My therapist has a cat.
I wish I didn't know this, but I do. He mentioned it in my last session. My therapist is in his forties, and single, and he has a cat.
I wish I didn't know this. Oh, certainly I'm glad to know that he prefers cats to dogs, because I've found that cat lovers are more empathetic than dog owners. But I still wish I didn't know this. I wish I knew that he liked cats, but not that he owns one. Because my mind can't just let it go. I can't just accept that he has a cat, and move on with my life. One could argue that, were he a better therapist, I would be able to let it go. But I've been seeing him for four years, and he has a cat, and I can't let it go. Questions arise, unbidden, in my neurotic brain.
I start to wonder about the cat. Is it a shelter cat? What sort of markings does it have? What color are its eyes? How big is it? How old is it? How long has John owned it?
What is its name? What sort of name would John choose for a cat? Paws? Frankie? Boots? Mr. Whiskers? Or does it have some sort of embarrassing lovey-dovey name like Angel or Sweet Pea or Baby? Does he talk to the cat?
Is he the male equivalent of a crazy cat lady? Does he have a picture of his cat as a desktop or a screen saver on his computer? Does he subscribe to Cat Fancy magazine? Would he, in casual conversation, refer to his cat as his furbaby? When he gets home from work, does he announce to the cat that daddy's home? Does he kiss the cat on the mouth? Does his cat screen his dates? Is that why he's still single?
Does he take the cat for walks? I think he's the sort of man that might put a cat on a leash. Do they go shopping together at Petco for kitty toys? Is he the kind of person who puts outfits on his pet for different holidays? Is there a picture of the cat with Santa? Are there pictures of John with his cat? Would he send them out in his Christmas cards? If the cat went missing, how much would he offer for a reward?
I am taking advice - life advice - from a man whose house contains a box that holds cat poo. How can I do that? How can I take my psychotherapist seriously when I know that he spends some of his time scooping cat poo out of a litter box? Is anyone who would voluntarily handle cat poo really qualified to give advice?
I don't know how I'm supposed to take him seriously now. Tomorrow I'm going to see him, and I have to try and sit there and discuss my problems and pretend that he doesn't have a cat and that I haven't spent the better part of an hour wondering about the cat. What if, mid-session, I crack up? What if I can't stop laughing? He's going to ask what's so funny, and I'm going to have to tell him that I have a mental picture of him and his cat in matching Christmas sweaters.
I'm not sure this is going to work anymore. I think I may have to find a new therapist.