Appreciating Two Very Good Boys

I want to take a break from my usual topics to talk about two guys who are very special to me: my cats, Bright and Marmalade.

My wife and I have always wanted pets. We both love animals of all kinds; we would have been happy with a dog or a cat. Unfortunately, for the first several years that we lived together, we couldn’t have any animals–none of the apartments we lived in allowed them. Finally, last year, we moved somewhere that let us get some pets. We decided that while we both loved dogs, cats were a bit easier to take care of. We were both working jobs that required us to be out of the house a lot, so we weren’t sure we could give a dog the attention it needed. But cats? Cats pretty much take care of themselves.

Last November, we started going to the nearby animal shelter to visit with the cats there. There were lots of wonderful kitties, but there was one who stood out to me. He was a sweet little guy, and each time we went, he would immediately crawl up into my lap for cuddles. He would then try to climb up me and chill out on my shoulders or head; once, I was standing and he tried to leap off a window ledge onto my shoulders. It didn’t quite work out, but in his defense, it was a solid jump and he didn’t freak out and claw me on his way down.

At any rate, we started calling him Climby Boy (very clever, I know). After our first few visits, I would tell myself that Climby Boy was a bad choice–I had a lot of model kits on display, and a cat that jumpy was sure to hop up on my shelves and knock them over. But… he was just so darn sweet and affectionate.

On our third visit, we decided it was time to adopt, and I gave in. I knew we had to get Climby Boy. His name, as it turned out, was Ringo, but we changed it when we adopted him. Because he seemed particularly affectionate toward me, I got to name him. I elected to name him after one of my favorite Gundam characters, and thus, Bright Noa became part of our family.

He’s a big sweetie. He’s a very chill cat; currently, he can often be found napping on the thick, cushy blanket my mother made me for Christmas a few years ago. He loves how soft and warm it is. He does still love to climb, though–it’s not unusual to see him leaping to the top of our cabinets or trying to covertly make his way to the top of one of our bookcases.

On that final visit, we decided that we couldn’t bear to only have one cat. We needed two. That way, we figured, they could play with each other and keep each other company while Caitlin and I were at work. Bright was an easy choice; the question then was which other cat to pick. All of the cats at the shelter were lovely and deserving.

With some difficulty, we narrowed it down to three options… and as we sat there discussing it, Bright walked over to one of our potential picks, gave him a few licks and nuzzles, and flopped over to snuggle him. The two clearly got along beautifully, and that made our choice for us. We simply had to get this beautiful, flopsy orange kitty that Bright was so fond of. His name was Arty, but Caitlin rechristened him Sir Marmalade V.

Marmalade–though seemingly quite relaxed at the shelter–turned out to be a bit of a handful when we got him home. He’s rather fond of getting up on tables and messing with things he shouldn’t, as well as eating basically anything he can get his teeth on. Still, we love him dearly. It’s easy to tell that he loves us, too: the Post-Breakfast Marmalade Cuddle has become a staple of our household, as this guy can’t let a morning pass by without hopping up on our laps for snuggles and belly rubs.

Having pets has been such a huge boon to my mental health. I honestly can’t count the number of times that I’ve been feeling down only to be cheered by Bright hopping up on my lap and purring softly, or Marmalade flopping over beside me to keep me company while I work. They are a lovely pair of cats, and I can’t imagine how we went so long without them.

Oh, and also? They love each other very much and it’s extremely adorable.

So, that’s the story of my two best buds. Do you have pets? Tell me about them!

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