Tall Drink of Nerd: Crazy Cat Lady
A blogumn by Amy Robinson
Last time you heard from me, I shared the reasons I’m no mommy. Today, I figured I’d share my story of kid replacements. Here is where I am at my nerdiest. I am a crazy cat lady. Crazy, to me means that you own more than 2 of any kind of animal. For two years we had 4 cats, but we lost our Weasel in May. Currently, we are spoiling 3 cats very rotten.
Reading FaN posts about animals (felines and doggies) I know that many of the readers/contributors here love their animals too. Where does that love come from? My parents always had dogs and cats around our house. We had a mutt-wiener dog named Puddles who was 2 yrs old when I was born. There was no shortage of cats/kittens, because it was pre-neuter/spay campaigns and the cats were allowed to run loose in my rural town. But those animals weren’t spoiled like the ones who control my house now. I think my folks taught me to respect animals and treat them like living creatures. But where did I get this desire to cater to their every whim?
How do we spoil them, let me count the ways: the only vet I trust is the vet who ONLY makes house-calls, not exactly a bargain, because I don’t want them to have respiratory problems I buy them “Worlds Best Cat Litter” which is made of corn (but priced like it’s diamonds and platinum), in order to get Munchy to take her Pepcid without trauma, (yup, we give the cat Pepcid for her nervous stomach issues) we’ve invested in Pill Pockets which are around $6 for a bag…of treats…they are so worth every penny. I could go on, but now I’m feeling crazy enough.
Friends of mine who never had animals growing up fall into different camps. I have one friend who doesn’t like animals and acts like they carry parasites or will attack her at a moments notice. But I have another friend who never had a pet as a child and just took in 3 cats from the humane society. (Like many of us, when she went in with her fiancé, planning on adopting 2, she ended up with a too-cute-to-let-die addition.) Where do we get our affinity? Is our compassion based on just how adorable they are?
There is the downside to being a crazy cat lady (or cat guy or dog lady or iguana couple), the time to let them go. When Puddles passed away at the age of 14, my parents were devastated. More recently, I lost my Weasel. Our Weasel was 6 lbs of co-dependant madness. I half joked that I should put her in a baby Bjorn so she could be close to me at all times (they are $40 @ Target, it seemed a little excessive) For 16 years she was with us. She was the cat who would greet visitors, wait for your lap on movie night and tap you on the shoulder to wake you in the morning. She got sick last year and had lost 2 lbs by April. On May 4th, we made the very difficult decision to let her go. I cried so hard my head ached and my eyes dried up. I still miss her, not all the time, but it surfaces unexpectedly now and then. Seen said he didn’t ever want to take in another animal because her death broke his heart. I both understood and regretted our decision. The following month, the Humane Society published an article in its newsletter “All Animals”. In a poll of pet-owners who have had to put their animal to sleep, 50% felt they did it too soon, 50% felt they didn’t do it soon enough and let their animal suffer. That part of having a pet a bitch. I’ve explained to the other cats that they have to live 20 years, all healthy and then pass away of a heart attack in their sleep.
Yep, that part sucks, but what pets give you while you have them, the entertainment, the overwhelming love even when you’re dorky, it completely outweighs and outshines the end.