Four pets for two people is crazy.
But that’s what my son and I have. Three dogs, one cat.
The cat is the newest member of the household. She arrived last week. I vowed I would never have another cat, but I broke the vow.
A neighbor who rescues cats called and said she had a sweet, beautiful cat that had already been spayed.
“Would Connor like her?” she asked.
Well, of course, my 11-year-old son would like another cat. He’s wanted one ever since our last cat was hit and killed by a car three months ago.
At the time, I told Connor that we weren’t going to immediately get another cat.
“We can’t replace Angel,” I told him. “She was special. We just need to remember her.”
I urged him to be glad we have three wonderful dogs and to shower them with love. He has. But his desire for another cat has never waned.
Connor wasn’t home when the neighbor called with the cat offer, so I thought I’d dodged a bullet. But the very next day, he came home from school and said he wanted to talk to me. I could tell it was serious.
“Dad, I know you’re probably going to say no,” he said cautiously. “But I’d really like another cat. Can we get one?”
I knew I’d lost the battle. Come on, it’s just too much of a coincidence to be offered a cat one day and for your son to plead for one the next.
I figured God or the pet spirit in the sky wanted us to have this cat. So I told Connor that our neighbor had called and offered us one.
“Really?” he said. “Are you kidding?”
“Nope. Want to go see her?”
We walked across the alley to see the cat, which has large black and white spots. Very cute, even though I’m not a cat person.
We brought her home, and Connor named her Abby. He put her food and litter box in his room. I told him the cat was his responsibility. He had to feed her, fill her water bowl and clean her litter box.
So far, he has. The cat sleeps on his bed and looks out his second-story window. She’s very gentle and purrs when we pick her up.
And the dogs? They barked at her the first few days. She hissed back. They kept their distance from each other. Finally, I picked up the cat and walked with her around the dogs.
They stiffened their bodies and held their ground. Their eyes conveyed confusion and maybe some hurt feelings.
“Hey, what about us?” they seemed to be saying.
Slowly, I’ve placed the cat down near the dogs. The barking and hissing stopped. One of our dogs – a small black lab mix — gingerly approached the cat and rubbed noses. The other dogs – big Husky mixes – held back.
Still, I can tell they’ll eventually accept the cat. They have before.
Honestly, I still don’t want a cat. She’ll cost me more money on food and vet visits. And a litter box is kind of disgusting.
But Connor is happier than he’s been since the last cat died. He takes pictures of Abby and shows them to me. He tells me that she snuggled up next to him at night.
He loves the cat. And that’s what’s important.
When it comes to pets, sometimes your heart overrules your head. You certainly don’t need a dog or cat. But they can bring so much joy to children that the money spent is worth it.