I was never much of a pet person growing up due to a combination of factors, the primary two of which were that we didn’t have any sort of grass yard for a dog to run around in, and Mom (and, we would learn years later, me, to a lesser extent) is deathly allergic to cat hair.
As a result, the menagerie at Chateau Lemón during my formative years consisted of one tadpole (Spike, who shuffled off this mortal coil when he sprouted arms and legs and I didn’t realize this meant it was time to get him access to dry land and, more importantly, air), three basic goldfish (Pooka, Fygar, and Dig-Dug (you in the back, shut up), with Fygar outlasting the other two by quite a substantial margin, which is really as it should be) and two teddy-bear hamsters, one a year or two after the other, both named Ralph (blame my younger brother for that one), and both living la vida loca every single minute of their thousand-day lives.
So, yeah. Not much for the whole pet thing. Hell, I can barely take care of myself; why would I want to do that to a poor animal?
But then I started dating the S.O., and she’s got two cats, Arthas and Jaina. (Apparently it’s a WoW reference of some sort.) Jaina is quiet and reserved and is generally content to be near people without being handled by people, though she’s getting better about that.
But Arthas. Oh, Arthas.
Frequently referred to as "Whackjob" by the S.O. (I almost typed "affectionately referred to," but the aforementioned S.O. would smack me), Arthas is deaf as a post, gets into everything, and generally uses people as climbing posts. A friendlier cat, you will not meet. And by "friendly" I mean "he will climb up onto your shoulder and clean your face with that piece of sandpaper he has for a tongue, usually right after you have shaved and your face is at its most sensitive."
And of course, Arthas decided from Day One that he liked me. At first I didn’t know what to make of this, but as time goes on I’m starting to understand the whole cat thing. Dogs, for the most part, are blindly loyal, but not too terribly bright. Cats, however, will size you up, and then make an informed decision about who to trust. And they can tell when you’ve had a crummy day and could use a little extra affection. All of this, and they poop in a confined box. Can’t beat that.
So Arthas and I, we’re a team now. I try to defend him to the S.O. as a "good kitteh," and she just rolls her eyes at me, and then Arthas will knock a Wiimote or something onto the floor, making it that much harder for me to argue his case. But he is a good kitteh, because when I’m having a bad day, he climbs right into my lap and then sits and purrs while I scritch between his ears. The rest of it is forgiven. (And my allergies aren’t nearly as severe as they were when I first met him, though my eyes still get a little itchy if I’ve been there all day.)
Sadly, I don’t have a wacky punchline for this one, but I can always use a little clickbait, so we shall close with a picture of Arthas in full Is-It-Can-Be-Hugz-Tiem-Pleez mode: