The Call of Cathulu
I wanted dogs.
I want to be clear on that front.
A dog is a loyal, loving companion that will die trying to pull you out of a fire. A cat is a selfish, self-absorbed asshole who will watch you with sociopathic disdain while you burn to death. But my yard isn’t fenced in and a cat will clean up its own poop and I try to do the opposite of what my instincts say. Plus, I need to practice living with and loving things that do not love me without being devastated.
So there you go.
Anyway, I was starting to go a little bit nuts being by myself (I figured I would go nuts, at least a little) but the cats are helping. Before they came I kept inventing swears about a duck named Frederick and the different kind of shits he has experienced in his life during various sexual acts. Some of them involved my father. I don’t know what it means. My father just had hip surgery and I actually want him to do really well with his recovery.
So, the cats.
They’re still mostly animals to me but I’m gradually warming up to them.
I love Cathulu because (and this is a selfish dick thing to feel) I feel like she’s the way I used to be and that it somehow makes the universe better that I take care of her. She’s just this fat lump of hair that sits in the corner of whatever and flinches anytime anyone gets close. And if you try to touch her she’ll run away. Except lately, because I’ve been putting food in my hands, she’ll actually extend her head toward me a little bit.
Sometimes a day will go by and I won’t see her one time.
Except we had a huge bonding experience just recently.
I almost choked up a little bit, it was so bondy.
When Cathulu dies next month because of neglect, I will share this story in her cat eulogy.
So, here’s the story.
It was night and Cathulu was crying. I didn’t know what it was at first, but it woke me up. I took Meowarlathotep off my neck as that is where she has taken to sleeping lately and got out of bed. I found Cathulu crying in the bathroom closet. I think she was lonely and missed her family that she hated at the shelter and missed her cage because she was in there forever in cat time. And it’s got to be hard to be afraid of literally everything all the time. And to hate everything all the time.
So I got some food and laid down on the bathroom floor and reached my hand into the closet and she ate some of it. And she let me pet her a little bit which caused her loud cat crying to subside. She wasn’t willing to leave the closet but she wanted contact so she did that cat thing where she put my hand into a submission hold with her whole body and made me stay exactly where I was so she could steal my warmth.
Then very very slowly I pulled the towel she was laying on out into the open. I then wrapped her up in the towel so she wouldn’t see she was out in the open and freak out. And hugged her to my chest. I had done this a couple of times before (literally twice) and she’d stay still of her own volition when I did it so I knew she liked it. I also knew just in general that she liked to be buried under things.
So I hugged her close and took her back to my bed and put her in the warm crook under my arm and against my chest. Still wrapped up in a towel she did this wormy motion and snuggled in close and buried her face in my armpit.
Cathulu has a broken purr.
It’s definitely a purr but it’s like she’s forgotten how to make the sound. It doesn’t seem to come from her stomach but from her flanks and it’s intermittent. She purred her broken purr and she stayed there the whole night and in the morning she was hiding again, although now she doesn’t flinch when I try to pet her and isn’t so worried about me seeing her out in the open.
I’m going to see how that goes tonight.
Meowarlathotep on the other hand is a squirrely pest who is in everything all the time and has made me really irrationally angry a couple of times to the point I’ve had to stop myself from doing awful things to her. It makes me feel like a sociopath.
Today, for example, Meowarlathotep got in the Lazy Susan and jumped over all my pots and pans and bakeware and I had to take a deep breath, because I was starting to wonder if it was possible to tear off a cat’s head with my bare hands and I was thinking about all the stories I’d make up about how I had no idea where she was and how sad I was she’d run away.
She also knocked some of my books into the sink, jumped on my keyboard several times while I was trying to write (which is no longer endearing) and keeps attacking my fingers like they are mice.
So that is how my cats are doing. I’m going to go find Cathulu and curl up in bed now.