The Stupid Cat is still not accepting Ham.
I thought we’d made progress when, one day, she voluntarily snuggled with him on the Favorite Ottoman. I even grabbed the camera and snapped a couple dozen photos of The Moment They Became Friends. Alas, only a few days later she was in his bed under my desk (oh yeah, he has a bed under my desk because close to me is his favorite place to be) and growling at him for coming by.
So, out of desperation, we’ve started asking our friends who have cats if they’ll have a playdate with Alexander Hamilton. Enter Mom.
I’ve mentioned before, but now is probably a good time to go into detail: my real mom being the shit demon she is, I sometimes feel like I missed out on some fundamental human experience. Audrey’s mom, on the other hand, is an excellent mom and human and she makes these mimosas with booze-soaked fruit in and lets me eat all the left over rummyfruities I want. So I adopted her and she’s my mommy now. Legit.
(I should probably check with Audrey how she feels about that, since we’ll be going in on Mother’s Day.)
Mom’s adorable kitten is Darth Vader, and I knew as soon as I met him that we had to get our cats together. Because A) Darth Vader+Alexander Hamilton=Awesome; and B) Vader couldn’t help but love Ham, right?
Mom went out of town this last weekend (family wedding; you’d think I’d know whose but paradoxically I’m not related to any of the rest of her family—I only adopted her) and left Vader with Audrey and Evan, so we set that playdate.
First off, no blind date was ever so over-thought as getting these two cats together for a day.
ME: (via messenger) Husband just asked if Vader uses a litter box.
ME: I know.
AUDREY: As opposed to WHAT?
ME: I don’t know. Maybe he thought he’s toilet trained? Or one of those fancy non-pooping cats?
AUDREY: EVERYBODY POOPS!
ME: He was worried we might need to bring a box for Ham, lol.
AUDREY: Silly man. Yes, Vader has his own litter box.
Then there was the packing.
Oh yeah, we couldn’t just show up empty-handed! In order to help break the ice—and because at this point I’d lost all perspective on the difference between a cat playdate and a toddler playdate—we brought treats (who doesn’t love food?) and a selection of Ham’s favorite toys (affiliate links ahead, because I want you to know it is possible to just pay money and know for sure your cat will love the toy—as opposed to their preferred method of stealing some small-yet-vital object from your desk or nightstand and batting it around until it gets lost under the fridge or down a vent.)
ME: So we’ll bring his Catit, right?
HIM: I guess… yeah, they can both play with that at the same time.
ME: That’s what makes it good. And the laser pointer.
HIM: That’s maybe a downstairs toy.
ME: (shakes head) There’s more room upstairs.
HIM: You’re not gonna claw up their floors—
ME: We’ll ask them, then. (checks list) And his bird, of course.
HIM: Or one of them, yeah.
ME: He loves those things.
HIM: Will they fight over them?
ME: We can bring multiple.
HIM: Nah, we’ll just toss one on the stairs and they can throw it around and drop it on each other. Like he does here.
ME: Probably don’t want to bring his scratchy box…
HIM: We don’t want Audrey and Evan to see what he does to cardboard. Might freak them out—they’ve got a lot of board games.
And after all that work, worry, and hype?
Vader wanted nothing to do with a strange cat in his space.
Little fucker spent the whole afternoon following Ham around, growling and hissing at him.
I know, right? Fucking cats! Plus, I got to spend an entire afternoon feeling like an asshole who’d brought my cat to a friend’s house* with all this crap just so we could spend six goddamned hours listening to them argue.
HAMILTON: Mrrraaaat? (translation: seriously, have you seen my tail? It’s extravagant as fuck)
VADER: RAAAAAAAOOOOOOUUU (translation: get the fuck out of my house, who are you even?)
HAMILTON: Mra-aaaht-aaaaat (translation: are we friends yet? I can’t tell.)
And so on.
For six and a half hours.
And four grown-ass humans stopped what they were doing to take photos and videos of cats playing for the rest of the night.
Because the only difference between us and the ancient Egyptians is our method of sharing cat pics.
*40 minutes each way, that, with a cat who’s still convinced we don’t know how to operate the car and tries to oversee every aspect of the drive. Where’s the trust, I ask? We’ve got thumbs and licenses and everything, we know what we’re doing! But no, he wants to check that we’re using the right pedals and that we saw that car coming and that we’ve noticed that weird light because it’s probably something important if they put it all the way up on a pole too high for climbing and did we see that cow because we didn’t yell at the cow so now he’s gotta yell at the cow. It’s exhausting.