“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another,
may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
― Ernest Hemingway
This is Vuxi.
Vuxi and I first touched base when I settled down into my first Airbnb room in Bucharest, Romania, in early April 2017. I was travelling in China before this, and had flown from Beijing to Bucharest. The flight was long, and coupled with a heavily delayed LOT connecting flight from Warsaw to Bucharest – I was certainly not in the best shape. However, upon successfully finding my Airbnb address despite the intimidating environment in Bucharest airport, I was pretty much happy. I was met with an extremely warm welcome in the form of excited dog barks (courtesy of Vuxi’s 2 sisters) and for a few moments had completely forgotten about how fatigued I was. I knew I came to the right house with those barks. See, I particularly chose this Airbnb listing for its furry occupants because I needed some raw, positive energy – and of course, some cuddles from time to time.
I wanted to know how it felt like to live with dogs, because I’ve always wanted them, and would still perhaps do so in the near future. However, what seemed like the perfect time to accustom myself to living with dogs – turned out, instead, to be an experience that taught me a thing or two about my relationship with -not dogs- but cats.
See, from the very first moment I stepped into my cosy room, Vuxi was very quick to establish his dominance over my room, or rather, the entire house. From that point onwards, I knew he was one sassy, 6-month old kitten.
Often times, he would appear on the study chair where I spent most afternoons typing away and have just left for a minute to fetch a drink. Then, he would also occasionally sit on my lap and fall asleep there. Clear to say – cat owns human. Never the other way around.
He would also occasionally nap in my bed and indulge in cat aerobics; creating many lasting impressions and more paparazzi-worthy moments than I could remember.
During my stay at Vuxi’s, I had always kept my door closed. Not because I was some introverted snob, but as much as I loved to be in the company of my furry pals – one of the dogs was on her period. Quite unfortunately, she had stained my bed on my first night there. Thereafter – I’ve decided it’s best to keep those sheets as sanitary as possible as I’ll be sleeping in them for a week.
Despite keeping my door closed ever since, I was nevertheless still constantly at Vuxi’s disposal despite being separated by a physical barrier. He often clawed at my door to signal that he wanted to come in and play.
Unable to resist his charm, I would instantly rush to the door to welcome his furry presence.
From there, he waltzes in, jumps on to my bed and often finds the spot where I last rested on (the spot which emitted the most heat) and decides to nestle there for the next hour, usually against my pillow. Normally, I reach my hand out to scratch his chin. Then, he cheerfully responds by purring and curling up, displaying his cute fluffy belly to me; inviting me to play.
After which, he would bite my hand ever so gently, and that’s when I know – the prince wants his space now, and I should very graciously take my leave and retire to a corner.
Through this brief encounter, I’ve learnt that the cat is my spirit animal. Chill, lazy, relaxed – but intense, or demanding when the time calls for it. Dogs are a God-send in countless ways; and I do believe that we humans hardly deserve them. However, they are still a little bit too active for someone as sleepy as me.
So thank you, Vuxi – because from you I truly learnt something about myself.
I was so sure I was a dog person who just hadn’t had the chance to live with one.
I’ve had 2 cats in my lifetime and had loved them to bits.
Turns out I’ve just really overlooked how much of a cat person I am really am.
Now I know.