I am a terrible pet owner.
I do take my animals to the vet, give them quality food, and lavish them with affection. For a while. I always end up giving them away. I feel like such a shit when I do it, but I always convince myself that it is for the best. I recently got a cat.
My sister once told me that I don’t own pets, I rent them. Every pet that I have ever had has been just one couch-barf away from a rehoming.
For some reason, I decided I wanted a cat. My husband hates cats. He finds them creepy and disgusting. His cat-loathing is well known.
I wore him down.
After months of doing what I do to wear him down when a wearing down is what needs to be done, he finally agreed to look at shelter cats with me. I showed my husband a photo of a cat that was posted on my local shelter’s site. I had no intention of getting THAT cat. It was eleven years old. He liked that. I did not. It was also declawed. He liked that as much as he could like anything cat related. I knew if I got him to the shelter I would leave with whatever I wanted. I’m such a sneaky wife.
Bait and switch.
When we got to the shelter, two young girls were meeting the bait-and-switch cat, so I used that as an opportunity to walk around and look at kittens, seemingly disappointed that I had missed my chance to meet her, but internally screaming with glee.
My husband hated everything about every cat I pointed out. The happily bouncing gray tabby looked too “jumpy.” The striking calico with one brown eye and one green eye was “ugly.” The all black cat that was already neutered and ready to go home was a witch’s cat. “Are we witches now?”
I stopped asking for his opinion because honestly, it didn’t matter. I was in a state of cat-craziness that I can’t explain. I wanted one. Or two. Or one hundred and one like that movie with the dogs. It was madness and I was in its grasp.
Not only am I a terrible pet owner, I’m generally terrible.
I selected the second choice – but really the first choice – kitten and went to let the volunteer know that I wanted to meet him. As we approached, we heard the volunteer ask the two young ladies if either of them was at least 18 years old. They were not.
My husband spoke up. “My wife would like to see that cat.”
I did not want to see that cat. But I did not want to be rude. I also did not want my trickery to be revealed. The volunteer gushed about what a sweet cat she was, and how deserving of a good home. She said a lot of other stuff but I wasn’t listening because I’m a terrible person. I should work on that.
Gross cat is gross.
We went into the meeting room with her. She sniffed around. I sat on the floor with a toy, but she didn’t care about the toy at all. She was no fun. Boring. Old. Stupid. Gross. Cat.
I started to tell my husband that Gross Cat seemed sick or something. She wasn’t the cat for us. I picked her up to hand her back to the volunteer. Under her half-matted and partially shaved fur, she was skin and bones. She was so damned skinny. She felt like she was made of glass wrapped in something unclean. She sniffed my face. She licked my hand like a dog might. She nuzzled my cheek. She purred so beautifully.
My husband said, “That’s your cat.”
My husband pets her sometimes. He seems to be getting over his cat-a-phobia.
I named her Skeletor. I love her. My husband says I’m not allowed to get rid of her. I think he loves her, too.
She barfed on my brand new couch the other day.
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