October 19, 2015

Monday Morning Me(w)ditation

Life is pretty short.

Life is also pretty sweet sometimes.

Alan and I adopted a kitten over the weekend. If you know me well, you know that cats are one of my greatest pleasures. One of the things that Alan and I wanted to do differently in Thailand was to make choices that prioritized our quality of life. For both of us, that meant a pet.

Given the size of our apartment and our long work days, a cat made more sense than a dog.

On Saturday, we made the one-hour drive to Mae Sai (Thai-Burmese border) to check out a litter of kittens that we had seen advertised on a local website.

We spent a long time getting to know the litter, and after much deliberation, decided on a mellow, strawberry blond kitten that passed our tests of not squirming when held by the belly or scruff of the neck.

On the drive home, she slept in the box we had brought.

We named her "Egg." We don't remember how that suggestion came up, but it's strangely fitting in Thailand, where almost everyone has a short (and sometimes silly) nickname. I've mentioned some of the names my students have: Piglet, Mint, Milk, Donut, etc.

Her coloring is exactly what I would expect if Alan and I produced a kitten baby: strawberry blond with green eyes. She has white feet and a white belly, and a very light pink tongue. Clearly, she is the cutest cat on the planet.

Her mellowness has since given way to a playful and inquisitive "cattitude" (I'm really not a fan of cat-related puns, but I can't help myself sometimes). I think getting out of a somewhat dirty and crowded environment has given her health an instant boost. She is no longer competing with 10 other cats for the food bowl or human attention either, which probably makes a big difference in her personality.

We also bathed and de-fleed her the first night. She didn't like the water, but I'm sure getting rid of those pesky parasites was worth it. The funniest moment was when she got a little too warm from the warm bath, and stuck her tongue out to pant. I had never seen a cat do that and I was actually disconcerted until I realized what she was doing. She was fine, and so cute!

Although she has more energy, she is still cuddly. She likes to sleep close to her humans. Especially the first night, she alternated between snuggling me and Alan all night. It was too cute. Last night she was more settled and I assume that she slept through the night, just a few feet from my face. I didn't wake up at all during the night to her meows or face-bumps. I hope that the restful nights continue.

This morning she woke up at 6:00 and I decided, rather than sleep another hour, to get up and spend time with her before my long work day. My original intention was to write my Me(w)ditation about this part only, but in the interest of providing context...all the previous paragraphs happened.

This morning, Egg and I did a lot of things together. We played with various "toys" (aka pieces of plastic from water bottles that would have been thrown out if they weren't so fun to play with). She ate breakfast while I drank coffee. I gave her a cotton ball wipe down to get the dust out of her eyes. We built a tunnel out of an old box. Of course we also snuggled together in the aptly-named "Egg Chair."

Here's why I like having a cat: I didn't worry about work or money this morning. I didn't obsessively check social media. I didn't even take any pictures of her to post. I was finally in the moment, enjoying the simplicity of one of life's pleasures. It was refreshing and energizing--truly a great way to start the week.