I’m warning you now, we’re about to step into extreme cat lady territory. No, this isn’t an apology — if anything it’s an invitation — because cat lady territory is the best place to visit and the place I live full-time.
One year ago today, I became the official mum to Fitzgerald and Hemingway Lanning — two one-year-old cats looking for a home at the same time I was attempting to create one in Los Angeles. The week before, when I was suppose to be writing a freelance article, I spent hours looking through shelter and foster home websites, wanting to adopt almost every cat I came across. I had told everyone I was going to adopt one cat, but really, I had the intention of getting two. The night I asked Howard what he thought about adopting cats, he smartly replied, “I know you’ve already decided you’re going to do it, and at this point, there is probably no chance changing your mind.” He was 100 percent right.
Howard and I talked it through, wouldn’t it be amazing to get one orange tabby and one black cat? I had settled on the name Fitzgerald, because of my love of the famous author, while Howard thought the name Hemingway would be neat as well, a tribute to his writer of choice.
I don’t know exactly what it was about Fitz’s online profile picture that made me stop and really read the description. But once I did, I knew this was the cat for me. One orange tabby who needed a home, preferably with his sister, a black cat. Come on fate, you’re making this TOO easy.
So after our first meeting and “thinking it over,” I made the best decision of my life rescuing these two loves. The first 48 hours, I was afraid I had made the worst mistake and ruined their cat lives. They wouldn’t come out from under the couch, they wouldn’t eat, or come anywhere near me. I kept thinking, They’re going to hate me forever! What am I doing?!
Those first few days seem like a thousand years ago, and now, somewhere between our first apartment in Los Angeles and living in Brooklyn, the kittens have become the best family a girl could ask for. It’s really true what they say about pets changing your life. They know exactly the moment you need a laugh or to be cuddled or when to cause trouble and when to cuddle close. There isn’t a day that goes by when they don’t make it their mission to make me feel loved (it could just be for food but what can you do?). Even now, I have Fitz at my feet and Hem outside the door.
They’ve endured late night talks when I have something on my mind and just need to vent, and keep my laptop warm by laying on it. They’ve seen me through break ups, unemployment, nights of too much beer, and days with too little sleep. I’ve spent nights sleeping on the couch because I didn’t want to wake two sleeping kittens on my chest. Sure, there are times they can be little pests — currently Hem has made it her mission to eat all the hair ties in our apartment — but at the end of the day, there are no two pests I’d rather come home to. Adopting them was the best thing I ever did and especially since moving to Brooklyn, I feel lucky to have my little family with me in the city.
Since adopting them, I believe I’ve solidified myself as a cat lady. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to get dogs someday, but for now, I consider my perfect Friday night being at home with a great book, a glass of ice tea, and my kittens. Does that make me a bit lame? Yes, but proudly lame (I say this while wearing a cat sweater)!
So Hem and Fitz, thank you for making me life so much more colorful. Cheers to the next 25 years together.