22. Thank you to a thing that I love.

Vegas the Cat

Saying that you love your cat has some measure of stigma attached to it these days. I blame shows about pet hoarding. Somehow, being a cat lover has become associated with spinsterhood, craziness, isolation, bad hair and strange clothes. I’m curious as to how that all started. No one ever makes a meme about women who own lots of dogs.

cat lady meme

I digress.

This is Vegas, the Bengal cat.┬áHe’s eight years old and unbelievably stubborn. He prefers to sleep under the sky on the small oval of ground he’s cleared of leaves and sticks to any cat bed or blanket.

Jemima and Vegas

We bought Vegas from a breeder when our daughter was three and our son was a newborn and since then he’s followed us from house to house and then over the sea to Australia. He’s one of the only constants our children can remember in their short lives full of packing and unpacking and new bedrooms.

Vegas cannot be contained. We’ve long given up trying to keep him indoors at night. Past attempts have resulted in a window being smashed and fly screens carefully removed from the window frame. When we amped up security, he left us a poo on the floor in protest.

He’s not a cuddly cat but when you pick him up he’s suddenly boneless, a silky sack of jelly that you can fling over your shoulder. He sleeps beside, not on, your lap and purrs like a V8 engine.

Sometimes, we all try to imagine what his voice would sound like if he could speak like a human. I think he has an accent, perhaps Spanish. My son thinks Vegas is an adventurer like Bear Grylls – it’s true that he can shoot up the highest gum tree and loves to roam the National Park near our house alone.

If anyone in the household is sick, sore, or sad, Vegas will find them. He’s unobtrusive about it, he never likes a fuss. He’ll just lay down against your side, or next to the sore part in the case of a sore knee or grazed elbow, and he’ll purr and wait until you feel better again. When my Nana died recently, he abandoned his outdoor pursuits for three days and followed me everywhere.

I really love my cat and I’m thankful to have him because he’s awesome. He’s cooler than we are but he still sticks around.

So am I a cat lady?

Yes. Yes I am.

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