Miles: My First Pet That is Actually Mine


One dog,  nine fish, three newts, two toads, three rabbits, one hamster, five cats… these are all pets I’ve had at one time or another while growing up. How long do you think I lasted in Colorado without a furry companion? Not even one month.

Even though my boyfriend never considered himself a cat person, we had talked about getting a cat in Colorado before we left Wisconsin. We even had a name picked out: Miles. No, not because we were moving miles and miles away from home, but because we met at our university’s half naked mile run. I know, how romantic.

By mid September I couldn’t wait any longer; I needed something to keep me company while the bf was at class. So I started looking at the cats available on the local humane society’s website. When we finally decided to go to Larimer Humane Society and meet with a few kittens, I felt like a kid at a pet store (which in my opinion is better than a candy store).

We played with two kittens that seemed cute and cuddly online, but neither of them were “the one.” I was told we could only take one more kitten into a visitation room that day, so I knew I had to choose wisely. In the main entrance there was a large cage holding three kitten siblings, so I headed over to pick one out. I was disappointed to see that only one kitten was in the cage at that time, but I decided to visit with her anyway. The three month old kitten was all grey and named Tic-Tac. As soon as I picked her up she started purring. When we brought her into the visitation room, instead of hiding in the corner she was playful and incredibly friendly. A few forms and 20 minutes later she was in a box on the way to our apartment.

As a kitten Miles was a shoulder cat. She made me feel like a pirate, which was fun.

To my boyfriend, getting a cat was a big deal. In his entire existence, he’s only had one pet: a black lab named Lightning. Crazy, right? But to me it was almost like a trip to the grocery store. It wasn’t until we had Miles at our apartment that it sank in. This is my cat. Not my cat that technically belongs to my parents. Not my cat that I can leave and return to visit every now and then. This is my cat that will I will own into my 30s, barring any unfortunate events.

I’m not going to lie, this kind of freaked me out. The fact that I would still have this cat at the age of 35 made me nervous. What would I be doing then? Would I have kids? Would my cat like my kids? I was also a little uneasy about always having to find someone to watch our cat if my boyfriend and I wanted to go anywhere. Yeah, she’s a cat, but if we left her alone she’d have a spaz attack and probably ruin the apartment. Goodbye future travel plans.  Maybe it was my unemployment hormones acting up, or maybe I have commitment issues. Either way I was feeling uncertain about the latest addition to our family.

Now that we’ve had Miles for almost a year, I’m feeling much better about our decision to adopt a kitten. At the ripe old age of one, she’s calmed down to the point where I feel like I can leave her alone and not come back to a destroyed apartment. If the bf and I want to be gone for longer than a day, we have an awesome neighbor who will take her in. Although she can be annoying and has destroyed her fair share of toilet paper roles, life would be much different without Miles.

Miles corrects papers for my boyfriend. She is very intelligent!

If not for Miles, my boyfriend and I wouldn’t have perfected our imitating meows, we wouldn’t have come up with a voice to do impressions of a cat, and we wouldn’t argue over who this cat was agreeing with when she meowed during pauses in conversations. In other words, we wouldn’t be crazy pet owners. But we also wouldn’t have as much fun. So if Miles is still around when I’m in my 30s, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Just don’t play Scrabble with Miles. She cheats!


3 thoughts on “Miles: My First Pet That is Actually Mine

  1. I love how Miles corrects papers. Maybe she can help me correct my student’s papers this year also! She’s quite the cat!! 🙂 mom

  2. Pingback: The ups and downs of life as a transplant | Life on a Branch

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