It was only 3 days ago when this sweet and curious little boy slept on my lap, with his arms stretching out towards me. Earlier that morning he jumped to my bed softly, rubbed his soft striped face onto mine before settling down next to my head, his breathe flew to my ear softly in rhythm. His paws stretched out, softly rubbed my face as I carressed his face before his occasional nap, and a soft yawn of “uunhh” accompanies his constant purring. His blue eyes blinking softly, staring right at me. It’ll just be a moment until he licks my face and move right to my neck.
We had him for 22 days. I remember the day we visited Humane Society for the first time. There were plenty of cats of all ages. We met most of them. Then I asked, “Where’s Billy?”, the white/tan hair and blue eyed kitten with brown striped on his forehead we saw on their website. They put him on the back room, inaccessible to public, where he shared a cage with a very aggresive black cat. He, on the other hand, looked scared and timid, shy but curious, and sweet. We left that day feeling unsure.
We came back the next day just to see him again. This time he purred when we took him off the cage. We put him back in because he kept hiding under a cabinet. Then as we’re about to leave the room, he stared at us, with his head tilted a little to the left. We took him home that day. We gave him a clean home, a safe and quiet environment where he doesn’t need to be afraid anymore, spoilt with different kind of toys, rubbed to sleep many times day and night, and loved.
If you’re not like me or my mother, you wouldn’t understand how much I’ve compromised to consider adopting a cat, and to actually live with one. I am quite a germaphobe since I was young(er). No one gets up on my bed unless they showered, shampooed, and change to clean clothes. I wanted to compromise a lot more. Yet this past week I’ve asked my husband to change his new after-shower clothes to a new one before bed, after he sat on the living area where Archie likes to nap and jump around the house like a madman, hence his hair flies all around the place.
Then I had this terrible sick feeling when I found his litter on our bed, next to our pillows. Some of them giving white marks as it has been pressed down, most likely by us, unnoticed. Imagine trapping a claustrophobic in a stuck elevator. You can then probably imagine the feeling. I don’t wash my hands every hour, but yes it could be up to 10 times a day. I probably have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.
The two major issue, however, is the fact that he wants to sleep around our faces, including right on my face, that troubles my sleep and my subconcious mind keeps bugging me to change the pillowcase almost every night. We loved it when he sleeps nearby, although there’s an occasional after-poop smell when he’s looking for a position on my pillow. I compromised and caressed him until he sleeps and stops purring. We bought 5 different beds to see if he wants to sleep in either one, but he always comes to us. The biggest decision came after my last week violin rehearsal when we discussed the pain on my right forearm and elbow. I realized it reappeared lately, when I started sweping the floors up to 5 times a day due to his litter going everywhere, and mopping. I had to choose.
I could compromise my germophobic issues and still be able to provide for Archie, but at the same time risking having to do a surgery for my elbow or quit playing violin and live with the pain on daily average use. We chose the second option. We gave him away to our dearest friend nearby who, at peculiarly around the same time we thought of not being able to keep Archie, asked where I adopted him from. They have a dog for him to play with, a lovely home, and a long history with cats. They would love him in ways I probably couldn’t, teach him things I didn’t know, but most important of all they won’t make him stressed out for cleaning out his messes.
Why am I telling you this? Because I need to justify my probably-selfish action. My cousin said to think carefully before adopting a living being, because how could you consider having a baby if you couldn’t even take care of a cat? Well, he was our first pet. We tried our best. We saved him, provided toys for different needs so he doesn’t get bored, we kissed him, bathe him, brushed his teeth, gave him medicine, and we are most certainly glad that he’s no longer a timid and afraid kitten.
He’s brave, an explorer, jumping around confidently, and he understands not to use his claws on us anymore. I hope we did the right thing. I will always miss him, but he’s 20 minutes away. My husband said,”It was an expensive pet try-out”. I said it was all worth it. Money come and goes, but there will always be one Archie in our heart. The 22 precious days.
No more peeking from behind my curtain, that curious blue eyes saying “Where are you going? Wait for me!” No more sleepy yawn trying to settle on my arms. No more warm rythmic breathing on my cheek, wet nose kisses, his sharp tounge with sometimes-fishy smell licking my face. No more Archie waiting for me to come home…