WRITER  .  ARTIST . REAL PERSON


A Bitter Taste of Cats and Men

​​​You know how it is when you get that one bad burger at a local fast food place and it doesn’t set well with you or even possibly makes you sick? I think we’ve all had that experience at least once and most of us remember that bitter taste of something that should have been good, now being so bad that we just can’t go eat there again. I swear I don’t know what’s wrong with me; I remember such a bitter taste of both cats and men and yet can’t seem to live without either.

I am definitely a cat person, there’s not been a time in my life I’ve not had a cat in my house since I first got out of college. At one time, I actually had ten cats, most of which were primarily outdoor cats. I can just look at a cat and know what they think. I recently realized if I’m watching a cat interacting with another person, I have a tendency to speak to them from the cat’s perspective, or “translate” if you will on the cat’s behalf. I think I must have certainly been a cat in previous life.

But that I have such an affinity for cats isn’t very logical based on one of my earliest childhood memories of an old yellow Tom cat who lived in our neighborhood. I was three years old when I remember what happened one summer evening. This big old yellow Tom cat would come around on the prowl and cat-calling out for any available female cats interested in a rendezvous. Well, I didn’t know this or much of anything else about cats at the time. I was little and though he was just calling out to me.

That evening, the front door was open with only the screen door closed and latched up above my reach. I was excited to see him, and I told my mother I wanted to feed the “Eee-oww” (because that was the sound he made) a” tweenie” (hot dog weenie) which was our usual routine. While mom went into the kitchen to fetch the tweenie for me, the yellow Tom was rubbing his body upside the screen door. He seemingly wanted to be petted in my mind, so I got down on my knees and began to push back at him through the screen. He liked this, and started to rub back and forth on my hand through the screen.

He actually must have really liked it because before my mother could return, that cat backed up to the screen right next to my face, quivered his striped tail and released a spray that went directly into my mouth. I’m telling you, I may have only been three but I have quite the vivid memory of just how awful that bitter taste really was. I’m probably the only child in history who was happy to have their mom wash their mouth out with soap, which she did. (Thank you, Mom.)

Needless to say, that Eee-oww got no more tweenies from me.

And as for men, I had experiences in my early dating history that would make any other sane girl seriously consider celibacy or becoming a nun. I lost my virginity to my boyfriend after high school, who I now know is gay and currently happy in a long term relationship. If that’s not enough, my first boyfriend in college, actually professed to me two months after we started dating that he had used me as a “last fling” before getting married to his fiancé who I didn’t know about so he couldn’t see me anymore. (You think?)

I mean, that alone would be enough for most girls right? I should have been a mental mess, but I for some reason went on thinking that true love would always be in my future. After a few more college dates that didn’t work out and two failed marriages after college, I had come close to letting the bitter taste of men get the best of me and just give up.

Even though I’m 50, I still love cats and I have found the love of my life. It was much easier to not let one bad cat experience hinder me from loving cats as companions in my home, than it was to not let multiple failed relationships with men hold me back from holding on to my hope for true love. My thought is that you shouldn’t let one bad past experience taint your perspective on things, and if you truly believe in something, even though you feel you may never get it, you should never give up hope.You know how it is when you get that one bad burger at a local fast food place and it doesn’t set well with you or even possibly makes you sick? I think we’ve all had that experience at least once and most of us remember that bitter taste of something that should have been good, now being so bad that we just can’t go eat there again. I swear I don’t know what’s wrong with me; I remember such a bitter taste of both cats and men and yet can’t seem to live without either.

I am definitely a cat person, there’s not been a time in my life I’ve not had a cat in my house since I first got out of college. At one time, I actually had ten cats, most of which were primarily outdoor cats. I can just look at a cat and know what they think. I recently realized if I’m watching a cat interacting with another person, I have a tendency to speak to them from the cat’s perspective, or “translate” if you will on the cat’s behalf. I think I must have certainly been a cat in previous life.

But that I have such an affinity for cats isn’t very logical based on one of my earliest childhood memories of an old yellow Tom cat who lived in our neighborhood. I was three years old when I remember what happened one summer evening. This big old yellow Tom cat would come around on the prowl and cat-calling out for any available female cats interested in a rendezvous. Well, I didn’t know this or much of anything else about cats at the time. I was little and though he was just calling out to me.

That evening, the front door was open with only the screen door closed and latched up above my reach. I was excited to see him, and I told my mother I wanted to feed the “Eee-oww” (because that was the sound he made) a” tweenie” (hot dog weenie) which was our usual routine. While mom went into the kitchen to fetch the tweenie for me, the yellow Tom was rubbing his body upside the screen door. He seemingly wanted to be petted in my mind, so I got down on my knees and began to push back at him through the screen. He liked this, and started to rub back and forth on my hand through the screen.

He actually must have really liked it because before my mother could return, that cat backed up to the screen right next to my face, quivered his striped tail and released a spray that went directly into my mouth. I’m telling you, I may have only been three but I have quite the vivid memory of just how awful that bitter taste really was. I’m probably the only child in history who was happy to have their mom wash their mouth out with soap, which she did. (Thank you, Mom.)

Needless to say, that Eee-oww got no more tweenies from me.

And as for men, I had experiences in my early dating history that would make any other sane girl seriously consider celibacy or becoming a nun. I lost my virginity to my boyfriend after high school, who I now know is gay and currently happy in a long term relationship. If that’s not enough, my first boyfriend in college, actually professed to me two months after we started dating that he had used me as a “last fling” before getting married to his fiancé who I didn’t know about so he couldn’t see me anymore. (You think?)

I mean, that alone would be enough for most girls right? I should have been a mental mess, but I for some reason went on thinking that true love would always be in my future. After a few more college dates that didn’t work out and two failed marriages after college, I had come close to letting the bitter taste of men get the best of me and just give up.

Even though I’m 50, I still love cats and I have found the love of my life. It was much easier to not let one bad cat experience hinder me from loving cats as companions in my home, than it was to not let multiple failed relationships with men hold me back from holding on to my hope for true love. My thought is that you shouldn’t let one bad past experience taint your perspective on things, and if you truly believe in something, even though you feel you may never get it, you should never give up hope.