On day 20 of the Almost Famous Writer advent calendar (we’re nearly there guys!!!), it’s time for some much needed reflection one year with Ziggy.
In late November 2017 we went to the cat shelter and brought home a little white fluffy kitten with ginger spots on his ears and his tail: Ziggy. That first day he was super shy, and only after several hours and many seduction tactics involving kitty snacks and toys did he dare to come out of his little travel case. He then embarked on a journey full of exploration and bewilderment in our living room, before falling asleep on our couch.
That is day is now more than one year ago (!!!) and oh how time flies when you share your house with a cat. To celebrate our one year anniversary with Ziggy in our lives, I thought it was a good opportunity to look back on the past twelve months and discuss some of the highs (the cuteness, the fluffiness and the cuddles) and the lows (RIP baby blue couch).
So let’s start with the highs. Over the past year Merlijn and I have both completely fallen in love with Ziggy and we’re still so so glad we got him. He brings me so much joy every day. When I wake up early in the morning to go to work, he’s there to greet me with cuddles and miauws to seduce me into giving him his breakfast. But as soon he’s done eating that (in well under 2 minutes) he joins me on the couch when I’m having my breakfast so he can snooze a bit more on my lap – and sneakily steal some of my breakfast cereals, obviously.
Ziggy’s there in the mornings, but also in the evenings when I get back from work or school he’s there to greet me. The first thing he does when I get home is dramatically fall to the floor in the middle of the hallway and put his fluffy belly up so I can pet it. If I refuse this subtle request, because sometimes I just want to put some stuff I’ve been carrying down, he’ll just follow me around the house until he gets his cuddle. He’s a demanding little cat, that one.
But (thank God) Ziggy is also a real cuddly cat, which I’m so so glad about. When we decided we wanted to adopt a cat from the shelter, I really really wanted to get a cat that wanted to cuddle. I could just picture myself on the couch with a book or watching Netflix, with a fluffy cat on my lap and Merlijn besides me commenting on whatever’s on TV. Even though Ziggy was very shy at first and he really needed a lot of time to adjust to his new home, he is now a true cuddle cat and if it were up to him, he would be cuddling with us all day every day.
Unfortunately that isn’t always possible because Merlijn and I have lives to live, snacks to eat and things do, but at night when we’re both done with work and school, it’s Ziggy’s (and my) highlight of the day when Merlijn and I sit down on the couch to watch House of Cards and Ziggy is sleeping on soft blankets and pillows between us. Or on top of Merlijn, who quite undeniably is his favourite. I also don’t know why.
So those are the absolute highs of having a cat: Ziggy is such good company, he makes us laugh so much and he’s just great to cuddle with on those mornings you really really want to go back to bed. But unfortunately having a cat isn’t all fluffy goodness and Instagram-worthy cuteness (I do have a Ziggy highlight on my Instagram, should you be interested. 10/10 would recommend).
I think the deepest low of having Ziggy would be that we had to throw away our brand-new couch. My beautiful baby blue IKEA couch of dreams that we were able to buy because my family and friends got me so many gift cards for my birthday and university graduation. That couch really was my graduation present and I was so so happy with that couch. It made me feel so grown up and sophisticated to have such a beautiful couch in first apartment together. I know that it’s just a thing and things aren’t everything, but this couch did mean a lot to me and it did hurt when we had to throw it away.
Ziggy had completely ruined the couch, beyond repair and beyond professional cleaning – believe me when I say we tried every single trick in the book. We couldn’t even donate the couch or bring it to a secondhand shop, it was that far gone. So we had to break it apart and throw it away, piece by piece of that beautiful baby blue goodness. The next two weeks we spent on our garden chairs in the middle of the living room, which was fun at first, but after a couple of days it really wasn’t. We now have a new couch, a secondhand one that only cost 30 euros (BARGAIN) and it’s very light purple so in some lights it looks just like baby blue. A secondhand one this time, just in case Ziggy, or Baby Satan, as we called him at this point, would have intentions to ruin another couch, he at least wouldn’t ruin a fortune.
We also made some very necessary restriction of access arrangements with Ziggy, so now he can’t be in the living room or the bedroom without us being there. So at night he sleeps in the hallway, which I felt so bad about at first, because I know how much he loves to be with us. But it was really necessary and now he’s gotten used to it. Now that he’s happy with his nightly solitude and we’re happy with our purple couch, it’s all good.
So that’s a year with Ziggy condensed into one smoll article, with both the highs and lows of having a cat. What can you expect from tomorrow’s article, you ask? Well, here’s a hint: arts and crafts.