Ever since I moved out after graduating college, I’d been harboring some not-so-secret diabolical plans to get myself a kitten. I’d grown up with cats my entire life, and so it wasn’t until I was spending months away from home at a time that I realized just how much I missed an animal’s presence and how central having a pet was to my existence.
But life had other plans, as it always does. The first place I lived “on my own” was with a roommate – a roommate with a shrieking Yorkie and a mom who thought all cats were out to get you. I didn’t even have a door to my room to keep a cat to myself – so my dreams were basically forbidden until I could find another living situation.
Two years later I did – I got my first big girl apartment. And I started dating someone less than a week later. I was spending all my time at work, on dates, or driving out to the country, and even though cats are independent creatures, what was the point in me getting one just to leave it alone all of the time?? Plus, the guy I was seeing (ahem, WEBB) wasn’t too keen on cats. I wasn’t about to give up that easy, but I figured we would either 1. break up and it would be a non-issue or 2. fall in love and he would eventually concede to my wishes because that’s what lovers do. Lucky for me, it was the latter.
For my 26th birthday, Webb took me on a mysterious drive to pick out my present. I honestly thought it was going to be furniture until we made a familiar turn onto a back road where I knew the local animal shelter resided. We pulled into the parking lot where he told me we were going to go in and pick me out a cat – whichever one I wanted. I was in shock – crying, giddy, completely enamored. He had finally come over to the Dark Side! Or, at least, he was willing enough to spend one or two nights a week at my place with a cat in the vicinity. I knew he would never take custody in the event of a divorce (….though now I can’t be so sure. Fingers crossed we just never even have to worry about that).
We brought home Hickory that day, and much like me she became a Weekday City Girl and a Weekend Farm Cat. She was (and is) utterly perfect. Our first baby. And when I moved out to the farm for good, she actually preceded me by a few weeks – i.e. annual apartment inspections were coming up and I had “neglected” to pay my pet fees. Webb was becoming a cat guy, and he was completely in love with her. They’re actually best friends, I kid you not.
So last week, surprise surprise, I was stuck in the office on a beautiful day praying for the hour to come when I could finally go home when Webb texted me to bring home some wet cat food. Please note, our cat doesn’t eat that stuff. Plus, if she was already out of food then somebody (ahem, WEBB) had been feeding her way too much.
“Do I have to get it today? I’ve already been to the store, ” I lamented.
“Well, we do have a kitty in our house,” he retaliated.
“But why wet food? Why is she out?” I kept pressing. I was a little agitated, I’ll admit.
“Well, we’ve got a Hick cat….AND a kitty.”
Pause. “I brought you a small cat. Her name is Small Cat.”
Webb, ahem, the Anti-Cat, had gotten ANOTHER cat. A kitten. A tiny, black, smallest-I’ve-ever-held kitten. And my heart is SO gosh-darn FULL. Hickory is taking her time getting to know this new little bat-like creature that squeaks and yells at every given opportunity, but I think they’re gonna be alright. If not, there will be a whole other saga to this tale.
But for now we’re a family of four, and I haven’t even had to endure the traumas of childbirth! (In the great Pro/Con list of acquiring a pet, this point would most definitely go on the Pro side for many of us ladies, I’m sure.) Getting animals has always seemed like such a daunting task. Loving them isn’t so bad, but making the decision to get one and having the time and space to do it has never been so easy as this. So maybe the farm life’s not gonna be so bad, after all. I mean, there are cats popping up all over the place, and maybe some goats in the near future, too (#SPOILERALERT). So stay tuned. Things are gonna get prettttty interestin’ around here.
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