Growing up, I was terrified of cats. One scratch to the face as a toddler and I was intent on despising the feline race for my entire life. Fast forward 20 years. I now live in an apartment with a few dying plants, my boyfriend and my boyfriend’s cat, Marvin. Our cat, Marvin. My cat, Marvin.
It hasn’t been easy. But, the overuse of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you” must have gone to my head. So, I’m now a happy co-habitator with a devil-cat.
Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to move in with a cat and you’re not the biggest feline-fan, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 things you must know. I hope it helps.
Cats are jerks, so just embrace it.
If you live with a cat, there’s a good chance they’re going to be the worst. House plants become food. A new couch becomes the perfect scratching post. Decorative dishes become monsters that need to be knocked off tables at 3 a.m. Sometimes it’s funny, most times it’s not. But, there’s nothing you can do. These are the facts of life, and they are absolute. You may as well accept them.
Always be on guard
Do you have feet, kneecaps or a face? Congratulations! You’re on the fast track for a feline attack. The most important thing is being prepared. First, it’s key to recognize attack poses. This includes stances such as crouching-cat, hidden-cat and out-in-the-open-cat-who-looks-cute-but-is-lying. Second, know your counter attack. A quick arm block or neck grab can easily deter your attacker. Finally, utilize your environment. Couch pillows have proven effective in living room ambushes, and dish towels are perfect ammunition for kitchen battles. Know what works best, and own it.
Remember the good times
I can count on one hand the number of times Marvin has laid on my lap for more than two minutes and didn’t try to scratch my face. But, I always try go back to those snuggly memories whenever I’ve recently experienced an encounter that’s drawn blood. “Marvin,” I’ll call. “Remember when we were friends? Do you want to sit on the couch with me? Wait. What are you doing? Why are you crouching like that? What are you…OUCH. OOOOOOUCH! Ouch Marvin! You bit me!” Like I said. Good times.
Snag cute photos whenever possible
People love cat pictures. And if you take good enough photographs, you can convince the internet/moms your pet is actually the greatest. It also helps to scroll back through your camera roll to remember when your cat was at its cutest. Even though they may be a small version of satan reincarnate.
Prepare to think they’re not all that bad
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s a slightly dysfunctional relationship. But, despite everything, Marvin is constant source of adorable entertainment. Although I’ll have scars on my hands, legs and nose for the rest of my life, he makes each day a little more interesting. Which is basically the least you can expect from a pet.
Disclaimer: I’m aware Marvin is angrier than the average feline. But if I can do it, so can you.