You know, Wednesdays are always my craziest day, but last week was the weirdest Wednesday ever. Picture this. It’s deadline day and I’m working from home. I’m sitting at the computer in my pajamas, writing as fast as I can. All of a sudden, there’s a knock at my door.
My front door has a long pane of frosted glass in it, and through the glass I see someone wearing a brown shirt. “Hooray, UPS!” I think. But no. It ‘s my neighbor George with a long story about his computer problems, telling me he needs help from my techie husband. Who’s at work.
In the middle of George’s story, a gray, furry blur races past me into my living room and slides under my couch.
“That damn cat!” George yells, as he charges after it. Waitaminute, what? A cat’s in my house? Oh hell no! So we’re both trying to get him out from under my couch. And all I can think is, I am so going to miss my deadline. And my editor is so not going to buy this as a valid excuse.
I catch the little guy and hold him. He’s a teeny gray striped kitten, and he instantly curls up close to me and starts purring. Awwww. But I put him outside, along with George. “The firefighters just rescued him from a tree up the street,” he says. “And he came straight here.” Great.
By now, this kitten’s going wild in my overgrown jungle of a front yard. The yard is cool, shady, and there are at least two tall trees — one perfect for climbing. Plus the area’s run by tree frogs and lizards of all varieties. So he’s having a blast. So I’m back to totally freaking out about how much work to do. I say goodbye to George and race back to the computer. I barely meet my deadline, and I was ready for a well-earned lunch break. Then I decided to make sure this kitten was gone for real. I really thought he’d be gone — a good three and a half hours had passed since he wandered into my territory. But when I opened the door, he came right back into the living room, and rubbed against my legs in the most endearing manner. Awwwww, kitty. How can I say no to that?
The thing is, we’re not allowed to have pets. It was the one stipulation of our very awesome landlord, who is also an extremely close friend of ours. So as much as I liked him, I knew I couldn’t keep him. When I was done with my work last Wednesday, I put him in a box and we went door to door down my block, trying to find his real home. He scrambled out of the box, clawing my arm in the process, and ran under a parked car in someone’s driveway. I tried to coax him back for a while, then it dawned on me — it is damn hot out, I’m wearing black, down on my knees in my neighbor’s driveway, calling a kitten that isn’t mine. At that point, I was like, fine. Forget you, kitty. I left him. But he returned the next morning, mewing for food. And uh, he’s been living with us ever since.
I’ve always liked cats, but LOVED dogs. Growing up, we had always had dogs around the house, and there’s nothing like having a big dog for a pet. We were planning on eventually getting a big Labrador or a German shepherd in the future. Nowhere in those plans was there a cat. My friend Roger had predicted that someday, a cat would adopt us. And he was totally right! This kitten has completely won us over. I came home from work the next day to find my husband pouring milk into a saucer for him, which was the last thing I expected. He’s never been a cat person. But he named him Max, and I saw the warmth in his eyes when Max curled up on his lap for the first time. I told our landlord friend about him, and reluctantly, he’s allowed us to keep him with the understanding that he’s not allowed inside, unless we’re there, monitoring him closely. So this is now an adventurous outdoor kitten who curls up on the couch with us when we’re at home. Right now as I write this, he’s curled up on his favorite pillow, a fuzzy green fixture on our love seat that he grooms relentlessly. He also loves to groom me, and whenever I hold him, he inevitably goes for my hair and tries to lick me. No thanks, kitty.
We’re growing accustomed to Max’s quirky ways — he loves to climb up things, but he can’t always get down. And he’s a real hunter — I have to be careful when letting him into the house, because he might be holding a wriggling lizard or frog hostage. But he’s absolutely adorable! He purrs almost constantly. He loves to roll over and have his tummy rubbed. He doesn’t love it when I work — he lays across the keyboard and meows piteously for me to pay attention to him when I’m writing. He’s the distraction I really didn’t need, but now can’t resist. And I gotta admit — Max is the reason I’m behind on so many posts in the last week. So I’ll have to play catch up over the weekend — after I take Max to the vet for the first time. Keep your eyes peeled for my reviews of the Oprah and Natural Trendsetters events I attended recently, and some special posts for locs wearers coming up soon!
I love to end the work week with a Friday jam, and I’ve been on an early Nineties kick for a while now. This goes out to my BFF Lauren, who I’ve owed a phone call for about a month now. She loves Xscape, and so do I! This is one of my favorite jams from the era. MC Lyte and Xscape, Keep On Keepin’ On.
Love it. I miss you, L-Train! Your celly’s gonna ring when you least expect it. It’s Friday, everyone! Yay!