopt a cat, but I guess it makes sense for the cat to adopt us. I’ve read that it’s unclear whether cats are domesticated animals, or whether they just decided to live with us. Seems to be what’s happening here, to the cats' benefit. We’re able to provide more protein than a lot of Sri Lankan children are getting (though we feed as many of those as possible as well). That’s the state of the country as it’s colonized again, but I guess you have to do what you can within your household. I honestly don’t know what to do in general, but we try to help anyone that comes to our doorstep. As this cat did.

I don’t know if this is especially interesting, but it’s all I know right now. Pippi has woken up and is circling my head, mewing in my ear, sitting on my chest, and getting in the way of physically writing, not to mention thinking. They say write what you know, and this is what I know, so until this creature settles down, this is what you’ll get.