Most nights I hit 7:30 like a chunky kid cannonballing into a pool. I lay down with my laptop and take turns eating things and yelling random vague threats about what happens to people who don't sleep. Sometimes I refold the laundry baskets instead of putting them away and watch all the movies I wasn't allowed to watch back in 6th grade before I got married.
It is in those moments, as I lay in a sweaty haze, overwhelmed at the thought of being responsible for 4 souls and increasingly aware of my crushing inadequacy and diminishing physical and mental strength, that I ask myself, “Hey, why not get a cat?” This is the part in the movie where you realize that Mama don’t just have a bad cough and start worrying about what kinda stepmama Daddy might foist on the brood.
These kids here have been clamoring for a pet ever since I accidentally poached their Betta. (who knew water temp was so important?) The thing is, the MOG and I are not really animal people. In fact, we’re almost anti-animal. Our primary objections have to do with the upkeep and, very specifically, their defecation. We already have humans defecating at random and horrible intervals and locations around here and the thought of bringing another species into the fun is not, well, fun. Also the Man of God was responsible for the burial (not the demise) of a number of animals during his childhood and as such, has hardened his heart to animalkind.
Somehow, the deterioration of my brain that began with the birth of my first child and continues to this day has led us to this point, when we decided, despite all the odds, to get a cat. In my defense, I’ve been thinking about it for a while and we’ve even done some informal polling around the house about cats vs. dogs. In the end, an animal that requires fairly little interaction and no outdoor trips was the animal for us. “Why not get a hamster?” you ask, and to me that sounds exactly like, “Why not get Ebola?”
So we got a tiny little kitten for free from the internet (thanks, internet!) and she pooped around the house for a few days and refused to eat the cheap food but has settled into her rightful place as Feline Ruler of the Home now, with her bejeweled collar and Fancy Feast. She has been the center of attention and the cause of countless fights, but in the evening she chooses to go and curl up with her tormentors and sleep, so I think it’s a bit of a mutual admiration society. As for me and the MOG, I wanted a lazy cat to come hang out with me while I read, and she nails that role. The MOG keeps telling me he has no affection for her, but this is what is commonly known as a “lie”.
Animal lovers who might not perceive my affection through my snark: we all really like this cat and she has had excellent care. Fear not.
This might sound like the beginning of a horrific tale of why you should never give animals away on the internet, but I don’t know. I almost think that we will grow old with this kitty, that she’ll be a fixture through years of family photos and maybe die when the kids are grown. Or maybe it will be some short-lived semi-terrible story. Time will tell, but so far, so good.