Wednesday, August 27, 2014

i'm not a crazy cat lady, i promise!

The other night, I sat on the couch watching a movie. (Battleship. Don't waste your time. I gave up after about 40 excruciating minutes. I did enjoy the beginning, however, as Taylor Kitsch basically played an adult version of Tim Riggins, and I do love me some Riggins!) As I sat there, Isis jumped up onto my lap and began grooming herself, Skarra fell asleep on my feet, and Hammond ... well ... walked across my chest multiple times while whipping his tail in my face. I looked down at my crew and suddenly was struck with the realization that God sent my cats to me at the perfect time. Let me explain.

I adopted Isis, Skaara, and Hammond in July of 2012. In September of that year, I started feeling "not right," and by October, I was feeling pretty awful. Nearly two years later, I know what's wrong with me (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), and I feel like I'm finally clawing my way back to a near normal state—or at least a livable new normal. But these last two years have been the most stressful and difficult of my entire life.

At this point in my life, I'm single and childless. It's not the life I ever imagined for myself, but it's not a bad life, either. However, living alone makes it very easy to develop a selfish, woe-is-me attitude when I feel sick. Crazy as it may sound, having my cats to care for has made me less apt to focus on myself ... and I am absolutely positive that having cats has made me a happier person! (I'm pretty sure there are studies on how pets make you happier ... but I'm too lazy to search one out right now.)

So here's why I think God brought my babies* into my life at the perfect time. When I got them, they had to live outside per my lease, and three outdoor cats who roamed the neighborhood didn't seem at all excessive. Had I waited to get a cat until I bought my house, I probably would only have gotten one. Maybe two. No way on this earth would I have signed up for three house cats, and I certainly wouldn't have these three cats. They each bring their own unique personality (felineality?) to the mix, and I can't imagine our "family" without any of them. I love Isis' sassiness, her obsession with water, and her "this is not a cat person so I must make him love me" radar. I love that macho Skaara has to have a hug every morning while I'm getting ready for work. And I love Hammond's cuddly nature. (Could I tell you things I dislike about each of them? Sure. But that's not the point.)

Basically, what it boils down to is this: These last two years have been hard. At times, they seemed unbearable. My family and my friends have helped carry me through, and I am so grateful for them. I'm grateful for a God who knows me and understands what I'm going through, even when I don't understand it myself. And I'm also grateful for my cats, who bring me joy and keep me sane!

*Yes, I call them my babies, but I fully realize they're my cat babies, not human babies, and I AM NOT THEIR MOTHER. It's more like I'm the best friend that they worship. And they do adore me—they're not typical cats in that way. (Well, Isis' love is on her terms, but Hammond and Skaara straight up worship me.)

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