(approximately) six years ago today, a not-so-tiny ragdoll beneath the house of a friend living near me in Abbeville, Louisiana, USA. it was shortly after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. she knew I had been wanting a cat. and he appeared.
he was nervous, frightened, and defensive. but then I held him. and immediately, he calmed. he began purring. and I knew I had found my child.
it’s been a long six years for me. numerous moves, two different boyfriends, jail time and a DUI, several hospital visits, many jobs, and an uncountable amount of medication and doctor bills. I’ve considered suicide a few times over the years. I’ve considered uprooting and just driving away to nowhere.
but he prevents that. I couldn’t leave him. and I have to support him. I have to provide for him. I can’t properly love him if I’m not alive.
he’s been through a lot with me. emotional and physical abuse, drunken nights of stupor, a really bad break up, despair, depression, manias, panic attacks, restless nights, sleepy days, anhedonia, addictions, self-injury, tears, starvation.
but he’s also been there when I’m laughing, when I’m cuddling with him, throwing him in the air, giving him tuna, showing him off to friends, taking photos and videos of him, people asking about visiting him. his purrs, his shedding, even his hairballs — they all keep me going.
I know plenty of people who tell me having a cat is nothing like having a human child. I don’t really care. because Zero is sufficient. Zero is perfect. and Zero is my baby, my reason for waking up every morning.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZERO!!