I suppose you could say this entire thing is my fault. “That is so typical,” my friends would say, putting all of the blame on myself so he doesn’t have to take any responsibility. But if I’m being honest, it’s true. I’m the one, over four years ago, who let him move in with me. No questions asked. He needed a place to stay and he was pretty cute. So what if he was a bit aloof and whined when he was hungry? He was mine. Yet I should have known, from the very first day, that he was anything but mine. I was, now and forever, irrevocably his.
Things started getting pretty hairy pretty quick. Literally. His hair was everywhere. I’d come in to work and find a clump of his soft down on my sweater. My co-workers thought it was gross and were forever offering me use of a sticky lint roller. I politely declined. To me, the hair wasn’t gross. In fact, it was a reminder of what I had waiting for me at home. Which reminds me, I should probably mention he doesn’t work. He doesn’t do much of anything, for that matter, and what I find so incredible is that it doesn’t even bother him. I think that’s part of his charm. He’s so confident in who he is that he doesn’t have anything to prove. Wish I was so lucky.
It wasn’t long before he felt more comfortable in the apartment than I did. He started taking to gently hitting my face before sunrise because he wanted me to make him breakfast. I could have said no, I could have rolled over and pretended to be asleep. Yet I didn’t. I got up. I thought it was kind of sweet at first, that he would only eat something I prepared for him, even while there was perfectly good food easily within reach. He started to only drink out of my cups, which kind of bothered me. Not that I let him know.
After a while, things started to take their toll on me. I was pulling late nights at the office, stressed out of my mind, but he didn’t care. He’d get up on the bed come 5 a.m., start pouncing on me, yelling in my face. There I’d be, blindly feeling my way through the dark apartment to the kitchen, doing my best not to trip over the mess I never seemed to have the time to clean. I’d hastily make him what he wanted, unceremoniously dumping a plate in front of him, hoping he’d notice my annoyance. That, too, was ignored. I went back to bed, defeated once again.
I am aware of how bad this all sounds, of how I enable this terrible behavior day after day after day. Though I should mention things are improving. He doesn’t wake me up as much in the mornings and it’s rare for him to hit me in the face these days. He even lets me hug him for about ten seconds before he squirms away. But he still walks all over me, especially when I’m in bed, and you know what? I don’t care. The simple fact is, I love the little guy. When I come home after a long day, he runs into the room, his eyes wide and bright with expectation. He’s happy to see me and that, my friends, makes it all worth it.
Oh, did I mention he has a sister? She lives with me, too, and that’s a whole other story…
Images courtesy of the author. This post originally appeared on the author’s blog, Sincerely,Bridget.