This blog is called, very importantly, ‘A Singled Cat’.
It means whatever you want it to mean and I’ll make sure to convolute it into multiple meanings as we go along but right now, in this moment, it refers to my cat Stanley.
I adopted Stanley almost 9 years ago at my local Humane Society. When I arrived to the center there had been an outbreak of distemper in the kitten room so all kittens were temporarily being quarantined until their health had been diagnosed. I thought, in my very 20 year old way, that my quest to find a kitten had ended two steps inside the front door.
However, the very kind receptionist proceeded to inform me that there were three kittens that had been brought in that afternoon. The mother had been found pregnant and had been placed into a kind foster home where she was able to have her babies in the safety and comfort of a loving environment. These kittens had been brought in after the discovery of the distemper outbreak so they had been kept separate and therefore were not in danger of falling ill. I went into the small, windowless office they were keeping these kittens with low hopes. Only three? Odds of me finding one that I would click with seemed low – not that I’m a difficult person to get along with but rather my knowledge of adopting animals was limited to the idea that the animal adopted the person and not the other way around. Would one like me?
In an oversized cage in the corner of the room were three kittens – two were little girls both brown with subtle stripes and the third was a sturdy black and white boy. Well my undiagnosed OCD kicked into high gear and I asked to hold the boy – black and white goes with everything, obviously.
I held the kitten like a baby in my arms, belly up, and stared into his little green eyes. He laid relaxed in my arms allowing me to stroke his bulging belly and then slowly blinked at me.
Now at the time I did not understand what this meant, however I have learned over the years that a slow blink is a cats version of a kiss. That little kittens fate was sealed in that little act of trust.
After jumping through the hoops to adopt the kitten I finally had my little cow kitten home in my room. While my brother and his girlfriend played with the new little guy I looked at the most recent Architectural Digest magazine which features the ‘AD top 100’. As I was looking at the pictures I was trying to come up with a name. Oreo… Riker… Chewy… none of them were right. Then, as if fate had struck me once again that very same day, I saw the picture of architect Stanley Tigerman. Mr. Tigerman is, to me, the epitome of cute little old man. I fixated on him and after I read his biography I looked up to see those little green eyes staring at me and ignoring the toys my brother was trying to gain his attention with. Yet again those little eyes communicated with me on another level I had rarely experienced. As I spoke his name for the first time, Stanley seemed to smile as his stumbled over to me and head butted my hand.
I don’t think I really understood that night, but I quickly learned that this little fur man was going to be one of the most significant relationships I’ve ever had in my life. He’s now almost 9 – his birthday is in 6 days – and he’s going strong with many wonderful years ahead of him. He’s driven me crazy, provided me with comfort beyond what anyone else could give me, and has been the driving point in more life decisions than I thought he would ever factor into. He’s taught me about love, motherhood, tenderness in ways none of my childhood pets had ever done and I say this knowing full well he’s not done teaching me things.
I have considered adopting another cat, justifying it by saying that Stanley could use a ‘friend’. Those thoughts always end with me realizing that Stanley is an only child type of cat at heart and for him sharing me with another cat isn’t a possibility – stories of his jealousy will be told I’m sure. Truth be told I am also the jealous type – I want him and him alone and frankly don’t want to share.
Hence Stanley truly is A Singled Cat.
And I guess I am too.