There’s nothing quite like coming home at the end of a long day to find two sets of luminescent eyes looking down at me from the top of the stairwell. Two sets of paws padding down the steps, two furry lumps rubbing against my ankles, and a pair of disparate mews telling me that I am the one and only human in the world that they want to see right now. They are mine and I am theirs. That is the beauty of pet ownership and as anyone who has an animal companion can tell you, they enhance your life in a myriad of ways, even when they’re making it hell.
I can’t help but laugh at some of the silly, outrageous, and totally infuriating things they do. Their personalities are completely across the spectrum, and as a result, each cat has their own crazy little quirks. One is very active. She tears around the room like a cyclone for no apparent reason, knocking over magazines, lamps, and virtually anything that gets in her way. She plays catch (pretty well, actually), jumps on counters and other high surfaces (despite my best attempts to deter her with water, air, and green onions), and persists in attacking the other cat, who is usually asleep.
On the other hand, she loves to cuddle. If she can’t worm her way inside my shirt to claw on my belly in the observance of her nesting ritual or wrap herself around my neck when I’m fast asleep, practically choking me, she can be found curled up in her favorite chair with her arm wrapped around a miniature teddy bear that she has claimed as her best friend, much like any small child would. If you don’t pay her enough attention, she meows until you pet her, but she purrs loudly in thanks. She climbs in bowls, boxes, bags, and literally anything that can be gotten into, and provides hours of entertainment chasing a laser pen. She may be a bit high-strung, but she is lovable for all that.
My other cat is a polar opposite. She stretches out on her back in the sunny spot and refuses to chase toys. In fact, she doesn’t even really like to play with items that are dangled right in front of her face. I’ve seen her unravel a ball of yarn and then eat half of it before I could pull it out of her mouth (needless to say, that was the end of string toys). The only thing she is interested in is the ball that drops treats when she rolls it. And shiny stuff. She’s like a raccoon, she’ll go after anything shiny, but only when you’re not looking. She’s stolen (and hidden around the house) jewelry, eyeglasses, pens, silverware, and even a screwdriver. She doesn’t cuddle so much as sprawl. Any time she catches you sitting, she immediately hops on your lap and falls into a deep and sack-like slumber, usually with her limbs hanging off the sides of your legs. She’s fat and fluffy and completely adorable.
It may be cliché to list cats as something that makes me happy (along with bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens), but few things in life are as gratifying as the unconditional love shared by people and their pets. Every time they play, purr, or paw at my leg, I am reminded of how much better my life became from the moment they entered into it.