I think when you go to the shelter to get a pet, be it cat, dog or whatever, you should be required to take a vow much like getting married, only this one would be a vow to take that pet for better or worse, and to love and have patience in sickness and health until death do you part. The most important one here is patience, because you’re going to need it.
You see, a lot of people don’t realize that having pet(s) is like having children. I have five cats, and at times find it much like having toddlers in the age range of the “terrible twos.”
Let me tell you about life with my furry toddlers. I’ll have to admit right up front that I created a lot of this behavior because I am a very lenient pet parent and my kitties are spoiled rotten all the way to the bone.
For instance, just a few minutes ago I went into my bedroom to see what was on the TV. I picked up the remote to find a very sloppy hair ball in the middle of it. Hair balls, you will discover, are only deposited in locations where they are the most difficult to clean up or will leave the worse stain. Four of my cats sleep with me, and Jada likes to crawl under the blankets. This, of course, deposits grains of kitty litter which feel like the size of golf balls when you roll over on them in the wee hours of the morning.
I feed my cats in the kitchen. This is apparently not an acceptable place to eat for my Josie because she picks the food off the plate and takes it into the dining room to eat it on the white carpet. Speaking of feeding time, did you know that cats can tell time? I made the mistake of feeding them at 4:00 a.m. one morning. They decided that this would be the perfect routine, so now I have four cats using me as their jogging path at 4:00 a.m. every morning.
If you have cats, you’ll know that one has to be aware of “crazy kitty” episodes where they run though the house at the speed of light, only they most often do this in the dark. I was in the line of fire one evening and got tripped up by one of them as she took a short cut between my feet. She was moving so fast, I don’t know to this day which one it was. Anyway, I fell flat on the floor, caught my toe on something and broke it (my toe that is!)
My kitties have the desire to be tech savvy, because one of them will invariably walk across my computer keyboard when I’m trying to work. One morning I found a pile of someone’s breakfast in the middle of the keyboard. If this ever happens to you, you should know that a computer guy once told me to unplug it, rinse it with distilled water if you have it. If you don’t, you can rinse it under the faucet with slightly warm water and let it dry keys-down for at least 24 hours. Apparently this does no harm.
When I first brought Jody home from the shelter, the only place she would sleep was in the middle of the litter box (clean or otherwise). I came up empty when I tried to find a state mental institution for cats, but luckily she abandoned the litter box after a few weeks for my king-size bed where she has her own pillow.
Yes, pets can be a royal pain in the patoot at times . . . just like little kids! But we have to love them because they love us back. After all, what’s a few hair balls or a yucky keyboard when you have a perfect relationship going. Anitole France said it beautifully, “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.” I know that I’ve taken my vows to the outer limits, but after bearing my soul to you, dear hearts, you now know that my soul suffers from sleep deprivation!