My once well-behaved kitten has, after two and a half weeks in her new home, become comfortable enough to begin terrorizing it. She's discovered windowsills and blinds and the throws I've painstakingly arranged against chair backs and sofa corners to look ever-so-effortlessly cast aside. She reaches up, they come down. Magic.
She's realized outside is a place she wants to go, and her movements when a door opens have left me convinced she was a ninja or spy in a past life. Emaline is an escape artist in training.
She's also become quite fond of Apple products, specifically my MacBook's trackpad — which she seems to love best when I'm sitting in front of it, using it, making typing a real adventure. She also seems to confuse my earbuds cord and USB sync cable for the excellent fishing rod toy I bought with the feather on the end. She's definitely no longer Miss Regis, the super-glam transvestite. She's a techie with expensive taste.
And I'm realizing now that all these things are just all normal cat things. For our first few days together, Emaline barely touched her food and gave an impressive show of intestinal pyrotechnics at about the same time every day. I worried I was killing her by my idiocy and ignorance alone. I went to Whole Foods after my writing class the next week and stood wringing my hands in the pet aisle for 15 minutes — despite the fact that there was only one kitten food available — and bought a three-pound bag of some organic, all-natural business for $12. I was conflicted: For the sake of my sobbing bank account, I hoped food wasn't the answer, but that's…no way for a parent to think. That afternoon, I mixed the new food with the old in her little silver bowl, and I waited. A couple of hours later, she had nosed around every round kibble of Science Diet and picked out all the new ones. And, lo and behold, no more kitten spew. And I swear to God, that's the last you will hear of it here.
She's got good taste. Just like me.
In fact, I discovered recently that Emaline has a penchant for dairy products. Before my housewarming party started, I found that she'd not only decided to start jumping up on tables but that she'd also taken a shine to Philly cream cheese. And Pleasant Ridge Reserve. (Grumble.) Last week, I walked in to my kitchen one afternoon after a conference call to find a large indentation in the stick of butter I'd accidentally left sitting out. I promised not mention kitten spew again, right? I've heard kittens enjoy a nice saucer of milk from time to time, but seriously? Butter? $15-a-pound cheese? Like I said. Good taste. Maybe I should have named her Julia Child.
Normal cat things. Really. Adorable. But normal. And every day, I make one baby step toward being a normal cat owner. I understand that she'll let me know if she actually is dying, that I'm probably not going to kill her with my everyday routine. She has now found her way underfoot enough times and not developed a feline brain hemorrhage that my only worry is a profound and potentially incurable stupidity. This is my dance space. This is your dance space.
I'll never be a full-on crazy cat lady and promise never to refer to her as my "furbaby," but I will admit to grabbing my Nikon for an impromptu photo shoot at 1 a.m. one night this past weekend. I'll admit to looking her in the eye and serenading her with the Gilmore Girls theme song God only knows how many times in the past four days, as I've burned through the first season with her beside me on the sofa.
I'll admit to enjoying her company in bed — whether she's curled up next to me, walking on my head or just not understanding that it's my legs she's attacking, unseen beneath the blankets — more than any other companion's in my adult life. And don't take that wrong, for God's sake.
I'm not even sure how it happened, but I'm becoming a normal cat owner who's completely obsessed and in love with her cat.