I'm a dog person.
I've never been a cat person.
I don't dislike them. They're fine. I just never wanted one. But my daughter did. And so, when we were able, we got one. Rue. And she's lovely. She's a bit stand-offish, as cats (in my experience) are wont to be, but she's sweet and affectionate in her way. She loves our dog and he... likes... her. Everything was going along just fine.
And then I took a client into our local cat shelter for a cuddle visit.
While we were there, this little orange kitten dove at me. I caught him and held him like a baby. He promptly reached his little paws out, grabbed my hand, and started sucking on my finger like a pacifier. He fell dead asleep and stayed that way for the entire time I was at the shelter.
I got his story from the shelter workers. He'd been abandoned by his mama at just a day or two old. No one knows why. His foster family bottle-fed him until he was old enough to eat on his own and go to the shelter. As a result, he seemed to be under the impression that he was a human baby. A 3-month-old, fuzzy, 4-legged, human baby.
Oh, my heart.
I texted Ryan and told her about him. She went down later that afternoon to see him.
And we both went back later that evening and adopted him.
(Pip, Day One)
Two cats. We had two cats. Actually, we had one cat and one kitten. And our cat wasn't crazy about the kitten. We felt really guilty at first, thinking we'd ruined her life. She eventually warmed up to him. Mostly.
We called him Pip, after the character in Great Expectations. He is known by many variations of his name, including Pipsqueak, Pipster, Pippy Longstocking, as well as (the more appropriate) Monster, Little Red Menace, Rotten, Fatso, Chubby Checker, Chunkenstein, and Piggy (he'll eat anything, and I mean anything, and he has to be confined in another room at mealtime).
He's a handful.
I have never met a cat like this one. To be fair, I haven't met that many cats. But Pip is perhaps the most loving creature I've ever known (possibly because he was babied like a human when he was tiny)... and he's also the evilest. He's a toddler in the throes of the Terrible Twos, but in feline-form. When he's very quiet, you have to look for him because he's usually up to some sort of mischief. But when he's through being the rottenest of rotten things, he will dive at me, making this growly sound that I imagine is him saying, "Mama mama mama mama," hit me hard, and suck on one my fingers 'til he falls asleep.
It gets me every time. The puddles of drool the suckling creates, however, I could really do without.
I can't sit down without him sitting on me. He can't get close enough. And I can't get enough of his snuggles.
His brother and sister love him. Sort of. Mostly. Sometimes. They tolerate him, anyway...
As for me, well, I still don't think I'm a cat person. But this cat? Well, I love this particular cat more than I ever imagined it possible to love a cat. He's not even a year old yet and I simply cannot imagine life without him.
He is my baby. My sweet, soft, snuggly, rotten, mischievous, demon-spawn, funny, love-bug of a baby-cat. And he has my heart - utterly and completely (and surprisingly). But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love him.