Monday, March 19, 2012

Cats & Dogs

My brother, Tom, once told me that, as a child, he thought all cats were girls and all dogs were boys.  I laughed in great amusement at this absurdity.  However, as I've gained more years of experience (in other words, gotten much older) I've come to see a great deal of wisdom in his observation.  Now, granted, there are boy cats and girl dogs.  But the characteristics of each correctly define the sexes.  It's no wonder that there are cat ladies in the world.  We are overly independent.  Temperamental is an understatement. Boys, on the other hand, are rough and tumble and faithful to a fault.  Having a fondness of boys (the older brothers, the husband, the sons...) I thought myself a lover of the latter.

Let me pause to define the word irony.
It is perhaps best described as Fate's twisted sense of humor.
I mean, when we hear an ironic story we're laughing at the polar opposite of the desired result,
being grateful that we weren't that poor sucker?!

Okay, so I always envisioned myself growing up and getting a dog.  Nothing yappy, nothing portable, nothing resembling a cat.  However, [enter Fate snickering] we recently met a stray cat... she had a collar but roamed the neighborhood regularly.  When we were working on a project in the garage, she welcomed herself, and being in a neighborly mood, I didn't shoo her away.  Over the following weeks, she returned frequently until one day I noticed she was getting quite thin.  I felt for her and took note that she was in need.  We sat with her and gave her the affection she was thirsting for.  I thought little of it until my friend mentioned that she wanted a cat and even went looking to adopt.  I borrowed another friend's carrier and let her come in my home until she could be collected in a few hours.  However, my friend's family was allergic.  It was okay, my cat carrier friend said she'd be willing, she didn't mention that her husband wasn't so much so.  So after a couple of days waiting to find someone, we became her family.  It was kismet.  (My brother, Tom, reminded me of a day when we found a kitten and brought it home and hid it, because then Mom would never know.  He appropriately defined me as a closet cat lover.)

I eventually took her to be adopted and get her shots (after the initial shock wore off.)  She was bloated and given dewormer.  She was 6 months old and a gem with the kids.  Young enough to be enjoyed for many years to come and just the right age to be spayed.  I sat on that budget-breaker knowing I needed to but working up the courage to fork it over.  She was still bloated so I suggested that we make sure she wasn't expectant before spaying.  (I'm pro-life for every species.  Though I still believe in birth control.)  The ultrasound showed 3, then 3 on the other side," but those might be the same 3," said the vet.  [Maniacal laugh as Fate watched from the corner of the room.] 

So we moved Jim to the bottom bunk, Scott to the top, took the crib apart (to get it through the door), reassembled (minus the mattress and springs) and set a make-shift tent over it in the only available space in our tiny house, next to the dining table.  10 days later... 3 NO WAIT 4 kittens.  (I think she's really done this time, but maybe there are another 2 hiding out, bidding their time and waiting for Fate to pop his popcorn for the big show.)

It's funny, okay truth be told, it's ironic that the dog lover in me would give way to 4 fuzzy fur-balls and their loving mama.  But it's also ironic that I began this blog many, many months ago.  I suppose Fate always gets the last laugh, and if we have a good attitude, we can join in on the fun and have a good chuckle at ourselves.