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Give me a break!: Photo essay: I’m Isabelle

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This week on Give me a break!, I allowed my cat to shine by letting her tell her stories from her point of view. She has a lot to say. Her name is Isabelle. Whether she realizes it or not, she has a big mission of keeping two humans sane during the extensive (and crazy) period of working and studying from home. I owe her a big thank you. Here she goes…

“bell_meowing”: https://vimeo.com/564767314
Isabelle
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Isabelle

Hi there. My name is Isabelle. I was adopted from a shelter eight years ago by my daddy. Living with daddy has been a happy time. Although he works a lot, he takes care of me really well. He bought me toys, cat trees, catnip (god, that thing is like a drug to me), and sometimes has me chase a red dot all over the house. I’m a very indoor cat. I haven’t gotten out of the house at all for years now. 

Shark Bed
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Isabelle’s shark bed

Here is the shark bed daddy bought me, which immediately became my favorite item. It’s warm, soft, and keeps me safe. Wish I could stay there forever. Don’t you see me there? Look closely.

Shower Water
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Shower water

My second favorite thing is shower water. It’s indescribable. There’s something special in that water that hooks me; something that the water in my bowl doesn’t have. So, every time after daddy takes a shower, I would go in there and lick the water ‘til it’s all gone. Daddy makes fun of me often about how much I’m obsessed with it.

Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Isabelle in orange

A big change happened at the end of 2020 when a woman moved in with him. He told me to call her “mommy.” I’m an easygoing girl, so I didn’t mind that as long as she treats me well and daddy loves me the same. It might be good to have one more human to pet me. I overheard that this picture was one of the reasons that hooked mommy with daddy (or rather, with me). I’m flattered. I kind of looked a bit orange but I nailed it.

Daddy told me that mommy loves cats and she has cats at her home in another country. She said her cats live both indoors and outdoors. They climb trees, hunt birds and squirrels, or catch lizards. That sounds too adventurous for me. Don’t they get fed at home? Why bother getting out of the house catching other creatures for food? 

Family Photo
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Family photo

This is what daddy called a “family photo”, the first photo we took with mommy last Christmas. You can guess from my face. I hate being lifted. But I like mommy’s painting. I look great there. She did a good job with my crossed paw. I bet she is my biggest fan.

In the blanket
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian In the blanket

This was during mommy moving in when daddy had to deal with lots of comforters and he piled them up on the bed next to my shark bed. Sometimes, I would tuck myself in the pile because it was warmer inside.

Nail trimming
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Nail trimming

Whenever daddy trims my nails, mommy will stare at me, intrigued, sometimes she giggles as I sit there patiently, not fighting with him. She whispers “Good girl, good girl.” I find it offensive. Like she assumed I’d act wild? Come on. She said she never does that for her cats because they claw and scratch on trees outside of the house. Although daddy bought me scratchpads and cat trees, which I use daily, I need trimming from time to time as my sharp nails can stick to the carpet. 

Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Sunbathing
Sunbathing 2
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Sunbathing 2

As the weather gets warmer and the sunlight shines through the glass door in the living room, I often sunbathe. It’s nice and warm. Sometimes, mommy opens the door and tries to trick me to go out to the balcony so I can get some fresh air. I hate that though. I know there are tons of interesting things out there, but doesn’t she get it that I don’t like the outdoors? All I want is the warmth of the sun inside the house!   

Bird on screen
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Bird on screen

Sometimes, she tries to introduce me to nature in a different way. I remember the time she played a video that had birds chirping and eating seeds. And damn the birds looked so real and they got me. I wasn’t aware that I was reaching out to them and searching for them behind the screen, until mommy cracked up and claimed that she could finally make me a cat. How dare she confuse me like that! 

Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Cross paw
Cross paw 2
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Cross paw 2

When I lay down on the floor, I usually cross my paw. It’s my normal posture, but I don’t know why mommy likes it so much. She would look at me, laugh, and jokingly cross her hand the same way I do. When daddy sees it, he does the same thing as well. Such annoying humans. 

Otter-like
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Otter-like
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Otter-like 2
Otter-like 3
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Otter-like 3

And this posture, you won’t believe this. Mommy thinks I look like an otter laying on the water. I don’t know what the otter thing is but I think that is ridiculous and that she’s wrong. I’m an original me, for heaven’s sake. If there’s anything similar to me, then they look like ME, not the other way around.

Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Hammock

Here’s a hammock daddy and mommy set up for me hoping I would want to use it as a bird watching station. Not my favorite. It’s wobbly and doesn’t have a wall to support my body like the cat tree does. I never get on it on my own. In the picture, they lifted me up there and forced me to stay. When they left, I went back to the tree instantly.

Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Pine litter

Mommy pisses me off sometimes and I’m surprised that daddy lets her. My litter box is one example. I had used clay litter for as long as I lived with daddy. As she moved in not long after, they both agreed to change to pine litter. Their reason had something to do with it being compostable but the clay is not. Here’s a thing about pine litter if you don’t know. Once it’s wet, it breaks down to fine crumbs which stick to my feet and I swear to god, I hate that feeling. Therefore, I protested by pooping in front of the box. It worked. Mommy would yell at me and daddy would shrug. I kept doing it for months until they gave up and gave my clay litter back. 

Through infrared
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Through infrared

This is me through an infrared camera daddy got for his hobby. It’s freaking cool! You can see which areas on my body are hot and which ones are cool. Look at my footprints, butt print, and tail print! 

Daddy and mommy laughed their asses off when they realized how hot my butthole is versus my nose. Very rude.

Whiskers
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Whiskers

A strange thing here about mommy; she likes to collect my whiskers and my nails that fall off my claws and uses them to play with me. See those three whiskers popping out from the top of the shark bed? Yeah. She keeps them there. I find it creepy. Daddy complains about her being weird as she does it but he is always soft on her and never asks her to stop. 

Petting Bell Video

Despite the changes mommy brought and the fact that I have to share daddy’s love with her, it’s been quite a positive experience. I think I like her. I could sense that she cares for me very much. She feeds me, cleans my litter, changes my water, responds to my meowing with a silly voice, learns from daddy how to comb my hair properly, and pets me everyday. I think daddy likes her also as I see him cook food with her, watch movies with her, or even talk about me. Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy reading about my story. And if you have pets at home, take care of them well just like daddy and mommy do with me, especially now that they never leave the damn house. Because at the end of the day, pets are your true friends who can warm your heart and will never betray you. Meow.

Gift is a Programming AAS-T student and a Web Manager at the Seattle Collegian. She covers the column, Give me a break!, as she believes that everyone needs a break once in a while during this stressful time. She enjoys improving the Collegian website as much as writing, baking, making oat milk, and listening to podcasts.

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