The Story of How My Family Went From A No-Cat to A Four-Cat Family
An ongoing blog about a mother, a cat, three kittens and two kids
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Right now, sitting in a basket in my living room, is my beloved cat Ellie. Ellie, who was our first cat and because of her being first, still reigns supreme in our hearts.
But lying nearby is Little One, a cat I never wanted to keep, but who my son fell in love with, and as a mother, who my son loves, I must in turn love and keep. And so he sits.
Nearby is a big black hunk of a cat, the one I adore, the baddest, dirtiest one, the one who pees in the corners and poops in the bathtub, and despite all this cat’s bad ways, he has my heart. When I watch TV, he cuddles up next to me. He is like a dog-cat, following me, cuddling with me, the independent cat persona doesn’t exist in this cat. I feel loved and needed by this cat. But oh the conflict: he has scratched my sweetie-pie daughter, and for that, I have nearly gotten rid of him several times. I might still, despite my love, banish this cat. Therein lies the conflict. He is a tempting lover, with the most delicious coat of fur to pet and the most ferocious, attention-getting purr.
Yet, when I think back on the scratches to my daughter, I am ready to say goodbye.
Just not yet.
Then there is Fuzzy. Fuzzy is the cat we all love: good-natured, easy-going, fun to pet and despite my daughter enjoying playing the game of dentist with her (my daughter has a penchant for checking Fuzzy’s teeth), she never scratches.
Fuzzy is the most like her mother Ellie, smart, verbal, loving but in a distinctly cool and distant way. Fuzzy will sometimes snuggle with me, but most of the time she prefers to be alone. She will let me pet her, but never hold her longer than a minute.
Little One, my son’s favorite, isn’t that interested in us humans, but instead loves his cat family. He is the youngest of Ellie's litter, and when born, we thought he was dead. He is gentle and kind, with a very sturdy body and fur that is not that pleasant to touch. My reasons for not liking him are purely superficial: he is not beautiful or fun to pet. I question myself: here is a cat who is completely litter trained, never scratches and is overall a good-natured cat. Yet, my heart is cold towards him, and I search to appreciate the good qualities my son sees in this cat.
Thus begins the story of how my house went from a no-pet house a few years ago, to a four cat home. The dilemma is this: we cannot keep four cats. Some of them have to leave. But which one? Do I let go of big Blackie, the one I love? Do I say goodbye to Fuzzy? Or do I force my son to endure a loss of a cat who loves him? Four is too many, but we have all fallen in love. Never underestimate the power of a cat.
What having kittens has taught me is that love can come in unexpected places. I have learned that you don’t always love who you are suppose to love. My all-black kitten that we named Blackie is in fact our most badly behaved kitten. She pees and poops and doesn’t seem to understand ‘litter training’ at all. She scratches and seems to have a bad temper.
She also is the only kitten who will sit and cuddle me, kiss me with her nose, and sleep right next to me when I watch TV alone late at night. The love she pours out makes up in spaids for some of her bad behavior.
But to understand my family’s journey to four cats, you have to go back to that dull Saturday a few Octobers ago when my husband had to work the weekend and I had nothing to do with my kids.
It was a beautiful, bright October Saturday and I was feeling down.
My husband had to work and we had no plans. We had recently moved and didn't know many people in our new town.
Two kids, and no plans. It seemed too often that there was never enough children, never enough things to do. A whole day ahead of me, and no idea how to occupy my precious little bundles.
It was an awkward time. My daughter had just begun second grade, and her teacher was a bit of a drag. A nice woman at heart, but the picky type that would send you to the bathroom to wash your hands because of a dirty thumbnail, and then send you back again, all the while accidentally embarrassing you in front of the whole class.
My son was in preschool, and I was wishing we had moved over the summer from this town I didn’t really like.
We started that Saturday by driving 40 minutes to visit my parents. We spent an hour at the park. One hour down, several more to go. I sat in my car feeling deflated and alone.
The kids were bored. Maybe even lonely, and I had exhausted all our playdate possibilities.
I leaned against the steering wheel and said a quick prayer asking God to help me find something to do with my kids that day.
Immediately, an idea popped into my head: visit the Humane Society.
The Humane Society is an organization that rescues animals and then finds them homes.
It can’t hurt to visit, I thought. We weren’t ready for a pet. Maybe in two or three years. But it might be fun for the kids to go look at the pets. My Dad and Mom agreed to come. So off we went, with the idea of spending some time looking at all the animals, for that far, faraway time when we would actually be ready for a pet.