A new addition to our family

Hi. Remember me? I’m the girl who decided that she didn’t want to grow up to be a cat lady. I try to like cats. I really do. But when their hair is all over me, or they are whining to want to be fed or cuddled, or when they poop outside of the litter box and then spread the litter all over the bathroom, it all comes down to the fact that I am just not a cat person.

I mean, isn’t that what kids are for?

So knowing that about myself, and radiating that negative energy to all cats that come within 20 feet of me, tell me please why this was found in my backyard, crying more pitifully than anything I had ever heard in my life:

Yes. That is a cat. And yes, that is him eating food out of a bowl I set in front of him. This could only mean that the cat possessed me into feeling sorry for it, cuddling it, feeding it, then letting it into my home while I had crazy thoughts of actually keeping it should it not belong to anyone else.

I’m telling you, the cat is a witch. And yes, I have given the witch cat a name.

Folks, meet Luchi.

(Apparently, Luchi also possessed me to let him in the house and onto a fluffy blanket so he could be comfortable…)

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with a cat. First of all, my landlord forbids animals in our apartment complex (despite the fact that over half of the apartments have dogs barking inside or cats sunning themselves in the windows). Secondly, we are a family on the go. Most weekends we don’t even stay home. Last, if this cat ends up not having a home I am going to have to neuter it, get it shots, and feed it every day.

On the other hand, if our family is ever going to own a pet, this is the best way for us to have one. I really can’t see myself going out to the pound or the pet store to get an animal. No. The animal would have to find us, just like Luchi did. And cats are a perfect pet for a family on the go. They can entertain themselves and, at times, would rather be left alone. They are the perfect fit to curl up in a lap when sitting down to watch a movie or read a book. They sleep most of the day, which is something I’d love to do if I could, so I can live vicariously through him. And the kids have been dying to get an animal that they can love and that won’t die within three weeks of getting it (RIP Gecko Lizard). I think I can actually keep this animal alive. It’s not as if it will keep quiet if I forget to feed it.

I have made it very clear to my kids (and myself) that we are going to take all the necessary measures to find out if this cat has a home already. We will be scanning it for a microchip (Thank you for reminding me of that, AP). If that doesn’t produce anything, we will place a collar on it with a note saying what’s going on and see if anyone responds. If it belongs to someone, I want to be sure that they have their cat back.

“Someone did this to my cat,” Mr. W told me, when I let him know about the cat that was purring in my lap as we spoke on the phone. “They kept feeding the cat and pretty soon the cat didn’t even want to come back home.”

Who knew that having a cat find you and adopt you could be so politically exhausting?

In the meantime, my son has already bonded with the cat. After a really hard baseball practice, and being destined to play a position he hates for the rest of the year, he told me he couldn’t wait to get home.

“I just want to take Luchi up in my room and talk about this for awhile with him.”

Doesn’t that just break your heart?

We all end our sentences about the cat with “if we get to keep him”. We’ve also set up cat care with the neighborhood kids for the days when we aren’t at home. And we also learned another secret about the cat.

“Hey! That’s the cat that’s been hanging out in our backyard!” our next door neighbor said when he came to our door looking for the Taz.

“He slept on my bed just the other night!” another girl cried when she and her mom came over.

Anyone ever read the book Six Dinner Sid, by Inga Moore?  It’s the story of a cat that had six different homes, unbeknownst to all of his owners. He had six different names and had six different personalities to please his owners. And because of all his efforts, he got six different dinners a night. But when a cough sent him to the vet six different times, Six Dinner Sid was suddenly found out.

It is very possible that I may have a Six Dinner Sid for a cat.

Nonetheless, the neighbors agreed that we could keep the cat if no owner turns up. Looks like I’m going to be a cat lady after all. And know what? It might not be so bad.

How did your family acquire a pet?
Have you ever had a pet find you instead of you finding him or her?
And what is it like adding a pet to your family?

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14 thoughts on “A new addition to our family”

  1. Come to think of it, most every pet acquired by any household of mine was adopted from a shelter or paid for. However, once those animals, particularly cats, settled in, it seemed like they only used our house for a way station, in between all the hunting and foraging and sleeping and generally being an animal without a care in the world. Dogs are more territorial, like to be heard and seen, but when you live on twenty one acres in Mendocino County, even dogs can seem as if they’re always off on a snipe hunt somewhere.
    Adding an animal to the family is much the same as adding another child; it requires food, care, bathroom facilities, and, in light of all this, sometimes will regard you as the lowest form of intelligent life on the planet. Cats are famous for this. Their withering “are you serious?” looks from furry eyelids that belie no expression yet seem to judge you to your very core are sometimes too priceless not to crack up over. Dogs are more slobbery, to be sure, more rambunctious, but the “huhrhuh!?” Then “SQUIRREL!” before they run off after something you can’t see or hear is priceless as well. Yes, Pixar got it right. All that being said, psychotherapy experts and others in the field of mental health generally agree that holding an animal in your lap and just loving it and letting it love you is some of the finest and most effective anti-stress medicine known to humanity, which is why your son looking forward to snuggling with kitty after a tough practice is totally understandable. Just out of curiosity, what position is it he hates so much? Logan and Tristan both just started Little League, is why I wonder 😉 Congratulations on your new family member!

