After 40 years of worshipping killer dogs and owning nothing but
Doberman pinschers, a wild homeless kitten won my heart. One spring a car sped
through the apartment parking lot, throwing three kittens out the window.
One was immediately
rescued, the second caught a few weeks later. But no one could get near, much
less catch, the third kitten. She grew more wild and wary each passing day. For
five months she survived in an apartment complex bordering a wild Seattle
greenbelt. She escaped the teeth and claws of raccoons, opossums and
cougars. She hid from the thundering hooves of deer. She slept on the 3rd
story roofline and I was completely unaware of her presence above.
The cool weather of fall
had come and one weekend a skinny little tiger tabby climbed three flights of
stairs to wrap around my ankles. I retreated indoors, but a soft purring sound
drifted through my windows. And so she gained entry. For some odd reason she
chose me. Me, the lover of
killer dogs. Recently I’d quit my job and begun freelancing. The doctors had me
on a steady diet of anti-depressants and the drugs weren't working. Sheba and I
were both in fragile states.
The vet said Sheba looked so
young because she was half starved. Antique china bowls appeared on the kitchen
floor. She dined on gourmet kitten food and bottled water. A six foot tower was
placed by the window. I couldn’t decide which toys she might like so I purchased
one of everything. She slept on my lap at the computer, and tucked in the crook
of my knees when I went to bed.
My mental health began to
radically improve. I stopped the anti-depressants. But, my friends were
concerned. The obsessive compulsive queen of an orderly house, the owner of a
gothic black wardrobe, has adopted a cat???
Had I stopped taking my medications?
Was I in menopause? This was totally
against my character. I’d never even liked cats.
A radical shift in my
personality continues to occur. As plants occasionally tumble off shelves
and kitten hair clings to my black clothes, love tempers my responses. More
tolerant of mistakes, happier with myself, and more patient with the fumbling of
others, Sheba is making me more human.
Yes, I have become one
of the dreaded cat people.