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How To Love A Cat

By Elliot Orion

Wake up to a butt in your face; Get bit on the chin, scratch his chin back; Brush his fur until it’s nice and smooth; Use tape on your white clothes every day; Use tape on your black clothes every day; Use tape on your underwear after he sleeps in the drawer every day; Clean shit out of the litter box and throw it away; Vacuum up clumps of hair, find more as soon as you put the vacuum away; Wake up to a cold nose in your face; Try to balance your book on his belly without bothering him; PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPretend to be annoyed when he lays down on your keyboard, secretly encourage him so you have a very cute excuse to procrastinate writing your essay; Clean piss out of the litter box and throw it away; Get a tongue bath and try not to bother him with your laughing; watch a movie with him on your feet; Buy a mouse toy that he’ll never use; Buy a new bracelet that will be his Favorite Toy; Take him to the vet and get your arms clawed up, kiss his head and tell him he did a good job anyways; Give him medicines that make your hands smell like shit; Give him treats that make your hands smell like fish; Give him fish that he won’t eat; Don’t give him the popcorn that he very much wants to eat, no matter how cute he is begging; Scrape piss clumped litter off the litter box when it dries; Feed him every day, but never as much as he wants; Kiss his forehead every time you leave the house and every time you come back and every time you see him because he has a very kissable forehead; Call him a stinky bastard boy; Call him the light of your life; He will not notice a difference; Cry into his fur and let his purr calm you down; Wake up to fur in your mouth; Go to sleep with fur in your mouth; Get used to fur in your mouth; Spend ten minutes picking between two food brands because you have to look up whether one has been recalled or not because you just can’t remember; Argue with your other cat loving friends over whether clay or corn based litter is better (hint, it’s corn); Wish that ‘scent and dust free’ actually meant ‘scent and dust free’; Play with his toe beans, get scratched for doing so; Tell him you love him every day; Tell him you hate him every day; Hold him tight when there’s a thunderstorm, watch him ignore you as soon as it’s done; Do what’s best for him no matter how angry he gets because a scratched arm is better than seeing him hurt; love him, even when he’s annoying; And whatever you do – don’t let the dog get near him.

Elliot is a sophomore at the University of Maine at Farmington and the author of the LGBT superhero novel “Sparks Fly.” “How To Love A Cat” is based on their own cat, Van Gogh, a nine year old tuxedo who loves sleeping on keyboards and chewing on headphones. 

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