The Day I Decided I Needed a Pet

“Oh my god something shit on my bed,” I remember telling my roommate on the phone. I was living in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore, and after an eight-hour day at my contractual position at the university, I came home to find a pile of poop on my $20 Target comforter. I was planning to move in a few days.

Of course upon texting both my roommates, they responded with inherent laughter. I didn’t think it was so funny. Once I removed the comforter and ruined sheets, I realized the shit had stained the actual mattress. I’d had this mattress since I moved into my first apartment four years prior. What did I know of mattress protectors?

made bed next to window

“Did the landlord let her dogs in here? Why the hell would she let them shit on the bed and leave it?” I didn’t consider myself a bad tenant, but maybe I had done something to make her mad? I would have categorized this instance as beneath her, but I also knew she could be vindictive.

I considered throwing the comforter in the washer. God knows it had survived a few drunken vomit episodes. But nah, I was moving soon, and it didn’t seem worth the dry cleaning. I threw it in the trash. But what about the mattress? I had already sold it to the next tenant. What could I do?

I opened the window and sprayed some Febreeze. And then something came crawling out from underneath my bed, seeming completely terrified. A cat. Continue reading

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I Have a Hyperactive Cat

I didn’t have plans to adopt a cat on Black Friday of last year, but when my brother visited from Louisville and I mentioned the idea of stopping by the animal shelter on our way to the National Air and Space Museum, he seemed enthusiastic. He once owned a cat, too, but it was one of many valuables lost to Rochester in the break-up with his former girlfriend.

Most of my close friends know I have been wanting to adopt a pet for some time, but my previous landlord didn’t allow it, and before that, my roommate was severely allergic to cats. My friends would inevitably joke, “how’s the fish?”

Initially, I had planned to use a tactic from the movie 28 Days when one of the characters at rehab asked how much time is appropriate for entering back into a relationship afterwards. The fictional counselor recommended starting with a plant, then a pet, and then after some time, a human relationship. Continue reading