I grew up with a dog. My husband loves cats. And we have had 7 cats over 20 years, despite my husband and children’s cat allergies. Jasmine, Moki, Hobi, Hobbes, Sophie, Taffy and Buffy. Like King Henry the 8th wives, one died (horribly), one survived (she will outlive me), 1 divorced (given away), two beheaded (put down). And the other 3? They are alive and still well, even though one has “Cat HIV” and will not live beyond the age of 9. If I even mention moving on the current “quad pod” I am vilified. Ok, fine, I am not the one sneezing and hiving up all over the place. It beats me why my family hangs on so firmly to them as the oldest one hangs around like a medicare millionaire. At 20 years of age, she is mostly blind, has kidney failure and walks like she is drunk all the time from severe arthritis. Except when the fireplace is on, then she is sprawled out in kitty nirvana.
Moki. Trying to get pics of cats actually LOOKING at you is impossible.
I understand the fascination. Cats are the only domestic animal who have held onto the instincts of the wild. And they are fascinating to watch. If you are cursed, I mean blessed, with more than one, the social structure is interesting to study…..unless there are territorial battles that are won only with a pee fight. Then the interest quickly wanes. I have spent close on $20,000 pulling up rugs and putting down hard flooring in two different (and brand new) houses related to large pee-fested areas. Once a cat pees on a rug, say goodbye to it and your money.
Buffy, our adopted, once ferrel, cat with FIV. She is healthier then all of us put together.
So what keeps cat owners, well, cat owners (if they are not forced into it)?
1. Cats are relatively easy to care for as long as they aren’t sick or crazy in the head.
2. They are relatively quiet unless you have one of those talkers. I do, and she is a pain.
3. They don’t smell bad and don’t drool.
4. Some love to cuddle and flop on you.
5. They are funny to watch. A cat in stalk mode is just a hoot. I love to put my hand under a blanket and pretend it is a mouse. They go nuts over it. I had a cat who could play tennis. I would play cat-ball tennis with her for hours when she was little. She could hit any ball back to me, and the acrobatics were amazing. Free entertainment.
6. They are smart, after all, what other species gets to sleep 20 hours a day and live like a king, doted on by their owners? All they have to do is stretch up their little paws and roll and we are all in enthralled joy over the event.
It’s mind control, I tell you. Little sociopaths.
Taffy. Named for his sweet, calm personality. He is the one we shave like a lion–see his tufty tail?
On the flip side,:
1. The litter is messy and all over everything. I hate the feel of litter on my feet. Gives me the willies, whatever that really is. And I know that microscopically my entire house is full of cat-print feces and urine splotches. A nurse’s nightmare.
2. And don’t get bit by one, it’s horrible. Their mouths are filled with germs that help dissolve their prey. Your skin is not immune to it either. Two episodes of cellulitis from two cat bites (both from my feral cat Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer). Expensive and painful–if you are lucky.
3. And meds. Don’t get me started there. I have spent up to 30 minutes in a silent and frothy battle trying to get the darn pill down their stinkin’ throat.
Sorry, got a little PTSD over that.
Any time the Vet mentions pills (urine infection etc), I just squeak, “Can you just give the antibiotic shot?” The $60 is worth the hassle of 1 pill twice a day over and over…and over.
I actually have pet insurance. It ends up being cheaper over the long haul, if you plan to have a long haul, and office visits, comprehensive exams, labs and dental cleaning are all free. Gotta keep the pearly whites clean….they have nicer teeth then I do.
Sophie. She likes to stalk and fight all of the rest. Mean, chubby fighting machine!
4. Cat food, the bane of my existence. Moki, the 20-year-old, has a gluten allergy. She also vomits up any hard food. So I comb the city for gluten-free, wet, chunky cat food. No pate, siree! And gravy please. And don’t repeat the same flavor twice in one day. And can I have part of your chicken too? Of course, the others’ cry favoritism. And try to steal her food. Taffy, the Fat One, lurks. He watches until we are distracted, then slips in for the kill. He knows that he is sinning, any “No” or clap, or snap, or throat clearing or “Taffy” and he high-tails it out of there with his tail between his legs. The glutton.
After 20 years, I am ready to be cat free. And no exchanges for any other animal species. But, on cold winter nights, absolutely nothing is better than a snuggled warm furry bundle on your lap or stretched along your leg. Kitty Nirvana.
I have an old cat named MOKI,
She is fat, lazy, arthritic and pokey.
If she continues to pee on my rug
she’s going to kitty heaven–and that ‘s no joke-y!
My vampire kitten is named Buffy,
and bites like a Mike Tyson tough-y.
I have warned her not to be so huffy,
or I’m turning her into a muffie!