not alone exactly

My dad is away on business for a week and since the kittens just moved in, he was scared that they couldn’t be left alone just yet. So while he’s away, I have to move in and play with the cats and be with them until they are old enough to be left alone.

The kittens, Harley and Bentley, are adorable. But they need someone to watch over them and they require a lot of attention. They demand it.

The first day of my dad going meant trying to work while Bentley secures a place on my lap and Harley attacks the folds of my shirt or my shorts.

Sometimes, they both lie on my lap and I can’t really do much while they are both there.

Bentley and Harley decide my lap makes for a good bed

They are absolutely adorable but it is safe to say, I didn’t get much work done. I can safely say that 80% of my time was spent taking care of them and their needs.

I love them to bits. Harley has finally becoming accustomed to me and she lets me pet her. She won’t do that with everyone just yet. Bentley, on the other hand, is a darling. He lets everyone pet him. And we all love him for it.

But all of this has made me realize: if I ever move out again and live on my own, I don’t think I could get a cat as a pet. As much as they are clean and only poop and pee in their litter box and you don’t always have to feed them or walk them, the kind of cats I would want are like Harley and Bentley. I want them loving. And that comes with a cost.

Because I need to be able to feel alone to write. I can’t be bothered or distracted and I am so easily distracted. If I live alone again, I have to make it so that I’m always first priority. I have to take care of my health and if I had a cat, I’d have to make sure s/he was okay first. That’s just how I am. That’s how pet owners should be, I think.

Had I been normal — well, not HIV positive with prior complications — it would have been a non-issue. But I’m not. And I know they are adorable and they can give me so much joy and they can help relieve stress but they can also be a source of stress.

I really can’t and shouldn’t have to take care of other people first. I have to get my own shit together first and foremost.

Here, in this house, I don’t have many responsibilities. So giving up my week for these two little kittens is not a problem. But in the future, it will be. I can see it. And I’m learning.

I’m learning to take care of myself and what I need.

Here’s another thing I learned, living with cats.

and sometimes, they both can just fall asleep and look like angels… with fangs and claws

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