Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We gave the cat away and other freedoms....

Twenty years ago the kids called it 'pet purging'. I'd get overwhelmed, start the day placing ads or calling friends, and by day's end we'd be down to substantially less pets.

There was the day I drove our son to the ATM and withdrew $10, paying him to give away his guinea pig, because the only person we found dumb enough to take 'Ben' (who was really 'Jennifer') (who we 'won' from his preschool....) couldn't afford to buy him. A ten dollar bill looms big when you're eight, and Dan went for the bribe deal.

There was the day when I flushed the goldfish (plural), set the bowl back on the top of the hoosier cupboard and waited to see how many days it took for anyone to notice the bowl was empty. Quite awhile.

When it comes to pets, I'm a woman with a reputation.

This was NOT a purging! We've talked and talked and talked about whether to keep Miss Kitty. Having had a cat for 45ish years, when we retired and moved to the lake, I assumed we needed another, so we started with this:


We named her Frisbee. For awhile the grandkids even thought he/she was real. It was fun to move her around the room, but there wasn't a lot of love going on.

We got Miss Kitty.


A 3 year old calico, scrawny and pitiful, weighing in at 6 1/2 lbs, trusting no one - she was my birthday present. $55 to adopt, and another $650 or so to get her healthy. Within two weeks she'd completely bonded to My Cub Sweetheart. She tolerated me. For 3 1/2 years.

After a 6 week long trip this summer, we realized living part of the year in Idaho* was right for us, so what to do with a cat who is less than travel-friendly? We woke up the first morning back home to find out the house that wasn't for sell sold and we were moving. We tried to find her a home; one man with three small children, three dogs and another cat called (does your wife know you're calling?!), one woman was truly crazy, and the one who wasn't told us 'if you're desperate...' I think that translates to 'please, no.' MK came along for the move.

I thought she might like laying around the pool,

don't be decieved, that water is 46 degrees right now...
watching the squirrels do a tightrope act on the backyard fence,**

Who you looking at? 
That wasn't me you heard running around the attic. It was the other guy.
rambling the halls of our new home. I hoped we'd be able to better socialize her, and find her a good home come Spring. Instead the dog next door scared her. The sound of grandkids coming in the front door sent her diving under our bed. She still didn't care for me, and being stressed, she became even more clingy to him. Waiting outside the bedroom door clingy. Paws shoved under the bathroom door clingy.

As a Christmas present to him I placed an ad on Craig's List. Got one response. They came by that same day, fell in love with her and she warmed up to them. She is to be a Christmas present for a 14 year old boy who asked for an 'indoor cat'.

I feel good that she looked like this when we gave her away I call it the 'bowling ball with fur' look:


My Cub Sweetheart tells me I have a talent for fattening up anything / anyone who lives with me for very long.

I'm thankful we found her a home; I know shelters do their best, but I couldn't take her there, where she'd likely have been terribly stressed and gotten sick again. We realized she will be happier with a family who wants her, who doesn't have a yippy dog next door, and no one in the house is overly tempted to pull her tail.

Oh the freedom of being petless after 45+ years! No hair on the chairs, no catbox, no feeling bad when we're gone and she's home lonely. No having to shut our bedroom door to keep her out. We can leave the door open to carry groceries and not worry about her darting out into traffic. No paws under the bathroom door.... And hopefully she's still young enough to have a long, happy, clingy life with this boy. I see her going off to college with  him, eventually sitting there proudly, on the left side of the center aisle....

It was so freeing to finally do the right thing, for her and for us, about something I'd been putting off, that I went wild - bought a blender for making Heather's green smoothies, ripped out the 'never-going-to-happen' $120 worth of yarn' sweater,


and joined the rec center to learn to swim laps, took loads and loads of stuff to Goodwill that would clutter up our new house, gave away F.O.R.T.Y.-F.I.V.E. cookbooks I didn't use, and didn't do obligatory Christmas gifts this year. And I'm just getting started. 2014 is right around the corner. This upcoming year I've chosen a phrase rather than my usual 'word', and it's going to be such fun to consider how 'soft at the edges, strong at the core' can be lived out, one decision at a time. Happy New Year everyone!

*more about that in the new year....

**those same squirrels are apparently having a hey-day in our attic. Pitter patter above our heads at night. Not good.

No comments: