I have to confess. I once had an aversion to cats.
Along with an occasional hamster or bird, dogs were the preferred pet during my girlhood. I loved animals, but I had no affection reserved for felines. Whatsoever.
Displayed on TV shows and movies, cats were portrayed as the rudest and prissiest animals, which revealed a demeanor that I loathed; an onscreen “meow” would immediately receive a scoff from me. More specifically, I did not understand how kitties made delightful companions for humans, and I decided I could never have one as a pet. I figured I would forever be “a puppy and a guinea pig chick.”
A couple of years ago, that loathing changed.
No, it wasn’t the feline phenomenon on YouTube, and it had nothing to do with any cat memes. It was more or less out of the blue. Literally.
One day, while outside, I observed the behavior of a few feral kitties that were scattered about—sprawled in the grass, relishing in laziness, maintaining their coats with the best brush they’ll ever know—the tongue.
One of the cats slowly approached me. It uttered a purr, and without hesitation, I surprised myself by giving the cat a warm welcome; I named the cat Part II, after the noticeable split in her coat pattern.
It was at that time that I slowly began to realize that, hey, kitties weren’t that bad after all.
To this day, I believe that it was the physical exposure that changed my perception of cats. Being in contact via media was not enough to develop a wholesome opinion of felines. Part II’s visit purged an interest in cats, by simply being present in my reality. That interest in the cat (and other kitties) would only grow.