It’s been just over a month since we adopted Graham Crackers the cat (Crackers for short.) She’s brought so much joy into Olivia’s and my lives! I have always liked cats, but I really wasn’t ready for more responsibility. I gave in because I thought it would bring my daughter long-term happiness, and I felt that at age 13, she would be able to fulfill pet ownership chores. I did not realize it would be me who’d be so deeply affected by the cat.
I have an addiction to Crackers. She comes onto my bed nearly every night, sits on my chest, and kneads my shoulder while purring. That lasts about five or ten minutes before she curls up and takes a nap. It makes me SO HAPPY. It’s one of the few things I look forward to with pure, unadulterated excitement. I’ve had 12 cats over the course of my life, and Crackers is far and away the most affectionate.
At most she lies with me for about an hour, before going to play in the living room. I hear her footsteps thundering around. For a little thing (eight pounds) she sure makes a lot of noise. She often comes back to visit during the night.
She also does this to Olivia. Crackers doesn’t have a regular routine, so we humans aren’t sure on any given night where the cat will be. And if she’s not with us, she sleeps in her favorite spot (a beanbag) in the living room.
Last night, Crackers came to my room. Olivia can see into the hallway from her bed, and she can also hear the cat’s claw covers tapping on the wood floor. She is always on the lookout for cat company, so my daughter is very aware of the cat’s whereabouts. Olivia will then come into my room, scoop up the cat, and abscond with her.
I’ve not minded since it’s more important for me that Olivia be happy. Also, it’s technically her cat, so she gets eternal first dibs. However, I did not had cat time for 24 whole hours, it was a hard day, and I wanted the cat cuddle that I’ve grown used to.
Crackers made her nightly appearance on my bed, and Olivia magically appeared. (I’ve learned she is a really good stalker.) The cat was already lying on my stomach when Olivia was at my bedside to take her. “No,” I said. “I want her for a little while. Come back in 20 minutes.”
“No,” Olivia said. “I want the cat right now. I’m going to lie here on your leg and pet the cat while you pet the cat.”
This proved confusing for Crackers, who is not accustomed to the four-hand massage. Instead of the usual kneading/ purring ritual, she just sat in place. I did not like this, either. “Go away. You are interrupting my special cat time. Come back in 20 minutes.”
“No. I want to pet Crackers right now,” insisted my kid, who just kept lying across my leg like a second, much-heavier pet.
Annoyed, I patted my chest and called Crackers. “Come, Crackers. Come up?” The cat just looked at me.
“You are confusing her. Go away. This is the sacred cat cuddle ritual. She can’t do it if you’re here. We need privacy,” I complained. “Please! Give us our alone time!”
My kid just laughed at me. The cat continued to just sit there. I gave up. “Fine. Take her. Good night,” I huffed. Olivia took Crackers and left.
It’s interesting how this cat, who was once abandoned and living on the streets for probably months, has now become a 100% spoiled housecat who is over-loved. Crackers is so awesome!
And no, please don’t suggest I get a second cat. I don’t want that for many reasons, so I’ll just resign myself to the occasional cat-less night as the risk of having just one cat.