I inherited my cat from an ex-boyfriend who I lived with for over 5 years. He had adopted the cat as a kitten for his daughter’s 6th birthday shortly before we met. Through the endless stress and tumultuousness of our complicated relationship and stepfamily dynamic, Kitty remained a source of calm for both of us. We often ‘joked’ that he was consistently the least stressful thing in our lives. When it came time for us to break up and no longer live together, the question of whether they would take him when he moved out loomed over my head and weighed heavier than any of the other losses that come with a breakup. In the end, my ex kindly left Kitty with me as a final peace offering and that act is the sole reason I can look back on the relationship fondly. He truly cared about the cat but said, “I just can’t separate the two of you” which was a bold act of love on his part.
I can still remember the first time I met Kitty, still almost a kitten, he marched up to me as I walked into my ex’s apartment for the first time and demanded to be held. I can remember his kitten meow, his short undeveloped coat and how his eyes were still bluish in the teenage stage. I have no recollection of the first time I met my ex-boyfriend.
Despite the fact that I have a very erratic and irregular schedule and I often travel for work, he still marches up to me every time I walk in the door. He follows me in and out of the house while I unload my car. He’s chatty and social, yet seemingly exhausted all the time. When my house is full of noisy friends he’s always in the middle of the room passing around his affection. He is such an easy going, go-with-the-flow creature (unless you’re a vacuum).
Nica Demaria is a hair and makeup artist based in Portland, Ore.