Reading Buddies

Let’s chit chat a little bit about my two best reading buddies. Are they people I can talk to about the books I’m reading? No. Do they enjoy reading, themselves? No. Are they furry and enjoy lying right between my face and the book I’m reading? Yes!

Bear and Boo (as I affectionately call them) are my little domestic short haired rescue cats! They both came to me a few months apart (Bear in May and Boo in December) six years ago, just a little bit before both of their first birthdays.

Now, like all proud mothers, I’m going to drag you through their life stories! Also isn’t it appropriate that we talk about the two loves of my life in February? I think so.

Bear was ten months when I found him hiding in a wall crevice at the pound. I wandered in, just barely living on my own for the first time in all my life (having finally stopped living with roommates) and obviously alone. I asked the woman working there for the most loveable little lap cat and she said “Oh! You want Bear!” and pointed to the wall. I followed her over and she got him out for me and he sat in my lap and started giving me extremely rough kisses (seriously his tongue is like sandpaper – it’s physically painful). He stole my heart right there. Sweet boy. I had gone to the pound specifically to see if I could find a little furry friend, so it was nice to be able to go home with Bear right then and there.

Then, a few months later, after I’d been working for a few months, I called my cousin up and convinced her to come with me to the pound again (hoping that she would be the angel on my shoulder who would be able to convince me not to walk out with another cat.) I was hoping to just go in and visit some of the sweet cats they let roam around the “cat jungle” (which is really just a large room with scratch posts and stairs with little beds for the cats to lounge on.)

So I had my voice of reason with me (because realistically I thought one cat for one single 25 year old was enough) so we went, just to look. But of course, I learned the hard way that I can’t actually be in a room filled with cats that need homes and not walk out with one of them. With Boo, I wandered into the room and went up to a long haired orange cat sleeping on a pillow. I petted that little guy twice and he hissed so I decided he did not want my love. Then I found another short haired orange cat on a poof, sleeping away, so I went over to him and bent down and started petting him. After a few pets I felt something climbing up my back. I turned around to see Boo trying to lick my cheek. That made me laugh. He was so excited to get attention that when I turned around to pet him he climbed right into my lap and put his front paws around my neck and started licking my face again. So that’s when I decided, even though I was not going to get another cat – I was going to get another cat.

My voice of reason (aka my cousin) wasn’t particularly helpful because she said I absolutely must adopt Boo and because she was deathly allergic and she needed to live vicariously through me, so she’d made the decision to get me an application for Boo. And I have no will power. So I brought him home that day. Boo was about ten months old a that time, too, so they’re both less than a year apart.

I introduced them to each other slowly and now they lounge around all day together and both run for the door when they hear my key go in the lock.

They’re both a pain in my butt. I cannot lie. The first two years I had them neither slept through the night – it was like having babies. Bear would literally run around the entire night and run into walls, he was so crazy. And Boo would meow for a full eight hours. It was absolutely miserable. They both liked to run and launch themselves onto the curtains and claw up them.

I thought I was going to go insane. But magically, they slowly started to become normal (thank all that is good in this world) and now as soon as I turn all the lights out they know it’s time to go to sleep, so they climb into bed and curl up next to me and no one moves until the morning, which is so wonderful.

And of course, before bedtime, when I do most of my reading, they sit with me on the couch or lie in bed with me while I read. Even now, as I’m typing this Bear is sleeping on top of my book on my bed beside me and Boo is lying on the top platform of their climbing post behind me. Everything is calm. Sweet angels.

So, along with sharing the stories of how I found my little reading buddies, I’m also here to tell everyone that cats under the age of 3 (in my experience, at least) are nightmares. But if you can make it out of their “toddler years” everything will calm down!

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