Damara Hutchins

Catnapping is not acceptable

Phase one of my feet hitting actual pavement has come to pass and I am still alive to tell the story. That's right, my promise to complete my first ever unassisted ambulatory event happened on Oct. 6 with the Challenge Nation urban scavenger hunt in Jacksonville. My team consisted of 2 sisters-in-law, Ali and Magan, and a friend, Aaron. We ran, jogged and walked around the Landing in Downtown Jacksonville, but mostly we used the power of our brains to take 6th place out of 67 teams. It felt amazing. But enough about that! The real story in Jacksonville is about a cat; Magan's cat. I would be a total cat person if my allergies didn't prohibit me from taking the plunge into complete cat ownership. I do okay short-term if a house has been recently vacuumed, like Magan's was, but I can't tolerate built-up cat hair and overripe litter box offerings. There isn't enough Benadryl in the world to help my nasal passages cope with the trauma of the sneeze-fest that is my life with a long-term feline roommate.
One of the things I love about cats is how aloof they are with their affection. They sit across the room and glance at you with pure disdain in their eyes as if to say, "I see you there admiring my beautiful, silky coat. I know you want to pet me, but I recently finished the perfect application of saliva to my fur. You'll just have to wait until I'm ready to receive your affection, human." Lately, I haven't had much love for cats. The only ones I've come into contact with are the neighbor's outdoor kitties who like to lie on top of my new car. They also did something creepy and disgusting for which I'll never forgive them: peed on my favorite flip flops. Okay, maybe I shouldn't have left my flip flops in the carport, but I never thought a cat would find the urge to pee on them! I also didn't think I'd wear them to a class at work and smell them for two days and think it was the carpet that smelled like urine, never suspecting it was me all along. This is my recent cat experiences before Magan's cat; a very pretty boy, and incredibly cat-like in attitude. That isn't what was outstanding to me. What impressed me about him was two other non-catty things that made me want to abduct him and make him our family pet. First, she gave him a bath the night before we arrived. I have never bathed a cat and could only imagine the horrors associated with a cat in a tub, but she told me it wasn't a big deal. It made me want to wash him right then if only to experience it firsthand. The second and most impressive feat this cat exhibited was his bathroom habits. This cat pees in the toilet! He also poops in the tub which isn't exactly desirable, but still easier to clean than a litter box. That means no litter! Ever! I could tell the cat liked me and, though we flirted with the idea of sneaking him home with us, we left him there. It would be way too obvious that we took him. I guess, like completing that Jacksonville race gives me hope I will finish the next one, meeting Magan's cat gives me hope that I may one day find a compatible cat companion. I know he's out there somewhere, waiting patiently for me, meticulously applying saliva to his fur. damarainsebring@hotmail.com