Everything started with a Facebook post about a found kitten. My uncle was on a walk one day when he discovered an eight-to-ten week old kitten, lost and totally blind, mewing for help. He took the kitten to the vet, where it was determined that he had a double eye infection that led to blindness; he also had a number of cuts and missing whiskers, possibly due to an attack while he was alone. The kitten needed three eye drops per eye three times a day and two doses of antibiotics that needed to be given orally with a syringe. My uncle posted a photo of the little creature, wrapped in a towel, and asked if anyone would be willing to take him in. He was bundled up and staring in the general direction of the camera with two wide cloudy gray eyes.
I read the post and tried to ignore it. I don't even like cats.
Cats are demanding. They pick favorites and they tend to give affection only when they are in the right mood. They sleep all day and they use a sandbox as a toilet. I've met plenty of cats, and I still prefer dogs, fish, birds... anything else, really. Honestly, there's a reason there are so many memes and tweets floating around the internet about rude cats.
I spent a lot of time thinking about the fact that I've never been a cat person, but that didn't stop me from revisiting the post over and over again. Eventually, I caved and messaged my uncle, who proceeded to send me a variety of adorable photos of the kitten. I completely fell in love with him.
Next thing I knew, I was driving to my hometown in Northern California to pick up a blind kitten that I'd never met before, just hoping that I could handle taking care of a cat on my own for the first time in my life.
When I met him, all of my worries and negative thoughts disappeared. He was overly affectionate, grabbing my hands and arms when I tried to move away from him, and sweet. He wanted nothing more than to be curled up in my lap. I spent the first night with him just watching him sleep on my lap, touching his little ears and his perfect nose.
Since I've brought him home, I've named him Milton. He loves food, any kind of food, and there's nothing I can do to keep him away from my meals unless I lock him out of the room. He is curious and playful; he's gentle and a little bratty at times. When he wants to play at six in the morning, he pulls my hair and purrs as loudly as he can as he rubs his face against mine. He's a party favorite, and he loves meeting new people. He likes to bury his little head in my hair when he's nervous.
He's taught me so much about what it means to love something that is dependent upon you. I've never held something else's life in my hands, really. He is completely dependent upon me for everything- from food to love. When he needs something, he meows and chirps and grabs me. He'll stand on my lap and tap my face with his little paws until he feels like I understand what he wants. I've learned how to drop everything for something else, and it feels amazing. Really, though, how could I not make him my priority when I wake up to him sleeping soundly right beside me?
He's just perfect.
I'll never be a cat person. I'll never prefer cats over dogs. I never saw myself adopting a cat at all, but Milton has been the most life-changing surprise I've ever experienced.