Chipotle Is Not For Everyone: Slice of Life #sol18 13/31

outside chipotle.JPG

Chipotle is not for everyone.

           He was an unprepossessing kitten, the runt of the litter and so wary he couldn’t be lured out for canned food even when Mama Cat and his three siblings were comfortably digging in. He was a sickly kitten, eyes alternately oozing and crusted shut, breath rattling through his lungs, prone to sneezing fits that looked like seizures. While the other kittens romped and played, Chipotle sat in the bushes with his nose pressed to the garage wall. I didn’t think he was long for this world.

He’s one year old now, and he’s still no great beauty. He’s lopsided. He didn’t form quite right in the womb, the vet says. One side of his face is noticeably smaller than the other side. His eyes are a little too wide apart, and the small one droops. He has one normal nostril and one tiny nostril, which makes him perpetually wheezy. He doesn’t have enough eye or enough nose, but he has been blessed with an abundance of whiskers. Long, lush whiskers grow in the right places, but he also has a stumpy row growing up the side of his nose. One little whisker grows right out the tip of his nose. His mouth curls up on his smaller side, giving him a perpetual sneer. One ear is a little smaller than the other.

Don’t get too attached, the vet warned me. His internal organs may not develop properly. He’ll probably have a very short life.

But it was too late. I had already fallen in love with his funny face.


Chipotle is not for everyone.

He is an intense little cat. He has no internal sensor letting him know how hard is too hard when it comes to biting and scratching. All of his wild siblings have figured out that humans are delicate and don’t do well with teeth and claws. They have all learned to modulate a playful bite, to keep claws partially retracted, to nibble rather than gnash. Not Chipotle. Chipotle is a love biter and a play biter, and he chomps down hard, punctures skin, inserts all of his claws as deeply as they will go, and tries to rip flesh from bone. Several times a week I have to call for help to pry his jaws open and squeeze his claws out of my arm when I can’t shake him on my own. There is no ill will, no mean spirit. He is simply a cat, doing cat things. Once unhinged and unhooked, he is all about the snuggles and smoochies.


Chipotle is not for everyone.

           He is affectionate and loving—but only with me and only when he feels like it and only in the way that he wants. When he doesn’t want love, he’ll dip his body so his belly drags on the floor to avoid the stroke of my hand down his back. When he does want love, I have to drop everything and hold him. He has a meow like glass breaking, and he is not shy about using his claws to pull me down to his level. He has very specific requirements. He only wants to be held on the kitchen floor or on the bathroom rug, and only if I’m sitting cross-legged or with my knees tucked under me. He wants my arms in a circle so that he can climb up, curl into a half moon, and be cradled as he rests. He likes to be told how very beautiful he is and how very beloved he is. He tilts his head up and closes his little wonky eyes and seems to smile. He’s very accepting of forehead and cheek kisses and sometimes tries to press his face right into my mouth to get closer. At night, he sleeps on my pillow with his cheek pressed to mine.


Chipotle is not for everyone. But he is for me.


chipotle by windowchipotlechipotle biting shelf







14 responses to “Chipotle Is Not For Everyone: Slice of Life #sol18 13/31”

  1. jennysrich Avatar

    How sweet. Such a fortunate cat to find a person who loves him for who he is.

  2. elsie Avatar

    What a beautiful description of a kitty who has some issues, but has found a true love with a human. I think I’d be right there with you loving this little guy.

  3. Ramona Avatar

    Thanks for sharing Chipotle with us. I love this line: “He likes to be told how very beautiful he is and how very beloved he is.” And how lucky he is to have you. Live the pics, especially the next to last one.

    1. Ramona Avatar

      Love, not live

  4. arjeha Avatar

    He is definite a unique and that is what makes him special. I love your description of him. He is so much, behavior wise, like a cat we once had – K.C. She was a no-touch-me cat but when she wanted to be petted she would rub against your hand. It is clear that Chipotle has found his person.

  5. Vickiela Avatar

    This is very well written. I love how you captured Chipotle and his uniqueness. This reminds me of a post written by @joyousthoughts . I’ve never had an animal in which I loved as much as you two. My last animal encounter was with Chris the cat… Who would jump off of the refrigerator and clasp on to your back. Chipotle may not be for everyone but he is definitely meant to be with you. He’s lucky!!!

  6. persistenceandpedagogy Avatar

    Your description of Chiptole made me fall in love with him, too. Funny how our imperfections make us more complete to those who love us. I’m glad he has you – and I’m glad you have him, too. (Also, I love that you left aligned this post. Such a great choice.)

  7. karpenglish Avatar

    I think I am in love with your funny little cat. Some cats just need the right person so they can get all the love they need.

  8. Cathy M Avatar

    Ha! I so enjoyed reading about Chipotle. You described him so well that I’m pretty sure if he walked by my sliding glass door I would know him immediately. Chipotle may not be for everyone, but I’m quite certain he has won your heart.

  9. […] choose to share?) Be sure to ask about her formerly feral cat, Barbara, who’s the Mama Cat in my stories about my little feral cat family. (This is Barbara before she was […]

  10. Elizabeth Avatar

    Chipotle is so handsome! He looks like he has a very complex inner life.

  11. […] In previous years, the slices I enjoyed writing the most were also the ones that got the most views and comments. This year, my very favorite slice got the least number of views and comments! Chipotle, it turns out that you really aren’t for everyone! […]

  12. readingteachsu Avatar

    What a lovie. Thanks for introducing us.

  13. […] reading, and learning. I still do all those things, but I also have a lot of posts about cats. (This is probably my favorite one, since it’s about my favorite cat. But I also love this thank you […]

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