I decided to doodlewash a cat for the first time today, since I think I still have Halloween on the brain and they are always a star player. I was going to try a black one, but opted for a gray tabby I’ve seen around the neighborhood instead. Wasn’t sure how to handle all the hair and whiskers, so I just whisked some white gouache on it at the the end.
Growing up and all through adulthood, I’ve only ever had dogs. It wasn’t until I was grown that I realized I had a mild allergy to cats, so this worked out well. I think cats are beautiful, but prefer the ones that are social and act more like dogs. The aloof cats confound me as they seem more like a pet “prop” rather than actual companions. The tabby doodlewashed here roams the neighborhood and I’ve never seen where it lives and am only assuming it has a home, because it’s hard to tell with cats sometimes.
I remember visiting a couple a few years back and when I sat down and they handed me a drink, their cat jumped up on my lap. I screamed loudly. Not because the appearance was so sudden, but because this particular cat was completely hairless and ancient. They just smiled and said, “That’s our little baby” and I tried disparately to pass it off as simply a case of being startled while trying very hard to remove the look of disgust and horror from my face.
I learned that this cat was over 26 years old and that the lack of hair was on purpose. Apparently it was a Sphinx and they had been giving it better care than most children. But seeing a bald cat for the first time is still a little disconcerting and takes some getting used to. As it turns out, even without the hair, these cats are not hypoallergenic so it was a relatively short evening.
On a visit to another cat house (oh wait… house with cats in it, not the other kind), I was shocked once again to find this couple had trained their cat to use the toilet. Admittedly, this sounds awesome, as the smell of kitty litter in a house can usually be detected from the driveway by people like me who don’t live with cats daily. But when you walk in on a cat doing his business on the toilet you were hoping to use, it’s more than a little disturbing. Admittedly, I should have knocked, but they really should have thought to train Whiskers to lock the door behind him first.
I finally met my first dog-like cat soon after that and I was immediately in love. The cat was a yellow tabby and so ridiculously cute that you immediately wanted to cuddle up next to it. And that’s exactly what it wanted to, so allergies be damned I did, and it was totally worth the itching and sneezing. This cat was my new best friend for the night.
Though I don’t think I’ll ever own a cat, as I still prefer dogs and dislike sneezing, I find them fascinating creatures. There’s sort of an ancient wisdom in their eyes and secrets they will probably never reveal to you. And that makes them pretty cool. There’s such a range of types and personalities with cats that I’m sure there’s always a cat for any non-allergic person to enjoy. Even if they prefer to use your toilet over a litter box or are made entirely out of skin. Which admittedly… still sort of creeps me out.