My husband has teased me for years about being a Crazy Cat Lady, but I’ve always denied it. Until this April.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved and owned cats all of my life. But I’ve been reasonable and measured in that love. My last two cats came into my life when I was a single parent, and they lived long, happy lives, passing away within six months of one another in 2018 at the ages of 14 and 16.
I spent a few months cat-less, with a small, cat-sized hole in my heart. Then we took our dog, Shadow, to the vet, and they had rescued an injured pregnant cat who had kittens. They had one left for adoption – the runt of the litter.
It was love at first sight.
We brought her home and she quickly won over everyone in the family. We named her Ash. She’s playful, brave, silly and affectionate. As a dear friend so rightly observed, we were smitten with this kitten.
And she turned a year old recently, on April 18.
So a week before the Big Day I said to my husband, “I’m going to have a birthday party for Ash next Saturday.” He looked at me like I had three heads and said “Ummmm….”
I stared back at him pointedly. “Do we have other plans?”
There wasn’t really a response to that, since we are in the midst of a global pandemic and going absolutely nowhere.
I didn’t make up my mind to have an actual party, complete with guests and presents and treats, until the night before Ash’s birthday. But when I did, I decided to go all out. I invited family and friends to a Zoom birthday party for our cat, starting at 2 p.m. the next day.
“There will be presents,” I told them. “There will be cake. There will be candles. And there might even be a cat.”
I started prepping in the morning. I bought a cupcake with rainbow frosting and a pink and white polka-dotted candle in the shape of a “1.” I bought a small toy for Ash, as well as one for our dog, Shadow, and a present for my husband Curt. I bought a small can of chicken paté as a treat for the cat. I found festive bags for all of the presents.
At home, I began to contemplate my wardrobe. That’s when the suspicion came over me that perhaps I AM a Crazy Cat Lady. I have the space cat T-shirt I bought years ago at a mall in San Diego. I have the cat paw socks my mom gave me and the kitty hat my aunt knitted for me. I was completely kitted out with no effort whatsoever.
Crazy Cat Lady for the win.
The Zoom gathering was a great success. We all enjoyed seeing one another. We sang “Happy Birthday” to Ash while Curt held her and she “blew” out her candle. No one caught on fire and Curt survived unscathed. We unwrapped presents and said “hello” to the other furry creatures on Zoom – four more cats and a dog.
As for the cat, during the party she ignored her Zoom friends on the computer, rejected the cat food, stared at the toy for a moment and then headed for a quiet spot to take a nap.