I’m a dog person. I don’t want a stinkin’ cat.
Our last dog, Chloe, died 4 years ago at age 16. She was the love of my life, and it was painful to lose her.
When we moved my elderly mom into our home this past summer, we thought maybe it was time to get another dog. We thought that it would be a good distraction and a bit of a comfort for her. She had just lost her spouse of 70 years, she was getting moved out of her home of over 50 years, and on top of all that, she had 9 cats that couldn’t come with her and would have to be re-homed.
9 cats are 8 cats too many for most people. For me, it’s 9 cats too many. Cats to me are like New York city … fun to visit, but not to live with. I don’t want a stinkin’ cat.
During the weeks it took to get mom and my house ready for the move, my sister and I had a schedule where either one or the other of us would go daily for 2-3 hours to bring her a good meal and, spend time with her to get reacquainted, hopefully earn her trust and prepare her for the move that was coming. We had been estranged from our parents for 45 years, and now here we were, moving in and taking over her life! We weren’t sure how this was going to go, so we were moving very slowly.
For the most part, the cats would disappear during our visits. Weeks passed before they would even come into the room where we were. Some of them were beautiful, but if we so much as glanced their way, they would run back to the bedrooms. See how cats are? I don’t want a stinkin’ cat.
It didn’t matter … once mom was out of the house and couldn’t watch, we’d get them all in carriers and take them all to a cat rescue. We had time … but time was all they needed ...
Patty is small gray tabby. She’s so small, I thought she wasn’t fully grown. But she’s an adult, just very dainty and small. I’d bet her tiny feet wouldn’t cover a quarter! Cute and dainty is a dangerous thing … I don’t want a stinkin’ cat.
Patty would come flying out to greet us whenever we arrived. We always brought a meal to eat with mom, and Patty would have to get moved off the table. She wouldn’t leave, she’d just curl up on our purses or bags sitting on the bench beside us. The second the meal was over and the table was cleared, she’d be back, stretched out in front of us. If we didn’t pet her, she’d stretch a paw out and rest it on our arm or hand. Then she’d narrow her eyes and gaze lovingly up at us … unsuspecting me was being set up … I don’t want a stinkin’ cat.
Patty had an accomplice … Squirt. I don’t know what goes on amidst a society of nine cats, but these two were pals. When Squirt saw Patty bravely cooing – uh, I mean, wooing – us, he decided to join in. Squirt is a big boy, twice as big as Patty. He’s all spotty black on his sides and top, snowy white on his underneath parts, and powder-puff soft. From the back of a chair or marching right up to you at the table, he greets you with a head butt, and wants to be touched and scratched on his head and neck.
I didn’t realize it a the time, but I was getting tag-teamed. Yes, you’re cute. And, NO, I don’t want a stinkin’ cat!
Weeks passed and finally we were able to get my mom out of her house. While I helped mom get settled into her new home at my house, my sister got about the business of cleaning up mom’s house. It was time to rehome all those cats.
She and a friend with experience in such things went over one Friday and got the job done in a single afternoon! Good job, ladies! Well … sort of …. turns out, they got rid of 7 cats … uh oh … Patty and Squirt were still at the house! My sister explained …
I COULDN’T DO IT! NOT PATTY!! NOT SQUIRT!!!! AAARGH!!!
The truth was out … those varmints had been playing both of us!!! And they were winning! What to do …
I don’t want a stinkin’ cat! Besides, Bill is allergic, so we can’t even if we wanted … and we DON’T!
My sister has 3 older cats, one of which is about 15-16 years old and has health issues, so she couldn’t take them either. But she planned to ask around among friends at church and at work. She was hoping to find someone she knew who could take them, and we still might be able to see them occasionally.
So Patty and Squirt stayed at mom’s house alone together for a while. My sister checked on them for food and water every afternoon. Mom asked about them every day. These two were special indeed.
We were still on the lookout for a dog, but weren’t having much luck. In a few days, my hubby actually suggested bringing Patty to our house. I promise … he was not coerced … he volunteered all on his own! He said we should try keeping her contained in the apartment. One closed door in the kitchen would keep her out of the rest of the house. It wouldn’t hurt to try it out for a few days …
We didn’t tell mom Patty was coming, and she didn’t know until my sister showed up one afternoon with Patty … what a happy surprise! While we tested out if having a cat at our house was going to work, we all worried about Squirt who was now at mom’s house all alone.
A couple of weeks went by. My sister thought a few times that she had found a home for Squirt, but nothing ever worked out. One family excitedly took him for a weekend, but they had a dog, too, and apparently the dog wasn’t willing to share his family. Squirt got sent back to mom’s house. All alone.
Meanwhile, our trial with Patty was working out very well … if Patty stayed put in the apartment, Bill had no issues at all with his allergies ... what else could we do? Squirt was coming to our house! Those conniving rascals had succeeded!
I don’t want a stinkin’ cat … lucky me … now I’ve got TWO!
I have nothing against cats, but in all of Chloe’s 16 years, never once did I have to make her stop climbing the closet doors.
I never had to put slabs of thick foam between and behind my desks and cabinets to keep her from climbing between and over my printer and scanner.
I never had to build a wall made of large sheets of mat board around my computer tower to keep her off the equipment and wires. My house was never in the running for a full spread in Better Homes and Gardens anyway, but there’s zero hope for that now!
Anywhere you go in the kitchen, one bedroom, and a living/dining area, a much needed and appropriately named squirt bottle full of water is within arm’s reach. He’s learning, but he still tries anyway!
We thought we finally had succeeded in keeping him off the equipment, until one morning …
Mom had just gotten up and was in the bathroom, door shut. I had just opened up the apartment for the day: lights, windows and outside door, etc. I stepped out of the apartment for a few moments … I swear … the boy was only alone for 3-4 minutes max …
When I came back, the internet was down and the computer was off. Squirt had gotten atop my desk, over the desk, behind the desk, atop all the wires, and got stuck in the narrow space. In all his squirming while trying to escape, he knocked over the router box, unplugged about 5 different plugs, and was making a mess trying to dig his way out through a slab of foam that was supposed to keep him out of there in the first place!
I MISS MY DOG!!
Oh, well …
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. The cats are a real comfort to my mom, and what a small price to pay for having my mom back in my life! Even if those conniving rascals did hook me and reel me in, most days, I really enjoy having them around.
But then came an innocently asked question one afternoon …
Hey, Sherry, what will you do with the cats when your mom passes away? Did you know that cats can live 20 YEARS?