Saturday, July 12, 2008


I was once told by a guy I was dating that the really interesting girls like cats. I’m definitely a dog person. But anyway, even though the guy who told me this wasn’t exactly Mr. Fascinating himself, as I’d always fancied myself to be at least a moderately interesting woman, I was bothered by his comment. Mostly because I felt that he was implying that I was uninteresting.

Actually, since he made that comment, I found that I was constantly stopping myself in the middle of my recounting of personal anecdotes. I became self-conscious that I was boring the listener. Inevitably when I would comment about how this story must be a bit boring and sorry for going on for so long, the listener would take great pains to assure me that, no, they were really interested and to please keep going. But by then the momentum was lost and who are we kidding, no story about laundry mishaps can really be that interesting anyway. So it was really like a curse. I became the girl who stopped short of the punch line. Which, if there never is a punch line, means that you tell pretty dull stories.

I stopped getting invitations to parties. I found myself sitting at home alone every night - paralyzed by a combination of social phobia and extreme unpopularity. I had no energy. I thought about putting a profile online to try to get a date, but felt like it was too big of an effort.

One Sunday afternoon I was lying in bed and got a call from my mother who was concerned about me and told me I couldn’t stay all alone like that in my apartment anymore and that I was only twenty-seven and that I should be out there meeting people and having fun. She said she was coming over with a surprise.

The surprise was Yoni the cat. Yoni had come from the Orthodox Jewish family who lived beside my mother and who was making Aliyah and couldn’t take Yoni with. My mother told me that Yoni needed very little care and that I just needed to feed him once a day, change his water and scoop the cat litter whenever it became smelly.

Yoni liked twist ties. It was kind of crazy how he could spend the whole day batting around a stupid twist tie and never get bored. I brought some twist ties into my bedroom and put them on the floor beside my bed so that I could watch him bat them around while I was lying down. At some point I got the idea that maybe Yoni would like to play with some string, so I found a ball of yarn and watched as Yoni played with it and nearly got himself completely wound up in a mess of blue yarn. Yoni also loved to play with boxes. One time he got his head stuck in one of my Lean Cuisine frozen TV meal boxes and he looked so funny wandering around the kitchen and bumping into things. But most of the time, Yoni just wandered around the apartment or gazed out the window thinking his own cat thoughts.

This is what I tell Mark, who is sitting across from me at the coffee shop. U of T law grad. Setup by my mother.

"Wow," breathed Mark. "Cats are such interesting and mysterious animals."

He said this while looking deep into my eyes, as though he was trying to unlock a door into my soul.


Post a Comment

<< Home