Clara the Cat isn’t perfect, but she’s just what I need

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Clara likes watching me type on my computer late at night.

I’ll admit it — I’m a Cat Lady. I have just one cat, but I love her and spoil her as if she were my kid.

For the past three years, Clara the Cat been there. Whenever I come home after a long day at work, she greets me, silently meowing from behind panes of glass. Clara usually falls asleep shortly after I get home, but I still like knowing she’s there. She makes the apartment feel less empty, and makes me feel more whole. When you live alone, you grow to rely on your pet for company, and comfort.

Clara’s not perfect. She meows a lot and pulls at my hair when I’m trying to sleep. She sheds all over my apartment and breaks my blinds. And she sleeps on the kitchen table, despite my repeated attempts to get her to stay off it.

But still, she’s a keeper.

I couldn’t help but feel bad when I was out of town for her 3rd birthday earlier this month. I had asked someone to feed her, but he forgot, meaning Clara was left alone for four days with no one to celebrate with. Poor kitty. Usually on her birthday, I give her wet food and blow up some balloons for her to play with. Then I take a bunch of photos of her. (I know, some of you might be rolling your eyes by now. But hey, I warned you I’m a Cat Lady!)

One of my favorite food bloggers, Joy Wilson, recently threw a little birthday party for her cat Jules. She made him a tuna “birthday cake” and tied a yellow bow around his neck. She also created “Cat Land” for him, giving him full access to his favorite toys — headphones, an earring, toilet paper …

Headphones would also be on Clara’s list of favorite toys. She’s eaten her way through three pairs. Her other favorite toy is “Da Bird” — a feather on a string. Pretty simple concept, but highly entertaining nonetheless. My laptop would also be among Clara’s favorite toys. Whenever I’m typing, she sits alongside me and places her paws in front of the keyboard. Sometimes, she’ll walk across it. Whenever there’s a typo in my blog posts, I blame her.

She’s here with me now as I’m writing this post, occasionally hitting the keys. She’s keeping me company in her imperfect way, making me realize that even when I’m home alone, there’s really no need to feel lonely.