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I got my cat Nyx in February of 2019. When we got to the animal shelter, I didn’t have any specific cat in mind, only that I wanted one. I’d grown up with cats, and only fell deeper in love with them when I volunteered at a (different) animal shelter. I’d begged my parents for years, and they finally decided to let me get one, so I was beyond ecstatic. We tried a couple of places before arriving at the SPCA, I hadn’t connected with any of the cats yet and I was really hoping this trip would be a win.

I walked into one of the rooms at the SPCA and sat down to let the cats get used to my presence before I tried to touch any of them. Immediately, Nyx came over and sat directly on my lap. Within seconds she was purring and drooling on my jeans. It was love at first sight, you could say, and I decided I wanted her within five minutes of seeing her.

Fifteen minutes later we were driving home with a three-year-old American Shorthair who would grow to be a general nuisance to the wildlife surrounding our house and my best friend during a turbulent time in my life.

Two years and a few pounds later, she’s still the best decision I’ve ever made, here’s why;

Cats are affectionate no matter what anyone says. 

People who think cats just ignore you have never interacted with a cat in any meaningful way. Cats aren’t like dogs because cats don’t love everyone but the people they do love, they really love. Nyx’s circle includes my dad (who she lives with) and me. She will cuddle up on our laps, lay next to us while we work and meow like crazy the second she isn’t getting attention. There’s no doubt that she loves us, especially when I come home for the first time in a month, and she follows me around until I leave again. Cuddling up next to a cat at night is also one of the best feelings in the world.

I always have something to do. 

Cats are great because they’re the perfect procrastination excuses. Don’t want to write an essay? Play with your cat. Bored? Play with your cat. Tired? Play with your cat. Nyx always wants to play, no matter what. She can go for hours, I would know.

She’s been with me through some stuff. 

My parents had been nearly ready to divorce for the last four years before I got Nyx. That year, 2019, everything came to a head. I turned eighteen and they decided it was finally time to split. That December my dad moved back into our old house in Clearwater (we’d been renting it out) and they started the process of ripping the fraying threads of my tiny family apart. As an only child with no cousins close to my age, I felt very alone throughout the whole thing. The pressure to help my parents through this while attempting to keep my sanity and mental health intact was enormous. Add to that that I’d just gotten into a new relationship as a thirty-year one was breaking apart and you can imagine my nightmare

Nyx was…well it sounds corny, but there were a lot of times where I swore, I needed that cat to ground me. A creature that would love me unconditionally and demand only food and attention. Someone I could talk to, and hold close, who wouldn’t share the details of their marriage with me. And, in the time where I felt like I had nothing, Nyx was mine. She was on my side, as stupid as that sounds.

If you’re thinking about getting a cat, I say do it. They’re a lot easier to take care of than dogs (they don’t require walks) and the personalized companionship you’ll get from them is priceless.

I am a College sophomore, majoring in history and creative writing. I love to write both creative and nonfiction pieces. I'm interested in social justice, feminism, and queer history.
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