The dream has always been about dogs—a pile of puppies greeting you at the door after a long day of work. For years I begged and pleaded with my parents to get a dog and, finally, my prayers were answered. When the time comes to return to school and part ways with the dog, I always tend to miss the little things about him; I miss opening the door and seeing his fluffy hair fall in front of his eyes, or the way he lays curled up next to me on the couch. Nothing could seem to fill the void in my life that just begged to care for someone other than myself, who did not talk back of course. That is until my roommate brought home a kitten.
As you can tell by now, I am an avid “dog person.” I have never gotten along with cats—they hate me and I hate them. I have tried time and time again, but I refuse to transfer over to the dark side. Then, I met Layla, the tiny, adorable kitten my roommate brought home one day. She was little in size and dark in coloring; her tabby cat attributes gave her a curious look to her. I was hesitant to warm up to her, as she was to us; she spent most days in her owners’ room hiding beneath the bed. One say she mustered up the courage to step outside her comfort zone and greet the rest of the apartment. As much as she was afraid of me, I was equally terrified of her. Every single cat I had come into contact with up until that point had violently attacked me (I’m overreacting a bit, but hey, it was scary).
I could feel myself tense up as she came towards to me; I could hear her claws pull at the carpet as she walked closer and closer. Then, something amazing happened. I felt my arm extend in an effort to attempt to pet her. There I was, a self-proclaimed cat hater, slowly starting to scoop a kitten up into my arms and cradle her as she purred and played with my necklace. In that moment, I realized that though I hate cats, I had a soft spot for this three-month-old kitten.
As silly as it seems, this defining moment helped me put other parts of my life in perspective. It’s a tale as old as time, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Just because you have a routine of disliking a certain group of people or music or animals, does not mean that you are not capable of change. It is said that owning a cat is a “heart healthy” decision that will help lower your anxiety levels and calm you down with the sound of its hearty purr. If I went through the rest of my life loathing cats, I would be missing out on non-stop Instagramming and Snapchatting of this amazingly loveable animal who lifts my spirits after a long day of work and school.
Just because I love the house cat does not mean I can ever see myself taking care of one by choice. I will forever be a dog person, but I am now able to have my hearts strings pulled by a tabby cat or two. Ah, well excuse me while I go play with the kitten!