(Pictured: Not our cats)
In the face of incessant mocking from the decidedly cooler A-List gays in my circle of friends – you know, the ones that go to parties hosted by GQ or “celebrities” from RuPul’s Drag Race -- *Einstein and I did the unthinkable for any gay couple still pretending to hang on to a shred of coolness: we adopted not one, but two adult cats.
In our defense, we did not name them Emily Dickinson and Virginia Wolf. We opted for ironic names derived from Arrested Development and remnants from childhood, Buster and KitKat. Still, we get it – the cats plus our obsession with Orange is the New Black plus my propensity to fall asleep at 9pm on the couch with an uneaten cookie in my mouth equals nerddom.
We opted to adopt two adult cats that were already bonded for pragmatic reasons. We aren’t home regular hours, kittens are a lot of work, they are used to entertaining themselves, etc. And adoption, more broadly speaking, has an important place in my family history: the three eldest in my family were all adopted and two of them were sent over from Korea when Korean babies were en vogue. Somehow we became yesterday’s news when Romanian, Russian and Chinese babies hit the scene. Never mind that for now. I’m over it. Really.
Staying on trend, we opted for an open adoption and had two encounters with the previous foster parents. A sweet, cool couple from Brooklyn, they were very much in love with the cats but had developed severe allergies that could no longer be tolerated. That we, like them, were an interracial Asian and white couple added a certain level of levity and relief that the cats would remain progressively minded.
I have often joked that Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the TigerMother” was my philosophy, in essence, of great parenting. I was not raised by a Tiger Mother, but at one time I harbored a not-so-secret fantasy of becoming the stereotypical Asian parent that, through motivation/control, unleashes the full potential of my progeny.
In reality, I believed that Einstein’s Irish-Catholic upbringing, with its requisite tempering of extraneous emotion, would allow me to be the cool, fun parent and he the disciplinarian. It took less than 24 hours to disprove this theory.
The Catmen Cometh: Part II - The First Night or Why Self-Soothing Does Not Work on Cats
*Pseudonyms are used to protect the anonymity of all parties. Never mind the fact that the three people reading this blog know all the key players already.