Building a new life in a new city can throw challenges at you both big and small. Most challenges are to be expected; learning a new public transport system, setting up a bank account, finding the local pub, getting a job, making friends. Some are not; Brexit, realising your old winter clothes are a laughing stock when compared to ACTUAL winter clothes, Brexit, knowing your phone calls home will always mean one side of the conversation is just waking up while the other is on its way to being drunk and never the two wavelengths shall meet, Brexit.
What I hadn’t planned on were challenges that would fundamentally change who I was. And in that respect, there is one challenge needs addressing, and has needed addressing for some time. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you will have noticed a certain someone who has crept into my Twitter feed and onto my ‘currently reading’ page. And for those of you who have spotted this certain someone, and also know me well, will surely be wondering WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WHO IS THAT CAT WHAT IS HAPPENING I THOUGHT YOU WERE A DOG PERSON?!?!?
I know, I know.
|He knows too.|
For how was I to know that my new life in London would bring with it the challenge of being a dog person who lives… with a cat.
At first, I was resistant. I was going to show this cat none of my affection, affection I knew wouldn’t be reciprocated because, well, cats. But I was away from home, my family and friends, and my resolve broke down on the second day and now it seems I have accidentally become a cat person.
I have become ‘cat’ for one cat and one cat only. I have become cat for McNulty.
|McNulty says hi.|
He of the dewy eyes and black and white (and sometimes brown) fur. He of the ability to curl himself into the smallest of balls but will still scratch your eyes out if you touch his back legs. He of the sad meow when dinner time is still an hour away but HE’S HUNGRY NOW.
It’s hard to admit that I like this cat having been a dog person all my life. I never knew I’d have to make room for both animals and yet, here I am. Some days I awake knowing I’m a dog person, have always been a dog person and am proud of it. Then other mornings, I awake to a fur ball at the end of my bed and can’t help but love him just a little more each day.
|We both share a love for a certain French president|
I know I’ll never have to choose between a dog or a cat. There is no competition. A dog will win every time. It’s what I loved first, it’s what makes me feel like I’m home, it’s what I understand and what I want to love. But for now, with McNulty, my life is all cat all the time. It’s new and unfamiliar but exciting and different. It’s an unexpected challenge that I’m growing to really, really like.
I know I’ll never have to choose between being a cat person or being a dog person because, after all, there are some people out there who have a dog AND a cat. And maybe, eventually, when I’m ready to decide my future, I’ll be the sort of person who can have both, if I’m lucky.