Living alone can get, well, lonely.
I learned that years ago after moving into my first apartment.
After months of coming home to an empty apartment, I called my friend and neighbor one Friday evening.
“Are you doing anything tomorrow?” I asked. “Do you want to go to the animal shelter with me?”
That is how Alicia, my first cat, came into my life, and I haven’t looked back.
Over the years there have been enough cats for me to proudly wear the title “Crazy Cat Lady:” Katrina, Chad, Samantha, Hercules, Sunshine, Midnight, CC, Ameli-o, Lil Bit, Chaucer, and Bailey, not to mention the farm cats in McGaheysville, especially Tuxedo.
Now it’s just me and Brillo, my American bobtail, and Bailey’s half-sister.
Brillo basks in the role of only cat.
She no longer has to share her food.
She no longer has to share her toys.
And most importantly, she no longer has to share my lap.
To show her appreciation, Brillo has appointed herself my personal assistant.
She is the most excellent alarm clock, awakening me between 4 and 5:30 am, no matter how often I try to explain that I am retired now, and don’t need to get up before the roosters.
If I ignore her meows, she head bonks me, jumps on me, and, as not a last resort, starts knocking things off the bedside table.
Successful completion of her tasks as furry alarm clock has nothing to do with wanting her Fancy Feast.
Absolutely nothing. Or at least I think that’s what that meow means.
She assures me that my coffee is perfectly brewed, each and every cup, by giving it the sniff test.
The coffee tastes fine to me, so I can only assume that look of distaste on her face means she doesn’t like coffee.
She approves my choice of outfit each morning by curling up and going to sleep on it.
She accompanies me to the bathroom to make sure everything comes out all right.
Her most important job, though, is as my personal writing assistant.
She guards my books, making sure no one accidentally walks off with a copy of Snapshots from Real Life.
She makes sure I don’t lose the papers with my story ideas.
And most of all, she keeps my list of writing goals short, by shredding them:
I am blessed to have her in my life.
Even when she tells me, “OK. Mama, enough with the writing already. Pay attention to me!” and promptly sits on my computer.
Do you have a pet that likes to help you? Share your story with other Sunny Side readers in the comments section.
Thanks for spending time with me on the sunny side of life.