Tyler The Bachelor Cat
In honor of my new-found bachelor-hood, after nine years, here’s the story of how Tyler and I originally became bachelors nearly two decades ago.
Holy fuck I’m getting old.
Originally published on my slightly retired blogger blog in July of 2015:
In November of 2002, I moved out.
No need to go into the specifics of moving, you’ve all moved, you know how it works. Lots of boxes, very hectic, stuff gets lost, stuff gets broken. Movers don waist belts and show incredible strength, Stuff gets STUFFED into your car.
Just to be safe, I confined Tyler to my parent’s bedroom since moving people and furniture were going in several directions all day long. I decided to settle in as best as I could and bring Tyler over to his new home the next day. Being what I thought was a guru of feline behavior by that time, I thought it best to set up his new environment before making the transition and easing his stress.
My parents helped me all day long, ordered pizza for everyone, and, as predicted, both teared up as the moving day drew to a close and it was time to go home. Just as they had ever summer as a kid in the 1980s when they’d dump me at a summer camp for 8 weeks.
I never got used to the sight of my father in tears. It just didn’t seem natural for Mr. Sarcastic.
Yet, he cried. We hugged. Another thing we rarely did.
It was very strange going from a large house to a 2-bedroom apartment, but in a way, it was also pretty fucking cool and I was giddy. Why?
It was MINE.
Or at least half mine, I was splitting it with my friend at the time, but you know what I mean. My kitchen. My bathroom. MINE. I could play music as loud as I wanted. I could watch what I want, I could keep MY home the way I wanted.
I’m starting to sound like Daffy Duck here. MINE MINE MINE, I’m a HAPPY MISER.
Remember that cartoon?
The next morning my mother called.
“How did you sleep?” My mother asked.
“Not too bad, how’s Tyler?” I wanted to know.
“When we let Ty-lah out, he went right to your bedroom, and I tell you Dan-yul, he was shocked.”
“What do you mean?” I asked. Cats don’t get shocked, at least not in my experience.
“Well, he sat down in the middle of your now empty room and if his jaw could drop it would have. He looked very bewildered that your furniture was gone.” Ever the guilt trip, that’s my mother.
“Well, I’ll be there in a bit to pick him up. So not to worry.” I really couldn’t wait to get him. After nearly 2 years, waking up to a cat-less home was very strange and not something I wanted to experience.
I had a soft cat carrier that I had picked up, large enough for Tyler to turn around in yet with a shoulder strap so I could sling it over my shoulder. Tyler greeted me at the door as I always did, and was beyond happy to see me. Head-buts galore, rubbing, purring, and what I called the “stretch and flip.” Tyler would stretch, as graciously as cats always do, and rather than standing back up, he would flip onto his back and demand a belly rub. When I would oblige, he would grab me and pretend to be mad and pretend to bite, and then we would “play fight.” It was by then a routine I had grown to know and love about Tyler.
Of course a meal was involved, so we had lunch, and I think I swiped whatever food they had in the garage (lots of pasta and jars of sauce and diet coke) and then it was time for Tyler and I to go.
“Ok, Tyler, ready to live the bachelor life?”
As usual, he waltzed right in to the carrier, as if we had rehearsed this scene a thousand times.
Twenty minutes later, we arrived at our apartment.
I let Tyler out, and just like when I first brought him home, my brave tuxedo cat was fearless. He instantly went to exploring his new pad for the next several hours while I continued to unpack. Unlike my parents home, the windows had large window sills that were perfect for Tyler to sit and watch the world go by from any angle he wished. Plenty of sun, plenty of light, it was a feline’s dream. I hung sheets for the time being, but I planned to hang curtains.
Needless to say, he sat by every window. Purring the whole time.
We had dinner in our large apartment kitchen. It was very nice, although I missed having a TV in the kitchen. Remember, this was way before tablets.
The apartment had a screen door with a half window that would be converted to a screen in the warmer months. Trying something new, I picked Tyler up and held him like a baby, cradling his back so he could stretch his legs. He loved being held like that, which any cat owner knows is very “un-cat.” Cats generally feel very vulnerable when they expose their under-sides and stomachs, so for a cat to let you hold them “upside-down” as it were is a sign of deep trust and love.
We stood by the front door for what seemed like hours, Tyler on his back, in my arms, gently purring, watching the world go by. He held onto me with all four paws and his tail was relaxed.
He was happy. I was happy.
We were home.
That night we literally “spooned.” Tyler cuddled right next to me and I slept better than I had in days.
Thus, the bachelorhood of Tyler began.