Before there was Nikolaas, before there was Lukkas, before any child whatsoever, there was Mittens. Mittens is my fur baby. If you’re not sure what that is, he’s my cat that I love as much as my own child. He’s been part of the family for eleven years now and I couldn’t imagine life without him.
Mittens was kind of a spur of the moment adoption. We went into the Humane Society on a whim, just to “look”. come on though who goes into a an animal shelter to window shop….we were totally leaving with a cat (sorry dogs). We had just moved into our first home a month earlier and it felt empty, well to me it did. After an afternoon of running errands, we drove past the Humane Society in St. Catharines and decided it wouldn’t hurt to just pop in. We walked past cages with all kinds of cats – little ones, older ones, hyper ones…you get the idea, there were a few to choose from. Then we came to a cage with a cute orange cat. He came up closer and stuck his paw out of the door to get our attention. Instantly we knew this guy had some personality, he was doing his best to sell us on him. He definitely seemed friendly and playful so we decided we had no choice, we had to take him home! We learned our new friend’s name was “Andy”, we changed it to “Phoenix” once he was home, and then after a week or so it evolved to “Mittens” (a much more suitable “cat” name).
Mittens is a pretty chill pet. He keeps to himself most of the time – usually I find him napping in pile of blankets. He tends to come out of hiding if he senses the presence of someone new in the house and starts to immediately snuggle up to them….as if we don’t give him enough attention. If you hate cats, or are allergic, he knows. He will definitely come and find you first and demand to be petted. Mittens has become accustomed to our daily routines and he knows when we should be up and feeding him. If he doesn’t get fed by a certain time in the morning, you better believe he’s not quiet about it. Cuddling with me while I work on the computer, or watching TV (or both at the same time) is his favourite. He will snuggle up right under my arm (usually the one I’m using to move the mouse with), and will stay there until he decides he’s had enough. If I am having a bad day, he can absolutely sense it and do his best to make me feel comforted and loved. If I’m packing up to go away for a weekend, he seems to change the way he wanders around the house. You can tell he’s depressed that I’m leaving and knows how to play me so I’ll feel sorry for him. He has the ability to sense when I’ve turned my light out at night and am just at the right amount of cozy before he busts open the door (I leave it open a crack so he can get in) and jumps up on the bed. Since I can’t sleep with the door opened, I have to get out of bed (did I mention I was already cozy?), go over to close it, find that sweet spot again, then listen as he decides he wants to leave, opening the door once more. There’s a comfort in knowing that if there’s a strange noise in the house, I can usually count on it being him…even if he’s just silently just sleeping at the end of bed, I’ll still blame it on the cat.
Mittens has been with us through two houses, two kids, good times, and the sadder days. To say he is just a “pet” does not do him justice. He is a member of the family, and is often seen as the “second in command”, after myself of course. I cannot imagine coming home from somewhere and not having him greet me at the door. Even as I write this he is curled up beside me, purring away, just enjoying some quiet time until we head up to bed. He makes my eyes itch when I pet him, and if I kiss his wet nose my lips get puffy, but I will endure any slight allergy I may have just to know he’s happy.