My daughter asked for a cat, and my claws came out
Get a cat for a pet? Not my first choice.
(Photo by Carine Groenewald/FreeRangeStock.com)
I am not a cat person. I never have been. They're indoor pets that shed all over the furniture, and when you're not looking, they jump up on your kitchen counters, which just creeps me out.
I had an "adopted" cat once. She and I did not get along.
Her name was Pasha, and years before my husband and I met, he found her roaming around a Walmart parking lot. At the time, she was a kitten small enough to fit in his pocket. She was his pet from that moment on, and I guess he was hers.
Pasha hissed at me the first time she saw me. And the second, and the third, etc. My husband speculated that she didn't want to share him. I think he was right.
But one day, the hissing stopped, and she and I eventually settled into an "I won't bother you if you don't bother me" co-existence that continued even after my husband and I were married and living together. In the meantime, I vacuumed up a lot of pet hair but still would notice some strands all over my clothes.
After my husband and I had been married about three years, Pasha died of old age. I cried, partly from the loss, partly out of guilt that I didn't try to play with her more, but mostly because I knew my husband missed her, and I felt sad for him.
Fast forward about ten years to last week, when my 5-year-old asked if she could get a kitten. I immediately had a flashback to a day when I had come home early and found Pasha on top of the refrigerator. I yelled at her to get down, she hissed back and lunged at me, which startled me, so I screamed, then Pasha hissed some more.
After reliving that moment, my first reaction to my daughter's request was simple, "I don't think so."
"Please, Mommy," she said.
"Who would feed the cat? Who would give it water? What if the cat poops on your bed?" I said.
"You can just clean the poop up," she said, giggling as if she thought I was trying to be funny.
"I'm not going to clean it up."
"I meant I can," she said.
In the end, I told her I'd talk to her daddy, thinking he might be resistant to the idea, too.
But he wasn't. He wasn't totally on board, but he was a lot closer to it than I expected.
So now, to be fair to my child, I'm seriously considering it. Really. I am.
But I am also really hoping that as I seriously consider it, she forgets she ever brought it up.
I want to know what you think. Are YOU a cat person?