Twelve years ago, Iwanski and I decided to get a cat.
I was soooo excited. Growing up, I had never had a pet (many of my family members suffer from pet allergies), and besides our cute little hamster Cozmo who died at the tragically young age of two, I had never had my very own pet. Especially never one that could really bond with its human owner, like a cat or a dog.
So we adopted Autumn Raccoon (AKA Raccooney) from our local Humane Society. And a few months later, we adopted Hattie (AKA Fattie Boombaladdie).
I loved having cats, and I was not shy about telling people about it. I shared stories of the Battle to Keep Cats out of the Bedroom (which of course, we lost), and of the cats’ adorable responsiveness to the words “hungry” and “eat.”
Somehow, I think I inadvertently became known as “the cat lady” of the family.
And along with the title came a slew of cat-related gifts. Cat t-shirts, cat books, cat figurines—you name it, and I probably have it.
Of course, I’m always very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the lovely family members that purchase these items for me.
But I must admit, I am quite surprised that my “cat lady” reputation has followed me for a whole twelve years.
I certainly haven’t really done anything in the past several years to promote it.
This weekend, I actually attended—are you ready for this?—a Cat Circus.
That’s right, I—along with my good friends Jonathan and Diane—attended a performance of “The Circus Cats of Chicago.” I had read about these supposedly well-trained cats a few months earlier, and I have to admit, the idea of somebody actually being able to train cats was intriguing to me. I just had to see it.
So I purchased the tickets, and off to the show we went.
And indeed, it was pretty amazing. At one point, the trainer lady (who said that she wasn’t married, and that she probably would stay single for the rest of her life) had about 10 cats out on the stage, all poised upon their individual stools, sitting and waiting for her next direction. They just sat there! That in itself was amazing.
But there were other astonishing tricks to behold—like the kitten who balanced on top of a ball as it rolled down the stage—or the “Rock Cats”—a band of musical cats playing the guitar, drums, and piano. Don’t believe me? It is, incredibly, true. Check out a video of it here, on Jonathan’s blog.
And what was even more interesting was that this wasn’t just a cat show—no, in fact, Miss Trainer Lady also had trained rats, a woodchuck who could raise a flag on command, a kinkajou (a creepy-looking monkey that is not actually a monkey) that she swung back and forth by its tail, and one very intelligent chicken. (Who knew you could train a chicken??)
My favorite part of the show was when Miss Trainer Lady announced “We will now have a bowling contest between a cat and a chicken.”
I laughed my ass off. Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear! (And by the way, the chicken won.)
It was quite an entertaining show, and we all enjoyed ourselves very much.
So now I’ve seen a cat circus. I’m sure this will do wonders for my “cat lady” reputation.