I recently had lunch at my Arabic professor’s house, and spent most of the time playing with his cats. As a student, neither the rental contracts in my budget nor my moving schedule nor, tragically, my lifestyle permit me to have pets.
I do have two succulents, which hate the Pittsburgh cold with nearly the same bitter ferocity that I do. But spiky plants just aren’t the same as fuzzy people who need care and attention and can occasionally be entertaining:
My fixation on other people’s pets doesn’t just stop with patting: when I tell people how great a landlady I have, I nearly always mention Sophie, her adorable bear-like puppy. Sophie is tiny, not yippy, and firmly confused about how to run without turning into a rolling ball of fur.
I’m not in a place where I really want to live in the same city for 12 months non-stop. But on those few-and-far-between occasions when I flirt with the idea, the images which attract me are:
- Being able to get a cat (or a puppy, since Matt loves dogs even more than I do and keeps talking about “training” cats, which is foolishness),
- Buying a loom,
- Finally figuring out where all of my things are (since some are in Seattle, some in Pittsburgh, a closet at Matt’s parents’ house, and a whole storage room in San Jose)
- Having a truly permanent address to put on forms,
- Getting the chance to do some renovations to make where I live fit me better–a big bathtub, silly wall-vinyls everywhere, tons of bookcases.
In the meantime, I’ll keep harassing my neighbors’ pets.
“The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.”–Robert Brault