In general, I get along great with my roommates. Sure, we have minor disagreements. That’s part and parcel of living with other beings. But one of my roommates is decidedly more difficult to live with. That’s ‘cause one of my roommates is a cat.
I guess, technically, he’s my other roommate’s pet. But let’s not kid ourselves, that’s not the dynamic you experience living in the same apartment as a cat. Having a cat roommate has its difficulties. In spite of all the “house meetings” you have, boundaries will be non-existent. I’ll be in my room, writing one of the most humorous and witty articles the interwebs has ever seen (probably poop-related), and he’ll just bust up in there and complain at me. I try to be understanding (everyone has to vent, after all) and then he just jumps in my lap. Now, I don’t know what sort of weird open relationship he holds with my other roommate, but there’s a boundary of personal space that gets violated when you just up and make yourself cozy on my lap. Hell, it takes me months to convince women to do so.
Along with a lack of boundaries, there’s no respect for my belongings. He doesn’t even ask to use my blanket on the couch. He’ll get all snuggled up like he owns it. And good luck asking your cat roommate to at least use a lint roller afterwards. Dude’s gotta know that he leaves hair everywhere. Methinks that’s what ‘ol Chris Carrabba was really singing about when he was whining about hair being everywhere (that’s not a dated reference, is it? Wait, don’t answer that). He’ll straight up eat plants, rub up on my TV tray (while I’m eating lunch no less!), and destroy any and all boxes. What a dick.
And try as I might, we seem to have a really one-sided line of communication. He’s very comfortable voicing his opinion on a number of matters. The fact that he doesn’t have food. Or that you’re not paying attention to him. Or entertaining him. Or that he just took a dump. Like I said, I’m an accommodating roommate. I understand the need to vent sometimes. And I’ve always been a great listener. But I also expect at least a little bit of that to be reciprocated. Telling him how it makes me uncomfortable that he just licks his ass in the living room is met with a blank stare. I try to be diplomatic and say that it’s his business what he does with his body, but at least just go to the bathroom, and he holds his stare for a beat and then returns to licking. It could not be a more resounding F-U. And as soon as I even remotely start talking about something that’s in my life, something that’s an emotional burden to me, he just jumps off my lap and casually walks out of the room. Jeez, at least offer me a cigarette before tossing me to the curb like that.
That being said, it’s not all bad. While his displays of intimacy are certainly unorthodox in the realm of roommates, it’s not entirely unwelcome. Once, when feeling lonely, I tried to sit in my other roommate’s lap and was promptly reprimanded with a squirt of a water bottle (as is customary in our household). On top of that, my Instagram feed has quadrupled in popularity now that I have an endless supply of cat pictures to post. And it’s much easier to read my cat roommate than my human one. And at the end of the day, I don’t have to worry about him using any of my peanut butter, since he’s both a cat and doesn’t have the opposable thumbs to open the jar and wield a butter knife. I just wish he’d chip in for the rent every once in a while.