First things first, I am and will always be a dog person.
I have always hated cats. I can’t remember a time in my life where I just didn’t look at cats with disdain. Those little creepy bastards and their holier than thou attitudes just rubbed me the wrong way. You (even if you are a cat person) know exactly what I mean so don’t act like you don’t. The way that cats completely ignore you unless they really want something or even just the way they look down their noses at you like you are ruining their day just by being in the same room. Yeah, I hated them.
Imagine how thrilled I was the day that Deb told me that she really wanted to adopt a cat. She didn’t just slowly work into the “I am gonna get a cat” mode…she hit the ground with both feet running. She was already on Petfinder looking through all the cats in the area that needed adopting and already had set up appointments to go to foster homes to check out the cats that she was ooohing and ahhhing about.
I love seeing Deb happy so who was I to bitch and moan about a cat if she was this giddy just about the prospect of getting the snobby little feline. So I smiled and encouraged her to go and see the cats even though on the inside I was silently cursing the little boxshitters. I just had this feeling that when she did bring home that cat it would be way too plain that I couldn’t stand it and our relationship would slowly decay and wither away to nothing. It kind of scared me a bit and I almost spoke up about how I felt right then and there. I am now really and truly glad that I held my tongue (which as most of you know…is virtually impossible for me to do).
Deb found a cat she really loved right away. As she puts it, the cat found her. As soon as she walked into the foster home this one cat ran up and jumped up in her lap and just “fit”. She was instantly in love with the little devil and decided this was the one to bring home. I was shocked that she found a cat so quickly when she emailed me later that day with a long list of names that she was trying to decide on for it. I wasn’t in love with any of her names (I actually didn’t see a single name on the list that I even remotely liked…but don’t tell her) and I knew that the cat was a female so I thought through my list of movie reference names and suggested Ripley. I knew that Deb liked the Aliens movies as much as me (geek) and that she might like the name. She loved it.
So Ripley came into both of our lives that day.
The day the adoption folks brought Ripley over to Deb’s place I was full of anxiety. While I was loving how happy she was as she shopped for all of her goodies and eagerly awaited the arrival of Ripley I was also dreading what I knew was going to be an instant dislike between myself and that damn cat. But when I walked through the door and that little gray ball of fur walked over to me and chirped some kind of greeting that sort of resembled a meow and then plopped over on her side and showed me her belly…I felt the first bit of ice start to melt off my heart.
I thought to myself, “Hey, I got this” because being a dog person my whole life I knew that when the dog rolled over on its back and showed you it’s belly it was a sign of submission and they wanted their belly rubbed. So I reached down to rub that little belly and that freakin cat grabbed my hand with her front paws and used her back paws to scratch the every living shit out of my hand and arm all while she was trying (and mostly succeeding) to bite my fingers. WTF Cat! I snatched my scratched up arm away and chuckled as I slowly remembered, “This is not a dog.” My first lesson was learned really quick.
Even after surviving that first Cat Ambush I was determined to stick it out and learn to love that cat. I could see that look on Deb’s face. You know the look I am talking about here; that look that is practically screaming to the world about her new-found joy. If this cat is making her this happy in just the first five minutes of them being together I have to suck it up and learn to swallow my dislike.
It turns out that I didn’t need to swallow anything (that’s what she said). After just a couple hours with Ripley I found myself smiling when looking at her. I found that I liked when she would jump up on my lap and want to cuddle up on me. And I really loved the way she has no clue how to meow like other cats.
Seriously, this cat doesn’t meow. She kind of gurgles and chirps at you and she does it constantly. I have never seen an animal that never…and I mean NEVER…shuts up. The cat will follow you around bitching and moaning at you all day if you let her. The only thing that appears to get her to stop is if Deb picks her up and lets her cuddle with her a bit. There are times when she is screaming at me that she sounds like the E-trade baby’s buddy Mike in this commercial. The “Daaaad!” yell sounds just like the cat. There are other times where she stalks you for treats and yells at you to give them to her NOW. I was laughing at her one day because of the way she was yelling at me and trying to take me down when I had a treat in my hand. I told Deb that the cat was acting like one of those freakin’ killer dinos from Jurassic Park…so the nickname VelociRipley stuck to her after that. Along with about 10 other nicknames that I won’t go into because they change from day-to-day.
There have been some mornings where I wake up and the cat is curled up on my chest or in the crook of my arm. I find myself smiling a big cheesy grin and spend like thirty minutes just petting her and listening to her purr while Deb is sound asleep next to us. There was even the time (like in this picture) where I wake up and both Deb and Ripley are curled up on me and both of them are sleeping in almost the same position. I was so glad my phone was right there so I could snap the picture. I realized, as I looked at the picture right after I snapped the shot, that I loved this little cat. She not only made Deb’s days brighter but she added a bit of warmth to mine as well.
And I have no idea how this happened. When did I let go and just start loving this cat?
Was it when I found her looking out the window at our Snowpocalypse?
Was it when I caught her drinking from the toilet?
Was it when I found her sunning in the kitchen window and playing with the blinds (bad girl Ripley…bad girl) cord?
Even though I am not quite sure exactly when the last barriers dropped and I just let a cat into my heart I am kinda glad it happened. Even though from time to time I still think she is plotting my death so I will leave her and Deb in peace….I can’t help but loving the girl.
I am still a dog person. I still hate cats. I just don’t hate Ripley.