We are dog people. As a child I envied friends with cats – those mysterious creatures who passed silently through the room assessing us from afar, and gave birth to precious things called “kittens” in closets and under beds. They looked really cute and seemed like interesting, if aloof, creatures. But it didn’t seem to be an option, and it wasn’t a boat I cared to rock as a child. I just knew that when I grew up and got married, I could “do what I wanted”.
Hah! The reality of that was a husband who was okay with a dog, but completely intolerant of any association with cats. Curses! Foiled again!
My catless existence came to a screeching halt seven years ago. During a difficult period of life, my daughters and I were in the process of moving into our home, and the girls broached the subject of getting a kitten. Seemed like a small request, and I still harbored a hidden curiosity about those creatures of my youth. So I assured them we would do so, as soon as we were all settled in the new house.
Then we attended a “Pet Expo” at a local convention hall just for fun. It was made up of all shelter pets, and I felt safe in the surety that we had enough dogs (is there ever enough?), and wanted our first feline to be a KITTEN, not a cat. In theory, we should be able to make it in and out without a hitch. I should live so long.
We left that day with two tiny black kittens, and joined the mysterious world of “litter boxes” and “scratching posts” .
Having a big heart, and no brains, I quickly added another kitten – a transaction that was like a drug deal out of a bad movie. After an email exchange with a representative of a shelter, I waited in front of a Pet supply store in a strip mall. A car pulled up, and I got in the back seat. The adoption fee changed hands, and I got back out with a container carrying “the goods” – a
tortoiseshell’ kitten with ears like a cartoon alien (think Stitch) and an outgoing personality. Luna eventually grew into those ears, but her happy, outgoing disposition remained the same.
After that, it was easy to add Esmerelda (part Maine Coon, part princess) from the same mysterious strip mall meeting source. This time the girls were with me for the pet adoption, and my car broke down on the way home thus proving the old saying “no good deed goes unpunished”.
I never realized that cats had breeds, and began learning more about Maine Coons (did I mention that I’m an idiot?). Lambert, a big red Maine Coon and our only non-rescue kitten, arrived for my birthday one year courtesy of my daughters. He is the man of the feline family – and as big and gentle as he could be.
Cinderella joined us last, a tiny little kitten with a little busy face and such a cuddly disposition, from another pet adoption. Had we known how tiny she’d stay, we’d have named her Thumbelina instead.
I don’t know who said that cats are aloof. I have three cats in my lap and I am writing this with the laptop balanced precariously between the arm of the chair and Lambert’s rear. The same person must have said that as wrote the theory that dogs and cats don’t get along. My crew don’t subscribe to that theory either. In fact, one of the cats gives backrubs to our old timer of a Basset Hound, and two others like to cuddle with him on his bed.
Something I have learned about cats is that these suckers are AGILE! They leap through the air like the Flying Wallendas, run nimbly across curtain rods, and tap my head from the top of bookcases. They have brought a new dimension to my life with their ability to get on any piece of furniture they choose – the only animals that can cross an entire room without once touching the floor.
I have added cats to the list of pets I never want to be without, and I regret those years that I missed out on cuddly kittens and purring, warm bodies. Five cats twine around my feet, and purr contentedly in my lap. (There is a special place in heaven for me – but I probably have to clean the litter boxes when I get there) I can call them by name and they all come running. Aloof, my foot.
However, I have been told that my cat quota is full for now. These five keep me very busy…… and my daughters (the instigators of this whole thing!) have banned me from any and all pet adoptions…..