They may only weigh 10 pounds, but cats will totally change the way you do things. From the moment my cat Pimpentered my life almost 14 years ago (my other cat Moo simply showed up on the back porch four years ago), nothing has been the same.
I wouldnít trade having cats for anything in the world, but because I have them, there are some things that I’ll never be able to do again.
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1. Wake up after 7 a.m. (and thatís sleeping in!)
People tell me stories about lazing around in bed until noon, hitting the snooze repeatedly throughout the morning, or just lying around in bed and relaxing before popping up for the day. I marvel at this idea. Imagine that!
My day starts with Mooís cold, sometimes wet nose in my face, gently prodding my forehead. Then itís a paw at my nose. Then itís a furry body prancing across my pillow and back and forth over my body … on his way back to nudge my face with his nose again.
Rolling over only makes the matter more urgent. Now itís Moo firmly meatloafed on my chest, his face one inch from mine, burrowing in my neck and rubbing my chin. Eventually, itís a mad meower, standing next to me on the floor by the bed, more persistent and unsnoozable than any alarm clock. Ignore that and he starts knocking every object off the nightstand, one by one.
The cat has not eaten for at least six hours, and is clearly starving. Iím up, Iím up! And then he eats five bites and walks away from his bowl.
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2. Shower without being stared at
Itís like itís a constant peep show at my house. Pimpís favorite spot to sit is on the bathroom counter, and his favorite time to sit there is shower time. Maybe itís because itís like a steam room or sauna in there and heís clearing his little pores. Whatever the reason, turn on the bathtub faucet and he comes running to perch on the sink.
Usually he just lies down and takes a break from his busy day (busy day of taking other breaks, I guess), but sometimes he walks over to where the glass shower doors meet the counter and just sits tall, staring in. At which point, I say hello and wipe off the fog and condensation on the doors so he can see me better.
I think maybe heís worried about me in all that water.
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3. Throw out boxes
I may or may not have an online shopping problem. Boxes arrive all the time from every which website Ė- Amazon, shoe clubs, pet companies, you name it. Most people keep whatís inside the boxes and throw out the packaging. I empty the box and place it smack-dab in the middle of my living room floor and announce, ďMoo, I got you a box!Ē
Every box must be inspected immediately. You can count on that. And if itís a favorite, the box stays there for weeks (sometimes more), until a new favorite comes along. I try to keep it to one box, but sometimes you just canít help it if he falls in love with several.
Boxes are practically part of the dťcor in my house.
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4. Have ďa momentĒ with my boyfriend alone
Moo can’t see affection happening without wanting to be part of it and getting his fair share. Heís an attention whore, and†doesn’t†like anyone hogging up what should rightfully be his.
So every time my boyfriend even so much as pulls me in for a hug, Moo comes right on over and starts rubbing up against our legs and doing figure eights. If weíre lying on the couch and the BF leans in for a kiss, thereís Moo walking across us, tail furring up our faces and demanding we direct our attention to him.
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5. Burn candles
I can no longer light candles in my house. Even the ones that are in jars and covered, thereís no way, for two reasons: First, the obvious Ė- I donít want any accidents happening and tails or fur catching on fire.
Second, because I have a habit of forgetting to blow candles out, and then I have to turn around halfway to wherever I was going to go back home and deal with them. Even if it is a jar candle that would never light up the house, I donít want any chance of accident with the cats there.
But I love candles, especially the smell of them, and those plug-in air fresheners just arenít the same. Luckily, Iíve discovered wax tarts. These are amazing! You melt them in little tart warmers, which are heated with tiny tea lights. I put them high up enough where no cat can get to them, and I never have to worry about forgetting to blow them out, because when the tea light is done in a couple hours, it just goes out on its own. Best. Invention. Ever.
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6. Lie on the couch with a blanket without a cat on me
This scenario plays out every time: I lie on the couch to watch TV or read a book and pull a throw blanket over me to keep warm and cozy.
Cue the cat!
Pimp somehow hears it (do blankets make noise?!) and runs right over (no exaggeration, he hauls kitty butt) to get on top of me. He then proceeds to circle until he find the perfect spot (always the same spot; I donít know why he makes a show out of it) and settles down.
And itís not just me, either. Anyone who lies on the couch with a blanket gets the same treatment.
And itís not one particular blanket. Anyone with any blanket on the couch gets a Pimp topper.
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7. Keep things on my nightstand
I used to plug in my cellphone and leave it on my nightstand by the bed. I also used to keep a ChapStick there, and the TV remote and a few other random things.
One day Moo learned that nothing made me sit straight up awake faster than the sound of my $600 iPhone crashing to the floor. And now itís like a game. I donít think he does it just to wake me up anymore; I think he actually enjoys watching me react.
One by one, heíll knock something down and just look over at me until I acknowledge it. Heíll lightly tap his paw at the TV remote until it falls, and then heíll glance my way to make sure I saw it. Yup, I did. Okay, next thing! And off goes each item on the nightstand until everything is on the ground. Then he walks away nonchalantly. His work there is done.
So now I keep only nonbreakable items that make minimal noise when they fall. This way he still gets to play his game (I canít believe I entertain this, but whatever) and I get to sleep through the night without worrying if my phone will turn on or not the next morning.
Did I miss anything? Do you have things you can no longer do because you have cats? Share them in the comments!
Photo: Grumpy orange cat by Shutterstock.com