As all my assignments up until the new year involve looking after cats, I feel it’s time to address my complicated feelings when it comes to those of the feline persuasion. Now, in order to explain to you my feelings towards cats, I have to talk to you about a rabbit, namely, a rabbit called Trixy. She was my pet when I was about 8 years old. But to call her only a pet would be doing her memory a great disservice. No, she was also my best friend. I would spent hours outside her hutch, pleading with her to start talking to me.
“Please, Trixy. Please talk to me. I won’t tell anyone, I swear! It will just be our little secret. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.”
Trixy never did respond. What she did do, however, is escape from her hutch and live under the shed, becoming more feral than ever. When you peered underneath, you would just see these two glowing red orbs and you just knew that she was filled with hate for humanity. I still loved her, though.
So, anyway, Trixy lived under the shed for a while. Then one day my parents beckoned me to the kitchen with a very sombre tone to their voice. They sat me down and explained that a cat had gotten to Trixy and asked if I wanted to bury her. I was distraught, of course, but there was also something else there, something deep and powerful, something that would remain with me for a very long time – a rage for all of catkind. I vowed on that day to never forgive the species responsible for my best friend’s demise.
Many, many years later, when I was in my late teens, my family and I were seated around the dinner table and, for whatever reason, my old pet Trixy entered the conversation. Everyone joked about how fond I was of that rabbit, despite it being a little monster that lived under the shed. I didn’t laugh. Then my mum said it was a shame when Trixy managed to get out and hit by a car.
“WHAT!!!??!” I asked.
“Oh yeah, we told you that a cat killed her because we thought that would be easier to stomach,” my mum said, laughing.
I excused myself from the room.
Now, I was a little pissed off with my parents, but it was difficult to get too worked up about a white lie they made over a decade ago. What I found most difficult was the fact that I now needed to re-evaluate my feelings towards cats. I had carried this deep, burning hatred for them for pretty much my whole life… for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.
So I began to open myself up to cats. Over the years that followed, I had more and more experience with cats and, well, generally found them to be pretty standoffish and unlikeable. HOWEVER, since I began petsitting, I found that, like any other group of animals in this world, they come in all sorts and can actually be pretty affectionate. It’s come to the point that I almost like them as much as I like dogs, and that’s saying something.
So to cats everywhere, I say this: I’m sorry for hating you with the rage of 1,000 suns for basically my whole life. My bad.
And Trixy: I still love you to this day, even though you wouldn’t talk to me when you so obviously could.