Geek Goddess, fellow blogger, is a dog person. She once said to me “I don’t know what you do with a cat?” She wasn’t being insulting, she simply did not understand what one did with a cat.
I am a cat and dog person. In fact, I have had a cat and dog almost my entire life. My childhood started with a cat named Tippy and the first family dog Beatle. I’ve always shared my life with animals.
Beatle was a Beagle, and this made it very difficult for two small children to explain his name to other people. My brother was a fan of the Beatles. I was also. At a very young age, I believed I had seen the Beatles in concert. It wasn’t until many years later I realized I obviously had not. But I had seen a band with 4 men, and at age 3 I assumed it had been the Beatles. It’s one of my earliest memories, and for one of your earliest memories to be seeing the Beatles in concert it’s a pretty darn good one.
I grew up with hamsters, gerbils, snakes, rabbits and cats and usually only one dog. Mistakes were made. The family accidentally buried my brothers snake when we thought it had died. Opps, we later found out it had gone into hibernation. The snake had warmed up and unburied it self but we never found it.
My children grew up with the usual menagerie. My husband had only one stipulation. He had grown up with horses, but we were never to own a horse. This was because he became attached to his horses. However, people that show horses have to look on horses as a business. When his family sold his favorite horse ,Dandy, he never recovered from the loss. It was like losing a sibling, so no horses.
Guinea pigs got a bit out of control via a mix up in sexing. We had 7 at one time. But the entire family adored them so it wasn’t a problem. What was new was tarantulas and now the ferrets I am babysitting for my daughter while she is at college. My older daughter broke the rules of her dorm and snuck in a hamster, as none of us can live without at least one pet.
Today we have Dingo the dog, and Moxie the street cat that is just a wee bit feral. They are however best friends. I don’t know how to explain to my friend Geek what you DO with a cat. You just sort of watch it and it will tell you what you are allowed to do with it. When she chooses she will cuddle up to her brother.
Also she plays with toys. I was cleaning just the small hallway and den and found 10 cat toys. Ten. I put them all in one pile and by the next day they were scattered again. Her favorite is a furby pencil topper she stole. Watching her play is very amusing, even the dog likes to watch. At night, or nap time, Moxie also enjoys joining a human. She’s not picky, if you are sleeping she will gladly join you even if you are just a guest. Her purrs are perfect white noise for sleeping. Cats are very good at inducing sleep in humans.
I can’t imagine living without a pet. My husband happily agrees, he’s famous for spending over $200 on a sick guinea pig once. The guinea pig lived. He believes if you adopt an animal, that animal deserves to be treated as family. That includes medical bills. It doesn’t matter how much the animal originally cost, that animal is family.
My children obviously agree, as when my elder daughter moved to South Africa she flew her two adopted shelter cats to live with her there. We had offered them a home, but she was “No, my cats are family”. It was important also as they were a reminder of her home she had left. The cats saw her through graduate school and helped her adjust to life in South Africa. However, it is not inexpensive to fly cats to South Africa, and for a newly wed and newly employed person, this was a major expense.
She never considered leaving them and finding new cats. She is considering adopting a kitten. Her husband who did not like cats, has learned to love them. He has even trained one of the cats to “hold up” his Kindle when he is reading in bed. I’m not sure if “training” or “tolerate” is the correct word. These are the cats that were never to be allowed “in the bedroom”. Things change when you get to know cats.
I know people that don’t have pets. It’s fine. No hair to pick up, no vet bills, no worrying about moving or pet sitter costs. I just can’t imagine living without at least one non human friend. Also when I mention I would like to get some guinea pigs (it’s not legal in many places to own just one, as they are social animals) my friends look at me oddly. My husband gets it. You don’t need children to enjoy pets.
We are also moving and I imagine that a new cat will probably find us when we live in town. In the countryside cats are part of the food chain. That is why our cat Moxie is an indoor cat. The city, which is where Moxie was found as a stray, is full of cats needing homes. We expect one will know suckers have moved into the neighborhood, and we will soon have more than one cat.