I was bound to waste a whole post on a cat sooner or later

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Suffocation warning in effect.

As we promised ourselves upon our return from England, Husband and I got a cat. The more appropriate term might be inherited – nay – took in… as if she was the ragamuffin who charmed her way into our hearts in an 88-minute running time.

It’s actually nothing of the sort.

She is the cat my mother adopted in a Chardonnay-fueled panic over suddenly becoming an empty-nester when my sister and I took off to Europe six years ago.

She is fluffy and cute and occasionally bitey.

Mum’s been trying to pawn her off in a PR-friendly way ever since.

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Glamour Shots by Gregg

Her name is Kissa… which, if you speak the Finnish language, you know means cat. I’m sure that’s cute when you’ve been drinking Chardonnay all night. Husband and I have taken to calling her Stinky, Muffin, and Stinkymuffin at regular intervals… by which I mean, totally at random.

Kissa was always rather difficult, even if astonishingly beautiful. She’s essentially a high school cheerleader rendered feline. She’s not bright, but she’s cute.

When my parents got her, my timourous beastie Arthur was her big brother. She didn’t take his untimely death well. Her pendulum of mood swings stuck quite consistently at cranky. (Perhaps I am projecting too much here. One could just as easily say she is cranky because… cats.)


Don't be a hero.
Don’t be a hero.

Things only got worse for poor Stinkymuffin. A couple of years ago, my sister the zookeeper found a litter of feral kittens.* Miniature-tigress Cleo was one of these kittens. My parents adopted her and, with her natural selection-improved physique and no-nonsense attitude, Cleo yanked Kissa’s fluffy privilege right from under her. It was the exact premise of Mean Girls, with Cleo as Lindsay Lohan, Kissa as Rachel McAdams, and my dad as… Tina Fey…. I’ve let this analogy get away from me.

Alas, Stinkymuffin openly mourned her lost status and my mother couldn’t take it anymore.

A thinly veiled take her for a week while we go on holiday later, and Husband and I are now cat owners: baby-talking cat owners who go through a lint brush a week.

Baby Picture (has always liked bags)
Baby Picture (has always liked bags)

The good news is – with the exception of this morning’s puking incident – little Stinkymuffin has been doing quite well with us. Perhaps our stay-home-and-watch-Netflix-all-weekend lifestyle provides her with the attention her vain little ego has always needed. She seems happy. Well, about as happy as a cat can get. I swear she smiles as she sinks her claws into the couch and realizes she’s got me looking at her.

Ugh. Cats.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize I just wasted six hundred words talking about my cat. I am fully aware of what that says about me. But I’m thirty, childfree, and this is the freakin’ internet. If you don’t want to see cat pictures, read a book. Just not a book about cats.

All Hail Stinkymuffin

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*Apparently, there are dickbags out there who think the best way to rid themselves of an unwanted pet is to abandon it at the zoo and peel away to anonymously enjoy a life free from the burden of responsibility. Most of the animals the zoo staff will rescue, but cats are wily escape artists/not technically domesticated. They escaped to the wilderness-ridden property adjacent and are living wonderful, multi-generational lives knowing they are better than all other pets because they can survive on their own, bitches. Anyway, whenever the zoo staff find a litter of kittens, they rescue them. If they are young enough to still adapt to a domestic life they will be bottle-fed and raised and found a good home. If they are too old, they are spayed or neutered and sent back into the throes of this feral cat paradise.

Author: Ashleigh Kay

I divide my time between a variety of poverty-inducing ventures: writing for fun and writing for torture; watching far too many movies and reading far too few books. I have lived previous incarnations as bookseller, bureaucrat, filmmaker, zinester, student, and wayward traveller. I studied Film at Langara after seven years at Simon Fraser entrenched in English, Archaeology and about every other Liberal Arts and social science topic you can imagine. I am very good at Trivial Pursuit. I am related to Dr. Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary, which explains my perfect spelling and penchant for black cats. I once lived in a house in the South Hill neighbourhood of Vancouver with six people, four cats, one goldfish, and a vegetable garden for a front yard. We called it The Commune. It was where I lived with my husband before he was Husband, before he was Fiance, before he was Boyfriend, back when he was just Boy Roommate. Life was a sitcom and we were the “will they/won’t they.” We did. Once we ran away to England because we like having adventures. But we didn’t like it that much, so we came home again. I have the personality of a superhero’s alter-ego. Only I don’t fight crime. At least not yet. I am currently obsessing over romantic comedies and hosting murder mystery dinner parties (online these days, of course!).

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