My Cat Got Me Clean - Page 2

By Anna David 04/25/12

After an all night binge, I had the habit of spontaneously deciding to take drastic action—which is how I ended up with two cats. I didn’t know that one of them would end up saving my life.

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Attraction, not promotion

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While he didn’t—I never saw him again and couldn’t pick him out of a two-man lineup today—Lilly may have.

I don’t want to be dramatic. I am not going to claim my kitten made me see that I didn’t need to slowly kill myself anymore. But from the beginning, Lilly was undeniably, unbelievably special. Even my cocaine-addled brain could see that. For one, her fur was far softer than anything I’d ever felt in my life: it’s what I imagine the richest, most succulent velvets in the world must feel like. But it’s also just—well, her. Yes, she’s beautiful, with huge green eyes and what feels like pounds of thick grey fur, but it’s more than that. Cats are, by their very nature, jittery, scared and a bit skeptical. Lilly’s the opposite: there’s no lap she won’t jump on, no person she won’t deluge with kisses, no front door she won’t race to when she hears a doorbell, no obstruction she won’t climb. And she somehow manages to be amusing—to go about her courageous adventures with a “Hey, ma, look at me” energy that is legitimately, laugh-out-loud funny. “I normally hate cats,” many a dog-lover has told me. “That cat is special.” Or “That cat is different.” Or even, in the case of one guy I remember getting really stoned with back in the day, “That cat is sexy.” (When I was high, I thought it was the most accurate description in the world. Only later did it seem creepy.) She is, I’ve been told by many of those people, a dog trapped in a cat’s body.

And it’s just a fact that a few weeks after this sweet little furball came into my life, I’d simply had enough of the late, jittery nights and realized I couldn’t bear the loneliness and depression I was living with any longer. I knew that I couldn’t do cocaine anymore—I kept deciding to quit, making it a month, then reasoning that no coke addict could quit for a month so I’d go right back to it—but I didn’t know how to live without it. I certainly didn’t want to be sober. But anything, I reasoned, had to be better than the way I was living.

This is an edited excerpt from the Kindle Single, Animal Attraction, available on Amazon for $1.99. Anna David is the Executive Editor of The Fix and the author of the books Party Girl, BoughtReality Matters and Falling For Me. David will be leading a chat on pets and recovery on the sober social networking site In The Rooms on April 26th at 6 pm PST/9 pm EST. Join the chat here.

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.