Last month, we went shopping for a dining room table and came home with a cat.
Yes. A cat.
After moving in together, Stephanie and I needed a table. And thus the Great Table Quest was born. I had no idea shopping for a table could be so stressful. You would have thought we were searching for an organ donor.
Stephanie really wanted a table she found at IKEA. Or rather, she really wanted the green chairs that came with the table. The table itself could have been cut in the shape of Dan Quayle’s head and I doubt she would have cared (so long as the table was the ‘right color‘).
“But the chairs!” she cried as she ran her hand over the
faux real leather covered metal frame, caressing it like it was a thoroughbred horse. “They are amazing.”
At $150 a pop, the chairs weren’t exactly doing it for me. “For the price of four chairs, we could get a table and chairs somewhere else.”
Stephanie just stared at me with saucer-sized eyes and ran her hands up and down the green chairs. “…Amazing…” she whispered, over and over. “…Amazing…”
A week later, after our 135th table-shopping stop of the day (Lansing is not hurting for table stores), Stephanie said, “We’re not far from the Capital Area Humane Society. Can we go pet kitties? I need some kitty therapy.”
We were in the humane society for three seconds before Stephanie had a cat in her arms. He was an orange domestic long haired fellow. I knew from the look in Stephanie’s eyes, there was no way he wasn’t coming home with us. Stephanie grew up with scores of cats, so she has wanted to adopt one for awhile (especially since her degu, Cosmo, went on to his reward this summer¹).
Papers were signed. Money changed hands. A confused cat was stuffed in a carrier. Before I knew it, we were ‘cat parents’².
We kept his name, Nigel, because we both liked it—and I saw it as some kind of sign. “We have to name him Nigel Tufnel Hogan,” I told Stephanie. “This is non-negotiable.”
After a quick trip to YouTube and a few clips from This is Spinal Tap later, Stephanie agreed.³
Nigel and I have become rather close, to the point where I think Stephanie might be a bit jealous.
“Why does he like you so much?” she asked as Nigel purred in my lap.
“We’re both guys. We’re bros. We have an understanding.”
Stephanie shook her head. I added: “…I’m also the one who feeds him.”
I am endlessly amused by Nigel and his weird cat behavior: sleeping for ten hours, stalking us or his toys, exploring bags, filling boxes with his liquid-like form, and so on—as my friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter read about on a nearly hourly basis. He even inspired a comic strip.
I was going on and on about Nigel to my family recently, and my sister, the mother of a toddler, said: “For the love of…JUST HAVE A BABY ALREADY!”
¹ Which shook us both pretty hard, as he wasn’t even a year old. He was the nearest I had to a pet in a long time. He was fine one day, sick the next, and gone on the third (the morning we were going to take him to a vet).
² I feel weird saying ‘owner.’
³ Which also means she passed the ever important ‘Spinal Tap Relationship Test.’