So I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, where backpackers venture thousands of miles to hike the mountains, tourists crowd the ancient temples, and daring souls brave the exotic street food. So what do I blog about?

My cats.

Before you say that single women of a certain age are destined to become crazy cat owners–no matter if they live in Toledo, Ohio or in Kunming, China– let me explain. I inherited my fat kitty (AKA mushroom or in Chinese, Mógu 蘑菇), when a beloved student moved to America last summer. She was afraid that her Chinese grandmother would eat it, and rightfully so, as her grandmother grew up in a part of the world where people eat whatever to survive, regardless of what PETA activists with Costco memberships may think.

Fat Kitty instantly had me wrapped around his paw, owning me instead of the other way around. And if you think he’s squinting at you like a pirate, it’s because Mógu is missing an eye.

Truth be told, there is no such thing as a cat owner as cats do the owning, slowly getting humans under their control with their seductive yellow-eyed trance. We succumb to the notion that cat hair is the new black and then spend every waking moment removing it from white tile floors and hard-to-get-at fan blades with the help of chopsticks.

As for Meth Kitty (formally known as Peter)? He is thin, sleek and black, looking like the bat that started the Covid Crisis in Wuhan. But don’t worry, I will not eat Peter nor will my former student’s grandmother.

Meth Kitty belonged to an exotic friend who is moving to Canada, who is the mother of a student in my class. A student who can’t sit still. A student who has his own chair in the principal’s office. A student that should’ve been a warning sign about the cat. My friend whispered to me, “Peter has mystical powers.”

“Really?” I questioned with arched eyebrows.

“Yes, he can read your emotions.”

If that is true, you’d think he know that I don’t like to get up at 4 AM, the time at which Peter bats me with his paw.

Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would think that this mystical Peter kitty smokes crystal meth. The street drug is prevalent in China as documented by several studies that evaluate the wastewater of Chinese cities. I think scientists should add kitty litter to the study. Meth Kitty scurries around all night batting ping pong balls, and then crashes on my bed all day.

Breaking Bad.

Before I brought Meth Kitty home to meet Fat Kitty, I watched a deluge of videos on You Tube on how to properly introduce two cats. You’d think that they were two opposing leaders of countries. Experts advised giving the new cat his own room and gradually let the two sniff, snarl, and hiss at each other.

Well, it worked. Within a week, they were bosom buddies, or paw buddies, or whatever you’d like to call it.

So I’m off to America next week and instead of worrying about what to pack, I’m stock-piling kitty litter and cat food for my guest kitty sitter. Yes, a live-in cat sitter and I pray to God, Buddha and Genesha that she is not allergic to cat dander.

Then hopefully, I can get back to posting about things a single gal should post about in China, like the lunch special at the local noodle shop (about $1.50 per bowl).

Or the fun times my eighth graders had partying (I think my tales of toilet papering houses is a bit more memorable).

Or why I haven’t taken my Chinese New Year down from the window yet.

So, cat fans, leave your comments on how you are under the spell of your feline friend!

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