I am not a cat person. Let me be clear on that. I am not a cat person. I love all animals and cats are included in that umbrella, but that doesn’t mean I want a cat in my home, as a part of our family. But I took the leap and got a cat for my husband as a wedding present because he is a cat person. I surprised him with a trip to an animal shelter and let him see the cats, and see if there were any immediate connections. There was, and we ended up taking that connection home. That was three years ago…
Ever since, it has been a love/hate thing with Moxy, our kitty. I even wrote a few posts on some of the particular growing pains of getting used to living with a cat and of course dealing with the claws of said cat. I love my dog Angel, and it’s that simple. I love her. It’s love/love. But my cat can make me want to scream or pull my hair out or punch a wall (I don’t actually do this because I would do more damage to my hand than the wall, but the desire is there). And then she does something cute or purrs or brushes against me or sits in my lap, and it’s love again. So love/hate.
Roy (my husband) says it’s because I’m so much like a cat, and while I can gripe about it, I’ll admit, my personality is probably more in line with a cat’s than a dog’s. I’m independent, solitary, and I don’t take orders from anyone. The only way I’ll do what I’m told is if I was going to do it anyway. The funny thing is that Roy, the cat person, is more like a dog in terms of personality. It must be more of that “opposites attract” phenomena that I have certainly found to be true, but I digress…
So, the other day we took our dog Angel to the vet. Her vet is with Banfield Animal Hospital at our local Petsmart (and every time we see our vet, we love her more and more) and after the appointment we walked around. I came upon a HUGE (I know the all-caps is obnoxious, but this guy was the size of a bobcat or something) 4-year-old brown tabby cat. While I am not a cat person, I still think they’re cute and admire them, I just don’t want to have them in my house, shaking up my routines. But this was something else. Something about this cat reached out and grabbed my face, holding it in place, making it impossible to turn away.
The cat looked at me and got up from his bed in the back of his cage and came to the bars, looking me up and down. I felt a little honored, because two families had already been by, stopped and tried to coax him closer, but he just wasn’t having it. And yet he got up and came to me. I sat down and he started rubbing his face against the bars, just like Moxy does to my legs to show that she actually doesn’t hate me no matter how much she grates on my nerves sometimes. Then he stuck out one of his front paws and we shook hands. Then we played, like I do with Moxy, and he would playfully (but gently) bat my hands, as I moved them slowly like I would a laser pointer. Ten minutes later, Roy found me with said cat and I told him, “I think I want him.”
Roy didn’t take me seriously, and I can’t blame him. I am not a cat person. And we are two years overdue from getting a new dog (which has been planned and prepped for some time). Roy thought I must be kidding or teasing him so he didn’t pay much attention to the cat. But Angel, ever the cat-lover (traitor!) went up to the cage, sniffing him curiously. And he gently pawed her and they actually started to play. Then Roy coaxed me away, as in he actually had to pull me up because the tabby’s pull was a real thing, and we left.
On the way out, I made a sad face and said, “Are you sure?” And in the car I did the same thing. There was just something about that cat I could not get out of my head. All right that’s not accurate – out of gut or my heart or my… I don’t know. Because my head was always clear – there are a million reasons not to get this cat. Money, convenience, Moxy and her territorial issues. I mean my head was like: Wtf. Wtf, wtf, wtf. Getting a cat did not make sense. Roy is the impulsive, follow-your-heart person in this relationship. I’m sensitive and thoughtful, but I am also hyper-rational and planner extraordinaire. Wtf, wtf, wtf.
But we went back because I was serious, which seriously scared me. Roy said, “I want to see the cat,” before he added, “otherwise I’ll never hear the end of it.” He was still in shock that I was serious; it was the good kind of shock, but shock nonetheless. He had called ahead while I was taking care of getting Angel settled (we dropped her at home) and then went to care for a friend’s cat who is battling cancer (but she is a badass, I hope she lets the cancer know who the BOSS really is) so he knew the adoption process before we got there.
Roy didn’t spend much time with the cat. The cat was distracted by a pack (literally eight of them, and they were big) dogs four feet away as their owners talked, so I didn’t hold it against either of them. When the dogs were gone we were back to pawing play and this time Roy joined in. I swear to God, this cat is a stoner. He is so, “Whatever man,” that that is the best description for him – an absolute stoner cat.
Roy and I have talked about it a little, but what is there to talk about? This is how it goes:
ROY: Are you sure about this? I mean do you really want another cat?
ME: No, I don’t and that’s the thing, but there is just something about this cat. I can think cats we see are cute, but never cute enough to want to take home. And he’s not even as cute as the other cats there, but I just feel something with him. A connection. And I’ve never felt that connection with a cat before so it makes me pause.
ROY: Well, let’s sleep on it.
ME: I agree, I don’t want to make any decisions tonight, but sleeping on it won’t help because that involves thinking. When I think about this all I see is all the reasons why this is a bad idea. Money, Moxy, do I really want a cat? Do I really want to deal with all the adjustment things right when things are finally quiet? If I think with my brain the answer is no, and sleeping on it just means more thinking with my brain.
And then we loop back. And I still can’t get this damn cat out of my head. I wish I could bring him home on a trial basis. I know a lot of shelters do that kind of thing. It’s not a case of money at that point, but a case of, can this work in our household? Can the three animals coexist? I know some shelters may not offer this to instill how serious adoption is, but we already get that. We have a dog and a cat, both rescues, and have fostered other rescues in the past (not with our current cat Moxy, but Roy has adopted in the past and I have adopted and/or fostered different animals). We understand the commitment and expense and seriousness, but there are other things at play.
I’m not really worried about how the cat will react to either of our animals, because he’s just so chill. And I’m not worried about how Angel will react to this new cat because she is more like a cat than a dog in her play and behaviors and she is used to cats. Moxy is the question mark here. I’m all about a slow introduction, but if at the end of the day, Moxy hates this new cat and goes all “Destructo Kitty” on our house, us and the other animals, then no matter how I feel about the cat, it isn’t worth it. And frankly, Moxy was here first. But I don’t think that this particular shelter offers that, and the idea of doing that and then taking it back to another shelter if this shelter won’t take it back, breaks my heart.
So, I’m torn. Three days later, and I’m still torn. I still can’t stop thinking about that cat and imagining him here in our house to stay, and I can’t stop remembering all of the reasons why it is stupid, inconvenient and possibly a horrible mistake. To adopt or not adopt? For once, it is such an, “I don’t know…” question.