The point is that I was looking forward to being in my warm home with its overactive radiator and its coat rack newly on the wall (!!) and everything mine mine mine, everything in its proper place, because I tidied up last night or whenever it was. It's such a good feeling to sit down on your bed and take off your coat—okay, normally you probably want to take off your outerwear before you reach the bedroom, but my bedroom is my living room, so not a lot can be done—and put the important pocket-contents (keys, bike light, phone) in their proper places next to the other things in their proper places.
So I imagined my closest kitty friends being in my life today, and you might say it hurt my heart a little if you were cutesier than I, but I've mostly hardened myself to the thought. I've met some kittens a block over, kittens and their little cat mother and sibling from another litter, kittens who live under a porch and need homes for the winter. I know the people in the apartment below me have cats; I've seen them peeking through the gap in the curtains and said silly cat-things to them in my silly, high-pitched cat-voice. I can't help it. I say hi to my kitten not-friends every time I bike past their porch, even if I can't see any of them. Even if I could convince my landlord to let me, though, I can't adopt a cat.
The crazy: I care too much about the cats I've already lived with. I was torn when I felt my childhood cats falling behind the college cats in my affection, but it was too late. Haroun and Table were my day-to-day life, sometimes the only living bodies in my apartment with me. When I get my next cat, I give up my claim to Emma's cats, whom she really didn't want to let me name (I got Haroun at least), whom she really didn't want me to have. Who aren't mine. But I don't want to let them go.
The considerate: I'm often gone. I work two jobs, and I go to my boyfriend's, which is just far enough across town to make lazy me want to stay put, and I'm only one person. Emma's cats were outraged when I left for the weekend. Heck, I think they were outraged when she left for class while I was at work. I don't have any big future plans right now, but if I did, I wouldn't want to abandon my cats for six months or a year. My parents wouldn't want to take them. Ali's dog would eat them.
Animals understand more than we think. Some sense our moods, and act accordingly. Their lives may be mainly in the present, but some of them rejoice when we return to them. And not just the dogs. As soon as I walked in the door—well, until she almost completely gave up on me—Isabel would bound up the stairs to my room and meow for me to open the door so we could hang out together in the sanctuary I'd stolen from her with my absence. Animals care more than we can be sure of, though they obviously understand less than we might like them to. And that's why I think we humans have such a responsibility. I'm not going to adopt and coddle and spoil another kitten with all this crazy affection bubbling up inside me until I know that I can continue to coddle and spoil it all through its life, because that is what it will expect.
Unless Emma trains Haroun to use a toilet. Take away the litter box argument, and all bets are off in terms of my dearly-missed feline flatmates.
P.S. Let's just have an unspoken rule that the label "cats" comes with "crazy" attached, okay?
P.P.S. Anyone know anyone in Ann Arbor who needs a cat sitter or dog walker, not too far from Kerrytown? How about a cat walker?