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2003-07-27 | 9:50 a.m.

My arm still hurts. Will it ever end? There is a shot I could get but my mother told me she got the shot years ago and found it to be extremely painful. Nor did it help. I don't like to think of myself as a wuss, but I'd rather have the predictable arm pain than some excruciating shot that doesn't work.

Jasper was lying in bed for a long time this morning, blissfully happy that the new kitten had deigned to rest on him. Everyone knows that the kitten likes to settle on my chest more than anywhere else.

All of us have bloody scratches caused by the kitten's exquisitely sharp claws. I don't mind so much when he extends and retracts his claws into my skin for what seems likes hours, because I know that is something that cats do. But a couple nights ago, he couldn't sleep (having slept most of the day) so he woke me up at hourly intervals by playfully batting at my face. Once, his dewclaw got caught in my lip. That hurt, but worse somehow was a direct hit to my philtrum, which stung for the rest of the day.

To a cat person, perhaps this would be adorable. Maybe not. I'm not sure. Objectively speaking, raising a puppy is probably more difficult. There is something masochistic in both endeavors. But this cat business ... I don't know. I'm trying to work something out, but I haven't quite got it. For me, it is sort of like taking care of somebody else's kid. One you might like, even love, but never as much as your own.

Maybe it's just too soon, for the cat and me, to be thinking about our relationship.

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