The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
My family has some unusual genes. Every family does. Our family doesn’t carry the stalker gene or the serial killer gene. We do carry the pet gene, as in lots of pets.
Not just my family but the beloved husband’s family too. Last count he had two grandchildren and 13 grand pets.
There are a few other noteworthy genes but this post isn’t about them. It’s about how you can end up with more pets in a sane rational way. (You have to keep reading to see how that turns out!)
I have had a pet since I was 5 years old. We started with a family dog. Moving on to a singing canary when I was 10.
But around age 13 I fell in love with cats. They suited me. Their potty manners meant I wasn’t required to walk them twice a day. You can put out food (at my convenience) to eat (at their convenience). Easy peasy!
When I was young, people didn’t neuter their pets so we had lots of cats. We started with one and bang she had kittens. We kept one kitten (finding good homes for the rest) and bang she had kittens. You can see where this is going, can’t you?
Unfortunately, not neutering also means that they don’t live long. The average age of a cat in my old neighborhood was about two years. That constant loss is painful for a young child.
We didn’t have any cats for a few years after a loved one died. That one was especially hard for me and I didn’t want to connect with something that would die so soon.
When I adopted again, I was working and that cat was spayed. She went outside but didn’t travel as an unneutered one does. She died of natural causes at age 14.
I replaced her with two cats. Working meant that any pet would be alone during the day. With two they would have company. This was the plan. The two I adopted didn’t like each other.
My girlfriend found a three-month-old cat in her yard. She stopped on her way to the shelter and of course that’s Jake, my 16-year-old grumpy cat. (Stopping at my house with an orphan cat is never a good idea.)
Now I had three cats. Jake got along with one of the other two, but I still had a prima donna that didn’t get along with anyone.
The two old cats passed leaving Jake all alone. (I think he was enjoying the single life — lounge chair to himself watching sports on the TV.)
I assumed he was lonely and adopted Mollie. She was 15 months old and already had a litter. She wasn’t spayed at the time of adoption. She was scheduled but was recovering from a respiratory illness when she went into heat. Oy vay!
Her caterwauling was incredibly loud (she was a horny pint-sized 6 pounds) and she kept showing her private parts to (already neutered) Jake. His response was to flatten his ears back and look at me like I should do something. He had no clue what to do.
I did. She was spayed the following week.
Jake, who was 6, wasn’t playful enough for Mollie so we adopted another cat closer to her age. That’s how Hazel joined us. I never expected to have three cats but it didn’t seem so crazy at the time.
Shortly after that, a young kitten showed up on our back door step (literally). He was playful and adorable but I found a good home for him and regretted it ever since. He was a wonderful cat.
We were a family of two people and three cats. All was good until I dropped off old towels at the shelter and came face to face with what I thought was an old special needs cat. She had one-eye and looked so sad. I agreed to adopt her no matter what condition she was in. (She would be the good deed in my life.)
She wasn’t old or special needs. She was six months and full of spunk. That’s how Morgan joined the household.
I can’t believe I have four cats. I had convinced the beloved husband that Hazel would replace Jake. With his diabetes I didn’t expect him to be so healthy so long. Not only do we have a replacement for Jake but a spare too.
There is harmony. Everyone gets along.
The beloved husband has happily picked up the chore of dropping off donations at the shelter. (He is a wise man.)
Do you think he wanders into the cat room when he goes there? Probably not. If he had his druthers, he would trade us all in for a nice slobbery dog.