Listen, Cat: I’m Not the Out-Of-Control Infant You Once Knew

Psst, Cat. Down here. On the playmat.

Okay, I can see you’re still mad at me. And I get it.

Look, I know I’ve made mistakes in the past. The kicking. The jabbing. The grabbing. I was a real loose cannon there for a while.

But, Cat, I want you to know that the person who lashed out like that? That person wasn’t me. That’s not who I am.

Just come down here so I can explain.

Listen, Cat. Truth is, I was dealing with a lot of stuff back then. Insomnia. Mood swings. Rage. I started hitting the bottle pretty hard, too. First thing I reached for when I woke up. Last thing in my mouth before bed. And I’m not proud of this, but months one to twelve are pretty much a blur.

Not an excuse, I know. Just trying to give you context.

But there’s something you should know, Cat. I’ve been working on myself. It took forever to climb out of that dark place. But I did it. I’m a toddler now. Cleaned up my act. Eating solid foods now. Napping on the reg’. That’s life for you. People grow. About two-four ounces per week, they say.

And look, I’m not going to sit down here at my push-and-go walker wagon and tell you I’m a perfect person. Because I’m not. My playpen’s a mess. My prefrontal cortex is basically nonexistent. And I still shit myself daily. So, yeah—there’s room to improve.

But listen to me, Cat. Growth isn’t an event, it’s a process. It’s about waking up and choosing to become better every single day. And when I woke up this morning, I swear to you, I made the conscious choice to not feast on fistfuls of your beautiful fur and then giggle in your face like an adorable little psycho because I find your discomfort amusing. Because that’s not who I am. Anymore.

C’mon cat. I can see you’re interested. I promise you—a little curiosity never killed anyone. There you go. That one incredibly wary step towards me means a lot.

I get it, Cat. Forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It’s hard to learn to trust again after you’ve been burnt. Not literally, thank God. I didn’t have the proper tools. But figuratively, I reduced you to ashes many times over and for that I am literally not figuratively down on my hands and knees, begging for forgiveness. My behavior was wrong, it was hurtful and, quite frankly, it was infantile.

But I swear I’m not that person anymore. And if you don’t believe me, well, I guess all I can say is go consult the child development chart hanging on the nursery wall and see for yourself.

And so Cat, can’t you see we’ve got to find a way forward? Because what’s the alternative? That for the next seventeen years we just sit here in this living room and act like we don’t know each other? Me down here babbling to insensate plastic toys and you up in your tower obsessing over a fly on the wall that barely even knows you exist?

We’re family, Cat. That’s not an option. We have to move past the hurt and start to heal. And that means you have to hesitantly tiptoe to within arm’s reach of me, so we can start that process.

Good kitty. Nice and stealthy. Nobody’s watching.

Cat, do you remember when I first got here, and you cuddled with me in my bassinet while I was sleeping? Well, Mama and Dada snapped a photo of that moment for Instagram and it was by far the most popular thing they’d ever posted.

We did that, Cat. Together. You and me.

And so I’m asking you to just be real with me for a second and answer one question: How do we get back to that place, Cat? The place that existed before all the grabbing and the hissing, the turf struggles and resentment?

That’s a good kitty. Just one more tentative step. I swear to God, Cat, I’m putting in the work this time. You won’t regret this. You won’t regret giving me another chance, you won’t regret nestling up next to me, and you definitely won’t regret that you are, without a doubt… the dumbest and most gullible son of a bitch ever born.

Got your tail sucker!

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