Say Yes to the Pet

Monday, September 10, 2012
It's been 6 months since we made the agonizing decision to put our beloved 19 year old cat down. It was a difficult but necessary decision. At the time, I thought I'd never be ready to bring another pet into our home.

In fact, a month ago I wasn't ready. And then I read an article in a local newspaper that 60 cats and kittens were rescued from a hoarding situation in a nearby town. Yes, you read that correctly. It was six-zero. I'm a bleeding heart when it comes to stray cats, but there clearly is a line to be drawn. This hoarder wasn't drawing that line, and the pets were suffering.

Our daughters have been haranguing us for months to get another cat, maybe even a dog. My answer, time and time again, was a resounding no! I wasn't ready to make that kind of emotional commitment, and let's admit, no matter how much time you invest in a pet, it always ends up resulting in an emotional attachment.

So when I finally sat down to make a list of the pros and cons, the list was unbalanced. There were more pros than cons. I was running out of reasons NOT to have a pet. And after reading the article about the cats rescued from the hoarder, I now had 60 more reasons to adopt a cat. So, we sat the girls down and told them the good news. However, there would be some compromise involved. We could adopt a pet, but it couldn't be a dog or any rodent-type thingy. I am not ready for the commitment that a dog entails, and rodents disgust me.

We spent the following Sunday at Point Paws, a local cat shelter where 30 of the 60 rescued cats were taken in. We were overwhelmed. There were so many to choose from, and all of them were absolutely adorable. How would we ever decide and agree on just one?

It didn't take long. There was a little black one who kept sticking her arm out and reaching for the girls. They asked if they could hold her. I was skeptical. A black cat? She had no distinguishing physical characteristics. No stripes. No rings. Nothing. But it wasn't my decision to make. She would be a pet for the girls. They could decide which one they wanted, and they would help care for it.

They loved the black kitten. They didn't want to hold any other cats. She was the one for them. I completed an application and learned a few days later that we had been approved. But we couldn't pick her up just yet. We were leaving for vacation until September 1st. This little black kitty would have to wait until September 2nd to come to her new home.

And so, on September 2nd the moment the shelter opened, we showed up on the doorstep with our pet carrier in tow.

I introduce to you Jade, the newest and fluffiest member of our family.

The girls are quickly learning that having a kitten is tons of fun, but it's a lot of work also. And to think that they wanted a dog...

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