Monday, January 10, 2011

Tyler Kitty

Y'all this is my homeboy Tyler. Also known as Kitty Kitty. Also known as Buddy. Also known as Mister Sister. Also known as Jesus with fur. (In a completely loving and non-sacrilegious way.)

Here's the thing, Ty has been around for quite awhile now. But I suppose it's much like having a boyfriend. You don't really want to introduce him to the family until you're sure he's going to be around for a bit. Otherwise everyone gets all attached and then we he leaves you're heartbroken and the family is heartbroken and the drama escalates and it's just a mess.

While it sounds like I've ever experienced that, I haven't. Truly. But I imagine that's kind of what it would be like.

But Ty here, well he has become a regular in the cast of characters of my life and I feel it's important to share him with you all.

Tyler came into my life back around June while I was directing Seussical. I had gotten home REALLY late one night from work and was so ready to pass out. I literally had been nervous about making the 5 minute drive home. When I got out of my car I heard a little "meow meow" but for the life of me could not figure out where it was coming from. I went into our apartment complex's laundry room and saw a poster for a lost tabby cat. Thinking that maybe the little meow meow would match the poster I went back out on a hunt for the little(HUGE)fella. As I started calling, "Come here kitty," little mister appeared out from under the car next to me and sure enough looked exactly like the cat on the poster. He was SO sweet so I assumed I'd just take him up to my apartment, call the number on the poster, mom would come get him and I'd move on with life.

Jen, you know what they say about assuming.

I called the number and no one answered. I left a message saying that I was pretty sure I'd found their cat and could they please come get him tonight. Well about an hour later my phone had still not rung and I was realizing that my furry friend was going to need some food and litter. So, despite some massive sleep deprivation and general lethargy I got myself pulled back together at 11:30 p.m. and headed to the nearest grocery store. As I stood in line holding a litterbox, a bag of cheap litter, a box of cheap cat food and a stuffed mouse, I noticed the girl at the cash register kept looking at me. When I finally got up to the register she started laughing. I wanted to smack her into next Tuesday but I guess instead I just gave a really pitiful questioning look because she said, "I'm just look so so sleepy." Yeah. I was.

I went home and a few minutes later my phone rang. It was the number from the poster. The girl said she would be right over to pick him up. (Yes right after I bought $15 worth of supplies for his fuzzy butt.) When she got to my apartment, two friends in tow, she said, "Oh no. I don't think that's him."


I was like, "Are you sure? It looks just like the picture."

"Yeah he does look a lot like my cat but I really don't think that's him. I'm sure I would know if it was him."

She left...without the cat.

And with that, I had inherited a new friend. One of my favorite parts about him was that he was missing one of his fangs. I guess because of that he didn't know what to do with the one that remained so it usually just hung out of his mouth and over his bottom lip.

For about a week I was totally unwilling to get attached to him, but after about 5 days, it was time to realize this was my new kitty. He seemed to so enjoy being at my apartment. He was completely content there. He was totally snuggly and I adored him. And at that time things for me were just hard. Life was hard. I was struggling. And every night I came home to this sweet little guy who started purring as soon as I walked in the door. I even had a dear friend working for me at camp who took her lunch break to take him to a vet she was familiar with and have him checked out.

Right about the day I told him, "Okay buddy. I guess you're mine. I don't know how I'm going to afford it, but somehow I'll make sure I take care of you," my phone rang with an unknown number. I answered and a girl on the other end of the line said, "Hey, I think you found my cat?"

At first I was very hopeful that this one wasn't hers. She kept referring to the cat as a girl named Kitty Kitty and as far as I could tell, this one was clearly a boy. But when she said, "My cat is missing a front fang," I didn't have any choice but to acknowledge it was hers. She came and got him/her that night and thanked me profusely for taking such good care of him/her. She told me that he/she was an indoor and outdoor cat but she had just moved here and he/she had escaped from her apartment before she was confident he knew his way around. I was totally brokenhearted when she walked away with Tyler but I told her to please let me know if she ever needed someone to take care of "her."

Before too long, Ty started appearing at my door. He'd bust in unexpectedly as I was leaving for work in the morning or would cry outside at 3 a.m. I quickly figured out that I needed to just keep the food and litterbox out and available because he wasn't giving up. His owner, Aiden, and I developed a neighborly friendship based on our mutual love of my little furry friend. I would call her anytime he was hanging out just to let her know where he was. Most days she would just let me keep him there until he started acting like he was ready to go out and be a wild jungle cat again. I began to feel like I was sharing custody of a child, but I couldn't help but smile every time he showed up.

I started realizing that he had an uncanny ability of showing up on the worst days. The days when I was tired or sad or generally heavy-hearted, he was always there. That's when he started being furry Jesus. Jesus has spoken to me through lizards and birds; He can certainly come to me in kitties.

So that's Tyler. Aiden calls when she's headed out of town and I get to let him come have vacations with me. And then plenty of other days he just shows up when he needs a little Jen lovin'. Like today, at 5 a.m. His habits of getting my attention have grown from simply crying at the door to scratching the door and tapping on the window and smushing his little face up against it. (The first time he did that and I turned around and saw little eyes peering in it scared the snot out of me.)

Sometimes when I go out of town I worry about him. I'm always afraid that if he comes to my door too many times and I don't answer he'll give up on me. But he never does. When I'm not home he goes and hangs out at my neighbor's. My neighbor friend smokes, legal and not so legal substances, but that's beside the point. So sometimes Ty comes back to me smelling like a little cigarette but we always get him tidied back up and snuggle ready. But he never does forget. Never stops coming to find me just because I'm temporarily unavailable. And I love that about him.

I just love my little furry boyfriend.


Leona said...

I definitely remember the Lizard "Jesus". Furry Jesus is even more adorable!!

I love you, girl, and I miss seeing you!

Piland Family said...

If you can figure out a way to get that cat on the web cam Avery will reach right through the screen and kiss you. She'll probably kiss Ty too. The girl loves her some kitty cat. He is absolutely beautiful. Has your neighbor friend given in to the fact that he's a boy yet?

SueDub said...


I feel fairly certain you just gave Jen the only reason she needs to break down and get internet access in the apartment. Unless of course she can sneak Tyler to the coffee shop.

Ruth said...

i'm jealous - i wish i had a Furry Jesus. i've nicknamed my roommate's cat Spawn of Satan. he tries to kill me, on a daily basis.

Jen said...

Haha! Y'all are funny. And I think Ty would love the coffeeshop. All those people to love on him? He'd dig it and would totally just flop over on someone's table and chill. Ruth...I'm very sorry to hear that. Mean kitties es no bueno.

Arabella said...

So cute! :) Lovely story. Being a teenager something similar happened to me with a neighbour's dog. He would always come with me and wait until de school bus picked me up. When I arrived in the afternoon he would be there again and would greet me with the greatest joy. Every single day!! :)