May 9th, 2012

Care

Having Evan the kitten at home for the past few months has made me thing about things in strange ways. I think it’s because my partner and I are solely responsible for this little being and if we neglect our responsibilities long enough or severely enough, he could perish. Just like that, no more Evan, because we forgot to feed him (that could never happen) or let him out on the balcony where there’s a slot available for a small kitten to hurl himself 9 stories (that could happen, because he’s fast and slippery, and I worry about it all the time), or some other horror I don’t even want to think about. For the first time in my life, I am responsible for the well-being of another creature in the long-term. It’s one thing to baby/catsit for a little while–it’s easy to be hyper-vigilant for a brief intense period.

I know this is not like parenthood or any type of human care–he’s a cat, and fairly autonomous, and a *cat*, but it does make me think about kids in the world and how not everyone has someone to take care of them and make sure they don’t chew on the fan cord or bite paint of the door hinge and then eat it.

So I’m really trying with my new tiny set of responsibilies. Tiny, because really, caring for a kitten isn’t so arduous, unless that kitten likes to roll around in the bathtub right after someone has taken a shower, until he’s nice and wet, and then go in the litter box…only to emerge with litter stuck all over him and run through the house leaving a little trail and then settle on the bed right when Rebecca is trying to leave the house.

I would, of course, have liked to simply continue out the door and get where I was going on time, but that meant Evan would eventually have to groom the litter out of his fur, thus consuming quite a bit of it and making himself sick. So I picked him up and put him in the sink to wash him off. As he squirmed and bit me, I told him, “This is what happens when you get really dirty; someone puts you in the sink to clean you off.”

And then I was overwhelmed by a wave of sadness, because not even every child–let alone every cat–has someone to put him or her in the sink in times of dirtiness.

It’s a funny thing about care–it’s extrapolatable. Caring for Evan has, in a tiny way, showed me how it works, and doesn’t. Even when he loses his ball and looks at my wide-eyed until I move the chair and find it for him, it’s kind of a jolt–without me, that ball would be gone for good and Evan the sadder for it.

I’m not sure what this post is really about–put your loved ones in the sink and wash them? But it’s an interesting phenomenon, anyway–what’s a blog for if not sharing random thoughts?

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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