I’ve been a cat person my whole life. I never had a desire to get a dog, I didn’t even like dogs. In fact, I used to be pretty afraid of dogs. One of the first dogs I ever encountered in life lived at my grandparents’ house and had been my mom’s family pet. His name was Coffee, and he didn’t like kids. No worries, I didn’t like him much either. Although I did find it amusing when he once had diarrhea in the house and made a poop shaped like a tuna can. Apologies to everyone else who really loved him.
Anyway, I’m convinced that I didn’t like dogs for the majority of my life because of my early experiences with Coffee. But I LOVED my cats. One of them used to sleep in my crib when I was a baby, and I have early memories of waking up early with my sister, stealing bagels from the freezer, and letting our cats lick them along with us as we watched TV in the basement.
I also have great memories of the current family cats. After being away from them and my home for so long, I had big plans to get a little kitty of my own. But then my boyfriend, David, started talking about dogs. Oh no. And we babysat a devilish cat that bit our faces when we were trying to sleep. And David’s family members started giving me cards with dogs on them for every holiday and occasion for at least a year.
And then I agreed to get a dog. I’m so lucky it turned out to be Stella! But the first time I visited Muffin (my true love), Mango, and Greasey (meh) after spending so much time with Stella, seeing them again was totally jarring.
I ran into the house and up the stairs to find my beloved Muffin, but I stopped short when I saw her. I stared at her for a few seconds as she looked back at me before I screamed, “What did you do to Muffin?” No one had any idea what I was talking about. “Muffin’s head,” I yelled, “her head is smaller, and her ears!”
Everyone asserts that the cats are exactly the same as they’ve always been. And they do have the same personalities. But every time I’ve seen them since, my first reaction is that they have such tiny ears. The most likely theory about their change is one that I like to call the Stella effect. Because Stella’s head is so much bigger than theirs, especially her nose and ears, it’s possible that the cats just look abnormally small by comparison. Strangely, other people’s cats still look totally normal.
Still, perception is reality, and it’s amazing how quickly my perspective has changed.