… but obviously the side in favor prevailed.
I spent my Easter Sunday hopping from celebration to celebration, from church services to community members’ homes to upperclassman apartments to spontaneous worship at the campus fire pit to games of sand volleyball to a tea/smoothie party that I threw -- hooray for the celebrations that come with the end of Lent! I missed celebrating with my family in our home, but my Easter celebration was wonderful nonetheless. Easter, after all, is a time to celebrate all forms of life, from Christ’s life in the resurrection to the promise of life everlasting to the simple forms of life emerging in time with Spring. However, in the midst of my celebrating, I was oblivious to the events happening in my dorm room.
Important background knowledge: Because Sioux Center is an agricultural community, we’ll occasionally see a random cat strolling around campus. Normally, students will appreciate the cats, giving them a couple affectionate strokes and vocalizing a couple “Awwweeee” noises before hurrying along. Evidently, my friends are not normal.
On their way to pay me a visit, a few of my friends picked up a particularly adorable campus cat. I’ll admit it; this kitty was precious. She followed at students’ heels, meowed with enthusiasm, flicked her tail in time to each stroke of her black coat, and responded to the name Waffles. Too enamored to return the campus cat to her wayward state, my friends decided to carry her along.
"Hey, we’re headed to Annie’s room,” they thought. “We could always leave it with Annie as a gift – it is a holiday after all! Annie will be happy to receive a gift, Waffles will be happy to have a home, and everybody wins!”
Little did they know that I am allergic to cats.
When they arrived at my door, I was off preparing for my smoothie celebration and my roommate was taking a well-deserved, holiday nap. Knowing her to be a heavy sleeper, my friends decided to enter quietly and leave the cat anyways.
“Perfect!” they thought. “If we leave Waffles in there, she’ll probably want to cuddle, and Adri will wake up to cat snuggles. It’s another winning situation for everybody!”
Little did they know that Adri, my roommate, is terrified of cats.
First floor south. Home of Annie and Adri? More like home of Allergic and Afraid. Oh -- and apparently home of Waffles, too.
Instead of waking up to the joy of a cat in her bed (Honestly, I can’t even attempt to justify my friends’ logic at this point. I can only write it down.), Adri woke to persistent meowing. She rolled over a couple of times, assuming that the noise was drifting in from outside our window. When the volume continued to grow, though, her sleepy self sat up and immediately locked eyes with the cat, who had summited a pile of laundry to perch on our windowsill. After a brief moment of disoriented panic, Adri began screaming for our next-door-neighbor or our friend from down the hall or any sort of passerby -- none of whom were around to help. Waffles, the sociable cat she is, interpreted these screams as invitations. She bounded from the windowsill to my bottom bunk, which, because of the L-shaped nature of our arrangement, is only an upward hop away from Adri’s top bunk. And also Adri’s body.
“No. No. No.” Logic replaced by irrational fear, Adri had given up outside help and began admonishing the cat, which was inching closer and closer, proving remarkably capable of maintaining eye contact -- until a sneeze assaulted her, that is. And, as would be expected of a remarkable cat like Waffles, her sneeze was remarkable, loosing a viscous trail of snot over her face and, likely, over my bedspread.
Adri, repulsed and startled, proceeded to gather herself in a blanket for protection and leap to the floor just as Waffles, unphased, leaped onto Adri’s bunk. Adri fled to her friend’s room, hoping to gain both aid and explanation. Waffles nuzzled into Adri’s comforter, ready to take a nap of her own.
When my friends joined me for my smoothie party later that evening, they were excited to reveal their gift, but wanted to do so cunningly.
“Annie, how would you feel about finding a surprise in your room when you went back?”
"Well, what kind of surprise are we talking about?”
“A living one.”
“Like a fish? I already had one of those…”
“No, a black and furry one.”
“Well, that would be slightly ridiculous. A dog I could probably laugh about, but I’m allergic to cats -- Hey! Wait! Where are you guys running off to?”
Needless to say, these friends of mine donated some quarters to Adri’s and my laundry funds, and Adri and I shared priceless laughs as we ran our sheets through a spin cycle (or two!).
So, for my first Easter away from home, my first Easter living campus life, I celebrated all forms of life: life everlasting because of Christ’s resurrection, bits of true life that seep into present reality in laughter, and residence life lived with my lovely roommate. Oh! And life forms that don’t necessarily belong in a dorm room.