We didn’t always have this many cats. In fact, growing up I didn’t really have a pet. My mom had tropical fish. But for some reason the silly things would jump out of the tank despite my mother’s best efforts to keep them inside. For a while, it was fairly common wake up every morning and rush to the front room to see if there was a drying out fish to rescue. Our next big pet adventure was a hamster named Sam. He was a nice enough hamster until he escaped and we spent the next year trying to catch him. Our next attempt was my favorite pet, a parakeet named Penny. I loved that sweet little bird…until she drowned. Trust me, it’s a long, tragic story…
When I moved out into my own apartment, one of the very first things I did was talk my roommate into letting me get a cat. It was a deep seated hunger inside of me to have a furred creature that would love me back. My roommate, despite her allergies, agreed to let me have one. I haven’t been without one since.
When Shaun came along, he wasn’t too thrilled about my cat. He claimed that he was a dog person and couldn’t abide felines. I’m sure this feeling was helped along by the fact that my cat felt the need to “mark” my man. Shaun couldn’t resist my allure though and took the whole package of me and my cat. (Would this be the right place to mention that he came with snakes?)
A few years later, our family had changed a bit. We had two little girls, a different cat, and no snakes. We had suddenly found ourselves plopped in a new state with a new employer. To celebrate, we got Shaun his dog. We soon realized that the dog would get lonely when we couldn’t be home with her, so we did the only logical thing. We got her a dog. Our little family was now complete.
Then one day, at a soccer game shortly before Halloween, someone was seeking homes for an abandoned litter of kittens. Despite the fact that I always said “no” to more pets, my children and their father showed them to me with beseeching eyes. They wanted one of those flea-bitten, worm-infested orphan babies in the worst way possible. I couldn’t help it. Something about those kittens touched me. I caved. I told them to go get one before I changed my mind. Nearly faster than I could blink, they had chosen a new kitten for us and we were buckled up and zooming on our way home.
The new kitten wasn’t supposed to be my cat. But he was. I think I loved him more than any other cat we’ve ever had. Then one day, he went off in the woods and never came back. My heart was nearly broken when I realized that a coyote had most likely gotten him. After grieving for about a month I agreed to go to the Humane Society to choose another kitten. I knew that no other cat could fill the hole in my heart, but it was for the girls. Taigoo was getting older and they needed to bond with another cat.
That’s how Buddy came into our lives. He is the sweetest boy in the world and he went far towards mending my heart. But when someone was trying to find a home for Sissy, one of their barn cat’s kittens I couldn’t resist. I was still trying to find a way to deal with my loss. Then another family was looking for a home for Lucy. I honestly felt like we were rescuing her from them…they were very strange people. As a result, Lucy is still a bit of a whacked out cat.
Finally I came to my senses and realized just how many cats now lived with us. I asked Shaun why he hadn’t tried to stop me and he just laughed. He pointed out the fact that he would have even more animals if I wasn’t always telling him no. Sigh…sometimes it’s hard being the mom.
Then, Lucy presented us with her very own litter of kittens. Much to my family’s dismay, I had found homes for all of them. They didn’t understand how I could give away all of Lucy’s babies. So, Baby Nigel ended up staying with us.
I’ll be the first to admit that we probably have too many animals. I can’t give one up though. That would be like giving up one of our kids. We love them all.
I’m going to blame this on parents. If they had let me have a real pet when I was a little girl…well, who’s to say how things would be now?