For a long time, I’ve told people that I’m not a cat person. I explained that I never understood why anyone would want a pet that didn’t run with you, didn’t constantly crave your attention, and could disappear for days (while somehow still being in your house.) I even remember telling my roommate in college once that I would like a kitten, but wouldn’t like it as soon as it became a cat. I thought my happy, energetic personality would mesh better with a dog. As a third grader, I even wrote my persuasive essay to my parents on why I should have a dog (and was flabbergasted when it didn’t earn me a puppy immediately.)
I found this essay not too long ago when I was going through my work from elementary school. I still can’t believe that essay only earned an A and not a dog (ok, maybe not.) What I was more surprised to find were all the stories I wrote about cats when I was in Kindergarten and first grade. There are 100% more stories with feline protagonists than canine in my opera omnia. (I’ll save more on my early writing for a later post.)
Take for example My Cat Cheerleaders, published by the Micklich Publishing Company in 1997.
Last fall, just a few hours after my bridal shower, I received a unique gift. Nick’s great aunt came over with a stray kitten. At first, I only wanted to hold her. Then, I wanted to play with her. Finally, I wanted to keep her, and I named her Catniss. She’s affectionate, plays fetch (actually, she chases what I throw and then waits for me to walk over to throw it again), and does disappear for a few hours’ worth of napping every day.
As it turns out, I am a cat person. I’m also a dog person. I guess you could say I’m an animal person, or an “aminal” person, as I used to pronounce it in elementary school. My husband is too, to the point that he evacuates bugs from the apartment unharmed, can spot a turtle from a mile away, and I call him Dr. Doolittle.
Now, my writing seems to be coming full circle as I write about my kitten. Old habits die hard.