Striving to Be as Carefree as a Kitten
I have been working from home since March and likely will continue to do so until next summer. Persephone, my first cat, has loved this. She’s always been pretty needy, mostly because of her extreme fear of missing out.
Anytime my boyfriend or I shut the door on her, she’ll stand outside and continuously meow until we let her in. As this continued to worsen, including her freaking out every time we left the house, I began to worry about how she would handle us eventually going back to work. As I mentioned in a previous column, this worry has led me to get a new kitten, Freya.
I spent a while looking for a female kitten, particularly a black one so that I could name her Wednesday, after the cartoon character Wednesday Addams. Eventually, I found Freya at a shelter, and she was attached to me as soon as she was in my arms. Although she is a tabby cat like Persephone, I knew when I first held her that she would be the one I’d be bringing home.
At the time, she seemed pretty scared, but as soon as she arrived at home, she immediately appeared comfortable. It was a different experience for me because Persephone had been undersocialized, meaning she didn’t have enough human contact as a small kitten, and she was terrified of everything.
Freya fears nothing. She makes impossible leaps and spends her time getting into things she shouldn’t. She’s made a pastime of hitting her older sister in the face or tail until Persephone plays with her. She’s still only 3 months old and has yet to learn anything that would make her cautious.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to being that naive and carefree. I am only 23, but the worries that come with a Huntington’s diagnosis make it hard nevertheless.
I’ve always been a bit more mature than most people my age. Watching my grandfather fade from who he once was because of Huntington’s disease, and his death before I finished eighth grade weren’t exactly conducive to having a typical childhood. I was acutely aware of the risks to my mom, her brothers, and me.
I have become a little more carefree as I’ve gotten older, although I don’t think it would’ve been possible for me to be more carefree. That doesn’t mean that fears about Huntington’s don’t overwhelm me at times. Sometimes, I wish I could see the world through my fearless kitten’s eyes and forget Huntington’s existed — even if just for a day.
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