Ah, stories about my cat. Her name was Yossarian and she was a very sweet girl who would wait for me in the window when I got home from work. She would come when I called her name. I let her sleep on my chest when she was a kitten forgetting that she would still want to do so when she was an 18 pound behemoth. But she slept on me every night until I got pregnant and she wasn't allowed to anymore, and then she slept beside me. She used to follow me into the bathroom and would get this look of desperation as she ran as fast as she could worried that I would close the door without her, not that I ever would. And I knew she had accepted my husband as one of the family when she started following him to the bathroom too.She loved people food and would lick our plates after meals. Sometimes she didn't want to wait until we were done. She was a weirdo and liked tomato sauce, although in much more typical cat fashion she also loved ice cream and tuna. If you opened a can of anything she would be at your feet yelling for a bit of tuna, and no amount of explaining that it was actually a can of chickpeas would deter her. She knew what was in cans! So much so that she once woke from a deep sleep at the sound of a can of tuna being opened on tv. But her biggest mishap with people food happened when she was about 4 months old. Someone had gone to Wendy's for a frosty and foolishly left the empty cup on the floor. Yossarian started licking the residual frosty and was moving further and further into the cup. At some point she had her whole body up to her hind legs in there, and then she found herself stuck. She was desperately trying to get out, but all we could see were two orange hind legs with a big cup on top careening around the room. The fact that she was going so fast coupled with the debilitating laughter prevented anyone from helping, so she finally wedged herself behind some furniture which got the cup stuck and she backed out happy and covered in milkshake.She was afraid of little kids and babies. So much so that DH and I felt a little bad introducing a human baby into the mix, but we hoped she would get over it. She spent the first few months completely ignoring the baby, but as the baby began to sleep less and less Yossarian had to tolerate her to get some quality time with me. The baby was, of course, fascinated and would squeal with delight upon seeing the cat, which the cat hated. Slowly she began to let the baby touch her, with my help of course, and together we began to teach the baby how to be gentle. Any of you who have ever had a 9 month old know they are not known for their muscle control, but Yossarian never hissed or swiped when the baby pulled her fur. She would just calmly leave when she had had enough. But she would come back later, and I would give her lots of love, and the baby would try again. And as a result of Yossarian being more patient and loving than any cat I've ever seen, my one year old knows exactly what to do when you tell her to be gentle.The thing I find so hard to express is the bond we had. I knew her and she knew me. I remember coming home from work one night back when it was just the two of us. I sat on my couch and she came up to my feet and she looked at me with a funny look. I knew there was something wrong, so I took her to the emergency vet. I felt like an idiot when the vet asked me what was wrong and I said "She looked at me funny" but that vet must have gotten a lot of crazy cat people because she didn't bat an eye. Sure enough the cat had a bladder infection which became evident when she peed on the table and there was blood in her urine. It's hard to imagine ever having another pet the same way. I got her when I was 18 and she walked beside me through all of those changes that happen between 18 and 33. She was not only with me as I matured into who I am, but she shaped who I am in fundamental ways. And she very literally helped pick my husband since he was the first man she ever liked so I knew he had to be good. So the one thing I know for sure is she will never be replaced.DEG
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