An Apology Letter to Every Pet I’ve Ever Owned
I have dreamed of having a cat for literally seven years. I’ve talked about it to all my friends and acquaintances, describing the cat’s appearance (orange), name (Clementine), and demeanor (“Y’know, she’s a cat right, but she’s also really playful, almost like a dog.”). This imaginary cat and I would lounge on the couch together. She would keep me company on all the evenings I decided not to go out with friends. Basically our life together would be every Purina Cat Chow commercial of a single lady and her cat/best friend(/only friend?).
I recently told someone about Clementine. I carefully described how her fur would be an orangey-peach color and that I would buy her a color with a tiny bell on in it in the shape of a tiny Clementine. As I was going into the back-story of my idealized cat’s parents’ history that I had created so long ago, I was interrupted.
“Why don’t you just get the cat already?”
I was taken aback at first by this girl’s audacity to assume that all I had to do was go out and get this perfect cat I had dreamed up in my head so long ago. But as soon as my indignation faded, the illusion of my fictitious seven-year cat-ownership fantasy shattered. That is exactly what I was supposed to do.
So, I have made the decision (after seven years of deliberation) that in a few months I will move into a pet friendly apartment and finally adopt a Clementine, because damnit, I’m an adult and I can.
But I realized that before I finally take the plunge into becoming the cat lady of my dreams, there are some pet sins for which I must first atone. So, I present to you a short apology letter to every pet I have ever owned.
Dear Blue and Yellow:
I’m sorry I never properly cleaned out your birdcage and when my father threatened to send you “into the wild” when I never remembered to refill your water, I really do regret secretly wishing he would just go ahead and do it. Additionally, I really feel horrible for dressing you up in Barbie clothes and making you sit in the Barbie Corvette while I snapped pictures of you two like you were little parakeet models. Also, your names were clearly a result of lazy parenting, even for a five-year-old.
I am sorry I never picked up your dog poop out of the back yard like I promised my parents I would so they would let me keep you. I also regret putting big sunglasses on you and tying a scarf over your ears and then insisting everyone called you Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, further confusing you as to what your actual name was. You were a great dog and never deserved any of that.
I wholeheartedly apologize for buying you only because I my other roommates were buying baby hamsters and I didn’t want to feel left out. I am really sorry that once you grew up into an adult-sized hamster and started standing up on your hind legs and hissing at me every time I approached your cage I started feeling resentment towards you. I know I should have tried to work it out between us. Lastly, I may never forgive myself for donating you to a daycare class. I’m sure those children were just as terrified of you as I was. Sorry, kids.
I am preemptively apologizing to you for dressing you up in adorable outfits and posting pictures of it on Facebook. I am sorry I will probably sing top 40 songs to you, periodically incorporating your name into the lyrics. I am also sorry I will attempt to walk you outside on a leash because I may secretly wish you were actually a dog. Who am I kidding, I think you will really enjoy these experiences as much as I will. I can’t wait to meet you!
Image from http://www.humor-articles.com/dressed-up-pets/