Dear Velveeta

Dear Velveeta,

If all cats were like you, I’m sure everyone would be a cat lover.

velveeta_Christmas_1When I first met you, you were sitting tall in a corner because you were afraid of another cat who lived with you at your foster home in Northern Virginia. The other cat kept sticking their paw under the door, but you walked over to me cautiously, and then promptly rolled over on your back, purring audibly. You let me scratch your head and rub stomach. You didn’t bite me, and that right there made you the sweetest cat I’d ever met.

I knew right away that I wanted to adopt you and be your “forever” guardian. On my way to pick you up, I got into my first car accident [very minor – I was fine]. That didn’t stop me from adopting you later that week, though. Your Aunt Mallory drove up from Richmond to help – and boy am I glad she did because you meowed the whole. way. home.

I’ll admit I was a little afraid of you at first. Your eyes looked like different colors depending on the time of the day and how much they were dilated, and you ran around REALLY fast at night. It only took me a few days for me to realize this was normal cat behavior.

IMG_20130715_191609When I lived in D.C., you were my one and only roommate. In fact, I’m not sure I would have made it through without you. Whenever I visited Bret in Florida, YOU, and you alone were the anchor pulling me back to D.C. It was never easy to leave a warm, slow-paced Florida weekend for a cold, dreary D.C. Sunday night, but I was always happy to come home to your sweet face.

You loved every cat toy I brought you, and you spent your free time wrestling a dog’s chew toy, chasing a string, hiding in your cube, and batting a ball around in a circle. Okay, you actually spent most of your free time sleeping, but in the evenings and weekends when I was home with you, you would play with your toys.

Every evening, you were waiting for me by the door when I got home from work. You’d sit on my coffee table while I ate dinner. You’ve never begged for people food (or cat food for that matter) so I never worried about leaving a bowl of food unattended for a few minutes. You do love that cat-nip filled banana, though.

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In D.C., I usually kept the blinds closed during the day for safety reasons, but when a little spot of sunlight made it through, you’d curl up in that patch of sun and purr yourself to sleep. I’m forever impressed by your ability to curl into tightly wound ball. You’re not satisfied until your tail reaches your forehead.

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At night, you jumped up on my bed while we watched Gilmore Girls to drown out the scary noises outside. You slept on the corner of my bed every night, and when I wouldn’t wake up after my alarm, you walked on my back and meowed in my face. Thanks for never once letting me be late for work.

If I was sad or scared or worried, you’d nudge your head against my arm and sit in my lap. You still do that. I never expected a cat to be so loving and affectionate and aware of people. It seems like cats have a reputation of being aloof and more concerned about themselves, but you’re great. Not to say that you aren’t concerned about yourself!

Whenever I video chatted with Bret, you’d walk over and put your face against the camera. Sometimes you purred into the microphone. Other times, you walked on the keyboard and “muted” me. You were always the center of attention. Even now, when I try to Skype with someone, you end up running around behind me as if to say, “LOOK AT ME!”

You tolerated D.C., but I think you love Florida.

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There’s so much more sun here. You love stretching on the screened porch, beside the sliding glass door, or with your nose poking out of a window. I always catch you soaking up the rays and spying on the humming bird. Good thing there’s always a screen or a window separating you, because we all remember how you killed a cricket.

You aren’t alone all day every day while I’m at work because Bret is usually around to hang out with you. You love that. We also seem to accumulate more boxes and bags here which happen to be your favorite places to hang out.

velveeta_2Even though it’s been an adjustment living with a sometimes intimidating, fast-moving big sister, you have gotten used to each other. I’m so grateful for that. You copy Sadie and end up using all of her favorite toys and sleeping in her favorite spots. Bret thinks you’re learning to be territorial, but I think you’re just imitating your big sister because she’s your sister and you think she’s cool. That’s normal. Sisters do that.

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You are also the smartest cat in the history of the world. No one believes me when I tell them you can “sit” and “go to your bed” on command. It’s impressive. You also don’t mind wearing Christmas outfits. Most cats don’t tolerate that kind of dress-up stuff. You do. You listen and I really think you understand that the temporary annoyance is just so I can take your picture.

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I think you know you’re smart, and you know that you’re pretty much never going to be in trouble for anything that you do, so you use that to your advantage. Bret and I call you “Princess Cat” because, well, sometimes you act like a princess. One princess thing you do is cross your legs.

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velveeta_faveI find this so adorable and endearing – especially because your original name (given to you by the good people of NOVA) was Molly. I could never call you “Molly” because Molly was the name of a pet I had before you. She was the best dog in the whole world and I miss her, but I like to think that you have some of the same wonderful pet characteristics and this leg crossing thing is one of them. She did this all the time.

You get a lot of attention because, well, I think you’re the best cat ever.

I know one day if I have a human child I will probably love them as much (or even more?!) than I love you, but right now, I just can’t imagine that. I’m serious.

I’m so glad cats can live to be twenty years old because I just can’t imagine my life without you these days. Thanks for being the best cat in the whole wide world.

Love, Mom

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