cleo chan-chang

Dear Cleo,

Happy Gotcha Day!

I know you’ll never read this (unless cats can secretly read), but it felt nice to write you a letter anyways. Get my feelings out and whatnot in these uncertain times. Sometimes your adopted parents will lovingly gaze over at you and think, wow, it must be nice to not have to worry about anything. In which case, you’d probably refute that and say you worry about a lot of things. Which might be true, you are such a scaredy cat!


If things were normal, we would have liked to throw you a party of some sorts. Of course, you’d hate that idea and hide under the couch the entire time. Make sure that none of our guests would see you.

So instead, I’ll just reminisce about the past year. We had just returned from our trip to Japan. I remember bugging Christina (your previous cat mom) to bring you over while I still had a week left in vacation to deal with jet lag. I was so excited that morning but then extremely tired as I felt like I needed a nap. I had even promised to cook for Christina as a thank you, but by the time you were over, I wanted to pass out and sleep. Christina and I carried you up from the parking garage to your new home. You fearfully meowed in your cage as we set up your litter box, automatic food dispenser, and cat house.

Then, we were ready! We opened the crate and you promptly walked under the couch and remained there. For the next 30 days.


Of course, you had your more courageous moments. While watching television, you came out once to hide in the den. I guess we were too close for your comfort. Then, later you decided it would be a good idea to hide in the sliver between our oven and cabinet. Howard had to pull you out of there twice in fear that you would get hurt if we tried to use our stove or oven. I had to stuff a few boxes into that crevice. But now I was worried you’d find every weak spot in our home and crawl into hide. Especially the weak baseboards, or the gaps around the laundry machine, or the tiny hole next to the dishwasher. Luckily, you didn’t fit in those areas and continued to hide under the couch.

I remember the immense joy we felt when you finally peaked your head out. We were gaining your trust! And the day you finally came out for pets, gosh the fur came flying! My black pants were covered in cat hair.


Now that you were on top of the couch every day, you tested the waters by perching on one of our legs at first. Eventually, you came to sit on our lap completely and enjoy napping there for hours as we binged movies and television shows.

We were told that you were only interested in your kibbles and wet food. But I guess it was inevitable when you live with foodies, you started begging and circling us during meal times. Sadly, we couldn’t risk giving you something that would make you sick or throw up! You’re going to have to stick with cat food. Stop being such a shark when we eat human food!


You made us proud when you came out to greet friends that were visiting. You were always hesitant at first, but you allowed everyone to give you pets. We felt secure enough to go away on vacation for a week and you made grandma so happy when she came over to cat-sit you. I expected you to hide the entire week, but no! You surprised us all by asking grandma for pets and sitting in her lap as she read the newspaper.

These days, you’re so brave. Jumping up on my desk as I work from home. Walking around our counter-top like you own the kitchen. Sitting extremely close to the television (which makes Howard nervous). Even barking at us and tapping our shoulders if we’re not giving you enough attention. We love that you follow us everywhere like a puppy.


I mean, with all the ups, there are downsides too. You have awoken allergies that I didn’t know I had. What is allergy season? Well, I’ll tell you, I know all about allergy season now. So much so that I need to take medication every day to prevent the runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy skin. Seriously, you don’t know how much this worried me. All these symptoms made me wonder if I had something worse during this pandemic – and I can’t go see the doctor without it being a stressful and scary excursion out of our home! You’re also no good for a clean freak like me. Why oh why hasn’t someone invented the perfect way to capture litter tracking?

Yet, every time you cuddle with us or make a cute face, it all feels worth it. We may not get to go out these days, but I have a million photos of you on my phone. I send them to your grandma and post them online hoping to make others smile at your shenanigans.

Here’s to another year sweetie! Let’s hope we can throw you that party one day.



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