No one who knows me is under any delusion that I am an overly enthusiastic pet owner. “Reluctant but tolerant” sums upmy pet ownership attitude.
My wife, Meghan, is the opposite. When I met and moved in with her, she had three cats. Let me write that again, THREE. CATS. I went from zero to three which is the emotional equivalent to being sidewiped by a runaway semi-truck at 80 miles per hour. Only the cat ownership probably causes more pain long-term. Broken bones and bruises heal but scooping poop from litter boxes never ends.
With baby Cash in the picture, we have reduced the number of cats to two–no, I didn’t have one of them sent “off to the farm.” He is still alive and thriving since we “re-homed” him to a friendly, attentive woman in a less kid-hectic household to suit that cat’s temperament.
This was the only way my wife was at peace with giving him up/re-homing him, knowing he was so well-cared for.
For the past year, Meghan mentions wanting to get a dog…way too often. I thought one was either a cat OR a dog person, not a cat AND a dog person! Even worse, she’s a cat and a dog and an all-animal person.
After visiting a llama farm, Meghan wants a llama…after petting a goat, she talks about the possibility of housing one in our backyard, after visiting a farm…you get the idea. A trip to the zoo causes consternation in me that we’ll soon start shopping around for giraffe food or a large monkey cage.
I’ve conceded to the dog talk fairly in my opinion with a fair compromise. We can get a dog…we just won’t have dogs AND cats. So, we either wait until the cats are ready to go “off to the farm” or we rehome them to make room for a canine. Kids and dogs and cats…just too much of a zoo for my liking.
Sadly, I’m outnumbered in my household…not just by pets but by my wife and son. Cash gets ecstatic when one of our cats, Emmitt and Sophie, walks by him. He does a clap and a hop and a laugh, sometimes a squeal when he sees them. As Meghan described it, they are moving stuffed animals to him. And he treats them as such.
Cash treats the stuffed bunny he sleeps with like a rag doll, flipping and smacking it around like a professional wrestler until he arrives at a comfortable resting position.
I half expect him to stand on the edge of the crib like it’s a turn buckle and Superfly Snuka the Bunny to the mattress.
He treats the cats pretty much the same. We are trying to teach him to gently stroke them but his instinct is to roughly slap and squeeze them where he usually ends up with a little fistful of fur. The cats avoid him accordingly. As Cash scoots towards them excitedly, they retreat. Like a cat and mouse game, just reversed…a Cash and cat game.
With the reluctant realization the cats bring Cash excitement, I’m forced to be even more tolerant and accept my fate as a pet owner.
Otherwise, I risk Meghan and Cash looking to re-home me.