Break-ups suck. Whether you’ve been together for 20 years or two months, ending things with another person, and the process leading up to it, is never easy.
Everyone has different methods of coping, and I’m a firm believer in self-betterment. If you can pour as much time into bettering yourself as you used to put into your significant other, you’re going to love your results. Although sometimes I go a little too
extreme, it’s a process that has never failed me.
The week before finals, I was an emotional mess. In order to clear my head, I went to the gym almost every day that week. Almost.
On my way to Markin that Friday, I came across an orange tabby. I had seen this cat a few times over the course of the previous months, and I was certain that she was homeless. Normally, she would approach but stay out of petting distance. But this time, for some reason, she came right up to me.
Knowing that this cat would let me pet it for eternity if I had the time and that the weather was going to get really cold the following week, I called Animal Control. The phone operator told me to sit tight, and someone would be there soon. I was promptly put on hold. Twenty minutes later, my hands were freezing, and the operator came back on the line.
“Did you say that cat was injured?” she asked.
“No, it looks like she’s just really emaciated,” I responded.
Apparently, Animal Control only takes sick or injured cats after it closes for the day. No one was coming for
I asked her what I should do, and
the operator asked me to take it home for the night.
That’s a horrible idea. I’m not sure why anyone would suggest picking up an unfamiliar animal and carrying it home, and I’m almost certain that’s advice you should quite literally never give anyone. No sane person is going to pick up a random stray cat and walk it back to their house.
That first night, my roommates and I kept the cat in our downstairs bathroom. We debated between the names “Carrot” and “Pumpkin” but ultimately decided on the name “Nala.”
It fits her; she’s definitely a lion at heart.
Even though she’s a handful with an affinity for mangling loaves of bread and any food packaging in sight, I can’t imagine life any other way.
Although there are a lot of things I wish I could change or redo about this last year of my life, my cat certainly isn’t one of them. If I had to relive my entire relationship just to find Nala again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. A small, furry heartbeat.