Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And then CB gave Superman a run for his money.

When I was younger, I had romantic notions about what love was. I mean, they weren’t so much my notions as they were the notions of Nora Ephron and any movie that Julia Roberts was in (except, like, the one she was in with Nick Nolte and that other one where she dressed up like an old timey lady.) Basically, if you were holding a stereo up over your head and playing tremendous 80s love songs, or exchanging witty banter with your best guy friend who didn’t know he loved you until you took off your glasses, you were speaking my love language.

However, as I got older I realized that those notions were so 80s-slash-90s (and some 2000’s) and that love was more than just the stuff in movies – it was about being able to have long, intellectual conversations about life, and politics, and philosophy (just kidding, I’ve never had a conversation about philosophy because OH MY GOD have we met?) It was about being so deep and completely insufferable. Or, what’s more commonly known as “your twenties.”

So when CB and I met, I’d been through all of the puppy-dog, swooning love stages that one goes through to reach the point in their adult life where they can recognize a real connection when they see it. I mean, sure, it took us five-plus years and a lot of back-and-forthing before acknowledging that recognition, but whatever, we got there is the moral of the story, you guys.

But this past weekend, love was redefined yet again – except the beauty of it this time around was that it was redefined with the same person. I mean, thankfully, right? Otherwise, there are a few non-refundable wedding deposits that would totally sting and also, I’d have to come up with another code name for my new boyfriend and it’d just get all kinds of confusing for you regular readers who don’t like change.

You see, as I eluded to in my last few posts, we’ve been having some tough times with our cat, Oliver. He’s had a rough go of things over the last few weeks, and if we’re being honest, I thought we were upon the last of his last days.

A proper superhero
wears a bow tie.
I, of course, was the picture of stability, grace, and constant steady emotions, true to form. I mean, stability, grace, and steady emotions are emitted via hysterical crying, chapped noses from the tissue fort you’ve built around yourself, and not sleeping or eating steadily for 5 days so that the dark circles under your eyes are accentuated only by the new cry-wrinkles that have appeared around your orbital sockets. Right?

Ok then.

But as I slowly declined into a cat-mom-and-nothing-else, CB quickly grew into, well, the best of everything else. He’d sit next to me on the bed while I cried, rubbing my back and knowing that words would be lost on me. He’d wake up periodically to check on Ollie and find me on the couch trying to hand-feed him anything he’d take, never judging or ridiculing, but instead, trying to come up with a new way we could get him to eat. He’d go into the city, then back to New Jersey, then into the city and back again for vet visits, never blinking at the thousands of dollars we were dropping and reminding me that Oliver is more important than, well, anything else. He’d crawl under our bed to where Ollie had hidden himself so that he could spoon-feed him tuna or Gatorade or basically whatever he would take during his hunger-strike.

And he’d even go so far as to risk his own life and suggest that I should “maybe run a brush through your hair?” before going back to the vet. Apparently, not showering for 36 hours and crash-napping next to a feline for 20 minute stretches does not a trendy new hair-do make.

CB: “I mean, the front and sides look fine. I just know that you can’t see the back of your head, so I just thought I’d mention it….”

Every day, without fail, we’d wake up and devote those hours to keeping Ollie alive. Every day, without fail, CB was there when we needed to make tough decisions, get good and bad news, and jump at a moment’s notice when the situation changed yet again.

And every day, without fail, I’d look at him and realize that this was the first time I understood the true meaning of partnership. And also that I should probably brush my hair because he’s pretty handsome and there are other non-cat-ladies out there who could totally appreciate him while also not smelling like Friskies.

Basically, I finally understood that the Beyonce-themed dinners and romantic proposal and surprise birthdays are inspired and fun and whimsical, but that the real romance happens when the fan has been hit, when the chips are down, and when the hair has gone unwashed so it stands up on its own. Which, if I’m being honest, is a roll I think Julia Roberts would TOTALLY nail, you guys. It’d be the rom-com of the summer.

So thank you for your comments and emails and text messages and Facebook posts. The love was felt, absorbed, and redistributed to a little 12 year old cat who, I'm happy to say, is no longer hiding under the bed. 

Happy Wednesday, you guys! Thanks for waiting. Glad to be back. (and that will commence the sappiness. On Friday we will resume our regularly scheduled hilarity.)


  1. I am so happy Ollie is doing better!!!! As a fellow cat lady I understand this completely.

  2. I really need to stop chopping onions while reading your blog...glad to hear everyone pulled through the ordeal. Now I'm going to ditch work to go home and snuggle with my cat.

    1. Hahaha :-) Yes, definitely go snuggle with your cat! Your job won't mind ;-)

  3. We've been doing the "I'm almost 17 years old and I'm just not going to eat this week" dance with my dog lately - which is especially sad since she begs for food, but just can't/won't eat it. Then, just as soon as I have cried my eyes dry, and made peace with the fact that I'm losing her, she decides she's ready to eat and then runs around like a puppy. It's happened 3 times now. It makes me crazy, though I wouldn't trade another day with her for anything, even if we're just snuggling on the couch. My thoughts are with you, CB, and Ollie - I know it's not any fun. These are NOT the fun parts of getting older. This is great practice for other areas of your marriage though, so I'm glad you see what a catch you've got in CB through all of this. Sending good vibes to all of you!

    1. Ugh, I'm so sorry, Karen! I totally understand and agree completely. But I'm with you - I wouldn't trade anything for any time we have with him! My good vibes and thoughts are with you guys, too!! And thanks for yours :-)

  4. This was so romantic I can't even stand it. So well written. Glad Ollie is feeling better - I'd be devastated my furface was so ill. It's the worst.

  5. I am so glad your Ollie is better! My cat was sick once and in the hospital, I must have driven the vet nuts by calling 3 times a day asking about her temp. I was absolutely beside myself. I understand! Good job CB on keeping things together, he's definitely a keeper, but you already know that! :) ---Amanda