Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On Being Domesticated

"You realize that this is partially your fault?"

Lily looks up briefly from the task at hand, licking the soft fur on her not insubstantial belly. She looks like a cross-eyed walrus. Jake ignores the question altogether and keeps on munching on the leaves of my African Violet, a plant that everyone swore that cats won't bother. The problem is that that cat is 3/4 goat.

I've always had a pretty strong homing instinct. Not a homebody by any stretch of the imagination, but someone who has been looking for a place to nest for most of her adult life. I've never been in denial about this.

I love hearing tales about cross country moves and multinational adventures, but the just thought of doing it myself makes me exhausted. As a friend told me today...I've owned cats since my mid-20's, and anyone that is willing to make that kind of commitment at 24 is looking to build a home. (Have you ever tried driving with a cat in the car? Cats are not for the nomadic). But not necessarily a home based on rings and kids and a house in the suburbs. More like any space with a partner and a relationship based on love, mutual growth, security and respect. In whatever form that takes.

To that extent, I've never been an adventure dater. I've had more than my fair share of hook-ups and one-night-stands, but in the last ten years I can count on one hand the men that I've dated that have only lasted a date or two. Even in throes of the honeymoon phase of my significant relationships, I'm always thinking about whether this one is capable of nesting, whether he's worth nesting with. Until recently, I thought that I was a pretty quick read on men that wouldn't be a good match for me. I am who I am, and there is no sense in fighting that.

I think this nesting instinct is what has set me up for such a hard fall this time. I've spent ten years getting to this point. I can picture very clearly in my head what I want my life to look like, but in reality that picture may as well be sitting on the moon.

I'm never going to stop learning and growing and trying new things (My goal is always one new, significant thing every year. Last year was learning to ski. This year I made it to the top of a 14er.) But when is all said and done, I want someone to do it with. I'm not unlike the cats in that way. I'm sure they (ok, one of them) could survive on their own, it just makes more sense to have someone else there.

Lily, in an attempt to get to that last obscure location on her tubby tummy, has rolled herself right off the bed and lands on the floor with a surprised squawk. She resembles a furry clown car as she waddles away to check her food dish for the 235th time. Jake is alternating licking his butt and licking my heart rate monitor strap, my punishment for not putting it away earlier. I tell him to stop, and he just looks at me like, "Or what?"

I can't make fun of them too much. Right now, I need them as much as they need me.


Heidi Swift said...

Super sweet post, Linds.

K-Man said...

I heart the catz. Jake is such a puss- the orange butt licker that he is. And of course, who can't forget Lily who always hides.

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