Now, this article is going to make me look like a crazy cat lady, but hell, maybe I am. But I don’t like all cats. Really, I only like my cat.
I got my cat under some really weird circumstances, and I think that is really what is part of our bond. When you are diagnosed with a neurological disorder nicknamed the “suicide disease,” you are put on a fast track for a therapy animal. Now, I thought this would mean an expensive cat or dog that had some kind of training, but it turns out there is really no such thing as a "trained" therapy cat. You just go into a shelter and try to find an animal with the traits of a “good” therapy animal. These traits consist of vague words, like “outgoing” and “friendly.”
Louis was the first cat to come to me -- mostly because he was at the door, perhaps trying to escape. Only one other cat had braved coming to rub itself on me, but that one was frankly not as cute as Louis and had a facial damage, and my mom thought it would be just too weird if we both had nerve issues. So, Louis it was.
Turns out though, Louis was very sick, even with the a-okay from the shelter. They told us that he would be okay once he got on a consistent diet, but it actuality, he was way sicker than that. After multiple weeks of waiting for him to “just adjust” and multiple mornings of waking with cat diarrhea all over my carpet, bed, and sometimes even myself, we had him tested for everything under the sun -- much like I was. He was immediately put on a special diet and a myriad of meds. Cats hate medication and especially the kind you have to insert orally through a syringe.
So here I was, in so much pain sometimes all I could do was lay in bed and listen to podcasts about revolutions, and here was Louis, just as sick as I was. We were both being tested and placed on medication that we hated. Not being able to work from both side effects of medication and pain and not having many “home friends” didn’t help me pass the time either; I spent most of my summer with Louis. All this time and illness bonded us together like I probably couldn’t put into words. He soon could tell when I was having attacks and would come to me. There were nights with him on my chest or by my side instead of running around the house and knocking things over because I was crying or in pain.I am more bonded with my cat than I am with most humans.