Growing up, I was a little obsessed with cats. Every birthday cake was cat shaped, and there were at least two Halloweens when I painted whiskers on my face. We had three cats (at separate times) before I was ten, though none of them were especially friendly. Some family friends, however, had a cat named Locket that followed us around, allowed us to sling her around our necks, and generally put up with annoying children like a champ. I wanted a Locket real bad.
When I was ten, my parents got a dog, and for twelve wonderful years I was a dog person. Misty was cuddly, affectionate, and adorable. But when she had two strokes, we put her to sleep, and my parents went on an already-planned vacation. Alone in the house, grieving for one pet, I found myself desperate for another.
The Pouillys lived nearby on a farm. I used to babysit for their kids, and they always had a barn full of cats and kittens. On a whim, I stopped by in September of 2011. There were several cats, but only two three-month-old kittens. One was white and barely gave me the time of day. The other was a tabby cat with bright green eyes. When I picked up him, he snuggled into my arms. When I put him down, he wound around my legs. “Keep him safe!” I shouted. “I’ll be right back!”
I ran to a pet store and bought a carrier, litter box, and food. I returned for the kitten and drove home with him. I spent an entire weekend with him so that he would bond to me, and I declared him perfect when he immediately used the litter box without making a single mess elsewhere. Since I am a Doctor Who fan, I named him Rory. In the show, Rory the human dies and comes back to life on a regular basis. In real life, mourning my dog, I hoped that the name Rory would keep my cat alive longer. Plus it fit into the whole “nine lives” cat thing.
Rory is the perfect cat. He greets me at the door, follows me around the house, and sits on me whenever possible. He’s acclimated to several moves, and when I take him to visit friends, he hides for a few hours before losing his shyness and acting like he owns the place. He gets along with dogs, but not other cats, and he adores humans.
At night, I say, “Let’s go to bed,” and he runs to my room like a genius. He hides under my dresser while I get ready, but as soon as I get in bed and turn out the light, he jumps on me and curls up on my chest.
In the morning, he sleeps as long as I do. If I wake up at 6:00, he’s up at 6. If I wake up at 11:00, he’s up at 11. Sometimes I’ll half wake up, at which point he stands, walks toward my face, and sits beside me. He stares down at me, but if I don’t move for a couple minutes, he returns to my side and lays down again.
He’s my perfect cat, and I’m so glad I found him. Today he is four years old, and I’m going to spoil him by taking a nap and letting him snuggle with me.
…Maybe I am spoiling myself. That’s the great thing about Rory! We love the same things.