  2. We too acuired two cats from the street. Once you give them the smallest morsel of food, they will continue to hang around your front door and then somehow finally end up inside your home. Cats sure are funny creatures.

  3. For sure, a cat is the better choice if you aren’t home much…they don’t pine the way dogs do — as naturally solitary creatures, they enjoy their independence, but can also be the cutest, cuddliest little fluff balls in the world.
    I, of course, am a cat person. I love their attitude, their “my way or the highway” behavior (says the girl who just had her cat come sit in her lap in front of the laptop and drape herself over one arm in a way that makes typing rather challenging, and is perfectly content to allow said cat to stay there.) I like dogs okay, but I made my mom de-allergic me to cats as a kid so I could get one.

    Anyway, two things:
    One cat does not a cat lady make. You need multiples to win that title.

    Also…what a pretty boy! Those eyes are just lovely! I hope you get to make him a permanent part of your family. Hey — pets reduce stress. Also, the best pets are the ones that choose YOU, rather than the reverse.

  4. The Taz got right field. He has always been best at 3rd base and left field. This year, since he has a good arm, he was hoping to get a chance at pitcher. The coach, impressed with his throwing skills, told him that he wanted to start training him. And then he “forgot”. Needless to say, the Taz is not happy. He hates right field because there isn’t much action out there. And I’m concerned because when the Taz is bored out in the field, he ends up chewing on his glove and looking at the sky more than paying attention to the game. But Mr. W pointed out recently that the coach may have put him out there because it’s a position that requires a long throw. At least, that’s how I’m going to spin it to the Taz to keep him from quitting altogether. That, and perhaps Luchi has some words of wisdom for the Taz that I just can’t convey as well as a snuggly cat can.

    As for cats, my mom has acquired cats pretty much the same way. Well, sort of. It was more like her daughters would find a really great cat that would eventually end up being pawned off on her… We did have one really cool black cat with extra toes just show up on our doorstep one year when we were little. And he stayed with us until he died from Leukemia years later.

    Oh, and “Up” has become one of our family’s favorite movies of the moment, especially because of the “Squirrel!”

  5. Str4y, isn’t he gorgeous? And he has the prettiest meow you’ve ever heard, which is why I thought he was a girl until I turned him over… And good to know that having half a cat (he’s still, thankfully, pretty independent) doesn’t make me a cat lady. But isn’t starting with one cat the gateway drug to a multiple cat household?

  6. Logan got right field, too, but a good LL manager will rotate his players now and then. It’s true there’s not much action in right (or any field at this level, for that matter) but it’s still an important position. One gets by you, and it’s extra bases, baby. All the more reason -and so you don’t take a liner off your dome- to keep your head in the game, Taz, old buddy 🙂

    If they could talk, animals would be the most honest creatures alive.
    “I stayed by your door all night because I love you.” Dug- from the movie “Up”

  7. darknight– Yeah, but a cat would say, “I stayed by your door all night because you haven’t fed me yet. Oh, and once you let me in I’m going to do something to show you my displeasure. I won’t tell you what…it’ll be more fun if it’s a surprise.”

  8. LOL Str4y. I can’t even tell you the gross surprises that my previous cats have left for me – hidden of course. Apparently when leaving surprises, it’s much more fun if it’s found weeks later.

  9. Ah yes, Str4y, the fickle love cats show. Ours is practically glued to my feet from the moment I wake to the moment I lay my head down at night, and not because she loves me, either. You’d think we never feed the beast. If only cats could talk…on second thought, I’m glad they can’t. Oh, and in regards to “hidden surprises” found later…well, at least they’re more likely to be mummified by then 😉

  10. Dude I had Six Dinner Sid when I was 19! Except that his name was Gabe and he was my boyfriend.

    Or, as he said, “We’re seeing each other”

    And….seeing the rest of the neighborhood too. Sigh

  11. Str4y I can relate, typing with a cat draped over your arm takes great skill as does typing with a cat standing on your lap so you can’t see the keyboard and my personal favorite having said cat stroll up and down the keyboard while you type : )
    Luchi is an absolutely stunning cat. I hope he ends up yours as Taz is already confiding in him.

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