Little Libby went back home tonight with my common-law brother-in-law and his partner, freshly returned from their trip to Paris (France, not Texas). Catsitting has clarified something that I always suspected about myself, but was never able to prove; I am not a cat person. Now, Libby is a paragon of catly virtue--cute, sweet, low maintenance, non-destructive to leather couches...the list goes on. As I remain unmoved by such an ideal specimen, I must conclude that nothing in this life will ever convince me to live permanently with a feline companion. The thing about cats that leaves me utterly cold, that proved to be the dealbreaker of all dealbreakers, is the amount of hair they manage to affix to everything, under everything, and on everything. The tumbleweeds of dead organic matter that blow unbidden across my beautiful hardwood floors send shivers down my spine. The white hairs on my cooking surfaces clinched it--I am not a cat person.
Let me clarify, for I do not mean to offend. Many of my most beloved friends live happily with one or more furry pals, in clean and comfy living spaces. The key difference between myself and my cat-owning friends is probably that they don't actively resent the cat, and then start to obsess over that resentment. After a few days passed, I found myself getting angry at Libby. "Why can't you clean up after yourself?" I found myself wondering. "Why must you rub your face up against the legs of my desk, when it only serves to cover the legs of my desk with white hairs? Also, you just pooped in a box full of sand and now you're walking all over my apartment. With your feet. Your feet that were in the poop sandbox." A few days with the nicest, sweetest little kitty imaginable turned me into a crazy anti-cat lady, a figure far less mocked in the media than her well known counterpoint.* It turns out that I am too neurotic to share my home with a cat, because even though I know they are very clean animals who devote a great deal of time to personal hygiene, a single white hair on my kitchen island is enough to send me into a minor freak-out. Cats, please understand it's not you, it's me. As a self-proclaimed animal lover, this is hard for me too. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I love you, but I'm not IN love with you. I hope we can still be friends.
C&J came this evening to pick Libs up, and it was a joyful occasion for everyone involved. There were also treats from Paris, which put me in an even better mood--check out these lovely chocs!
I've sampled two of them already, and may I say, "Sacrebleu!" I think the fact that I ate the chocolates after coming back to my empty apartment and sweeping, vacuuming, and lint-rolling the bejeezus out of everything made them all the sweeter.
*Which just got me thinking right this minute, which do you think sounds worse? "She died all alone, in her empty apartment, and who knows how long it would have taken for people to find out, except for the fact that the apartment had no air conditioning and the smell was ungodly," or "She died surrounded by her beloved swarm of cats, who consumed the body and later went on to inherit the house, as per her last will and testament."