Five Reasons to Get a Cat
In the Beginning....
My big sister used to brag to me a outthe furry, white cat that she had when she was little. It had been before I came along, and eventually the cat was given to someone else because of my dad's allergies. So as I grew older, even though I had a dog, I wanted a cat. But alas, I was always told no, not only because of my dad's horrible allergies, but mine as well. It hardly seemed fair. I mean my sister always got the pets she wanted: a cat, a skunk, and a ferret. I could have neither of mine: a cat and a koala bear.
When I started dating my husband, Tony, a kitten adopted me. To make a long story short, I got Tony to agree to take the kitten home with him, although he'd be mine. We eventually got married, added a dog to the mix, and yes, dealt with my horrible allergies. That cat and dog, Smokey and Heidi, respectively, were like brother and sister. They played, they argued, they curled up together, and they ignored each other. When the day came 17 years later when Smokey died following his second eye surgery, we all grieved. (Yes, even Heidi grieved.)
My allergies got better, but there was a hole in my heart. Ten months later while picking up a Christmas gifts at my local pet store, I went to look at the cats that were up for adoption. I fell in love with a kitten that was hidden among a large litter of kittens. It caught my eye. It knew what it was doing. It was two days before Christmas, and I was not about to buy another cat. Instead I went home content to have my dog and my husband. But I talked about that kitten constantly. Finally, Tony told me to go back and get it. I waited until two days before the new year and decided that if that kitten were still there, then it was meant to be mine.
Holly became Heidi's little sister, and was really affected when Heidi evenutally passed away, Now another dog and three exchange students later, Holly has passed away. She was not quite eleven years old, but suffered from Lymphoma. Two months ago I had to make the agonizing yet simple decision to let her go. I held her as the doctor gave her the injection, and felt her weakend body go limp.
My allergies seem better, but the huge hole in my heart has returned. Tony has mentioned wanting another cat. I've put my foot down. I say it's because of my allergies and that I don't need all of the cat hair to chase after like tumbleweeds rolling down the stairs. But it's not just that. How do you so quickly replace someone that was so special to you? I've packed away the toys, the balls, and the kitty gymnasiums. At least I thought I had put it all away, but just last week Gabby brought me a kitty ball she must have found behind the couch.
There is a feral cat that lives in the nearby woods. It is a beautiful gold. On occasion I set dry cat food on the back porch, and he tries to sneak to it before the dog (or a human) can spy him. If he sees us he runs, but it is a beautiful sight. It tugs at my heart and starts me to thinking about all of the pros of having a cat. So, let me present five of the reasons I've come up with to talk myself into getting another cat.
1. Snuggle buddies I think Holly realized that my feet are always cold, so when we went to bed at night she always settled around my feet. She enjoyed curling up in the crook of my arm in the middle of the night. Even with Smokey, there were numerous times when she would cuddleup next to Heidi.
2. Lifesavers disguised as balls of fur I am a diabetic. Both of my cats have saved my life by waking me in the middle of the night when I was continuing to sleep through low blood sugars. Holly would do everything she could to wake me up, sometimes even pulling my hair with her claws or gently biting my cheek without hurting me. Cats are very tuned in to what is going on around them, and even can sense when something is wrong before hand. There are many stories of cats knowing when someone is about to die, has cancer, or if an earthquake or tornado is about to hit.
3. Loyal If I had a bad day, Holly somehow always knew it. She would come and brush up against me, meow, and purr. A few times when I was recovering from surgeries, she would stay at my side on the bed. It was as if she needed to be there in case I needed something.
4. Cats are fun. You can spend a ton of money on cat toys, and I have, but they have just as much fun with a carboard box, a paper bag, or a bug (dead or alive). I can't tell you how many times Smokey or Holly hid in a forgotten box or bag, and jumped out at an unsuspecting Tony as he walked past. They also like to wait in hiding to pounce on the equally unsuspectiing dog.
5. Bug catchers In our first house we had a problem every fall when mice would settle in the crawl space, sometimes to have babies. One year in particular we were remodeling and we had several babies decide to visit the "main house" for a snack. I never needed a mouse trap. At our current house we have the occasional bug, spider, and somethingpede. Holly looked upon these items as fresh toys; although many times I got to them before she had a chance to swat them around too much. At least she made me aware that they were there.
What to Do?
I'm still not sure that now is the right time to get into what I consider to be a lifetime commitment. I don't go into pet ownership lightly, and know that I will have to commit to another being for possibly the next twenty-five years. Granted, that is a long time for a cat, but it is possible. So many things go into this decision: job commitments, affect on the dog, clutter from cat toys and dishes, and of course my allergies. But there are so many deserving cats and kittens at the local animal shelter and pet store (which are through an adoption agency), that need good, loving homes. In time, I just might be ready for another furry child.
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