Sunday, October 22, 2006

I genuinely dislike cats...

Yet we have one.

I never planned on getting a cat, in fact, after leaving home I was so excited to never again have a cat I can't even explain it. You see, growing up my sister loved cats. God, she loved them. I wish I had loved something that much growing up. All cats brought her incredible joy. And they loved her. She could hang a cat upside down, poke it in its side, while dousing it with cold water and it would go slack, look into her eyes and transmit a feline:

I worship you, Abbie.

That's not to say that she did that, she didn't. I am simply trying to illustrate that regardless of the attention Abbie was or wasn't giving to "the kitties" she was (Get ready for it!) to the cats, the cat's meow. I'm not kidding. All cats loved Abbie. Anyway, one of the cats in our house growing up, Skittles, a really beautiful long haired calico took an intense something to me. She didn't mistreat me when we were near each other, in fact she'd sometimes deign to let me stroke her back. However there was something she did that I never understood. And please understand, I never did anything to her. My family can attest to this. Anyway, back to the something, Skit (that was a little nickname we had for her, bet you savvy folks figured that out already, huh? Sorry.)
Skit peed in my shoes.

Now you may be saying, "Oh, sure, she marked your shoes once," or "Well, she was probably just trying to send you a message."

Ok, folks, the message went on for about 5 years. Skit peed in every pair of track shoes, every pair of basketball high tops, every pair of tennis shoes, every pair of...Are you sensing where I am going with this? Every single pair of shoes I owned were destroyed by the toxic, eye watering, gummy texture leaving, angry piss showers of Skit. I used to sit in the bleachers at Ike to get my ankles taped before a meet and the trainer would wrinkle her nose,

"Hmm, what is that? Do you smell that, Amanda? It's kind of, um, ew what is that? Dang it. Hang on, I'll be right back, I must have athletic tape gunk on my fingers, they're all sticky."

And I would think silently, "Yes I do smell that. I smell it every day. Every time I go into my wonderful, unventilated closet I smell that now all too familiar, pungent odor. And no, scratch the athletic tape issue, what you have is funktastic, dried cat piss on your hands from my shoes. Yes, cat piss. Isn't that nice? Nothing better to cripple the self-esteem of a high schooler than the inescapable odor of cat piss wherever they go. Yeah awkward, stinky teen years."

But I digress. I had been saying how excited I was to not have cats anymore. Fast forward about a decade and meet my first daughter, Briar.

Aw, cute huh? Incredible smile. Kinda makes you feel like you'd do just about anything to make that incredible smile explode across her little face, doesn't it?

Last Christmas we had to put one of our dogs, Dean, to sleep.

It was understandably devastating. Ella was a despondent. She had been his shadow since the day we brought her home.

Knowing that we had to do something to help Ella, and knowing that Briar loved cats (to the point of weeping and squealing with joy at the mere sighting of a cat on a walk) we decided to get a kitten.

Barnaby was his name, and he was an instant hit with Ella and Briar. I was trying to be ok with a cat, but I was pregnant so I couldn't take care of the kitty litter box. And as you can imagine, being pregnant, I wanted the box changed much more frequently than Sean thought necessary. But I knew Briar loved him so I tried.

Even when he turned the IKEA igloo tent into his own luxury shitting shack.

Even when he had athlete's foot on his nose which infected Briar and me with ring worm.

Granted, he hasn't peed in my shoes and he no longer craps wherever he wants. But I just can't seem to care about him in the way you would think a pet owner should. However, every once in a while he does something truly exceptional that makes me think, maybe...

Witness yesterday's performance on the equipment the guys siding our house left in the yard.

I'll admit it, the little guy is defrosting a little corner of my heart.

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