Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Larry David Moment at the Animal Shelter

It’s no secret that I would rather not have a pet. It’s not that I don’t like animals, but I like my house to be clean and I don’t like to have to clean it – just not do-able in a house with children and adding pets doesn’t seem like it will be a big help. Still periodically my husband and I have the big talk.

“Honey, I feel like we’re really bad parents because we don’t have a pet,” I say.

My husband says, “me too."

Then he goes on to say, he wouldn’t mind getting a dog and I say that’s the worst possible pet I can think of (aside from rodents or birds or reptiles or fish) and I suggest a cat and my husband says no he’s not that crazy about cats anymore. Then one day he saw a cat video and sighed, “Cats are so cool.”

“I know,” I said, “Did you change your mind?”

And he said yes. So we discussed at length how we would practically remodel our house so the cat would have a good space, be able to get fresh air when he wants, have a litter box somewhere that wouldn’t make me hate him and so on. My husband overhauled the garage, we discussed all the things we’d need to buy at the store, etcetera. We were excited – we had a cat before we had kids and we loved her so much that once when we spent a weekend in San Diego we left her a message on the answering machine – in case she was lonely.

We took the kids to a no-kill shelter and as we were walking around looking at the (literally) hundreds of cats living in cages there, out of the blue and apropos of nothing J announced loudly, “Our cat used to scratch us so she had to die.”

My husband and I looked at each other with raised eye brows first wondering what the hell he was talking about and also trying to hold in our laughter.

From that moment on a large older woman in Birkenstocks wearing cat broaches and cat earrings and cat bobby-pins began following us around and finally said (essentially) we are simply not good enough people to rescue a homeless cat who is otherwise destined to live out his miserable existence in a small cage – perhaps we might consider a goldfish.

Which I suppose is just as well – I do have enough daily messes to clean up here, but still.

In the car on the way home we said, “J, Deja didn’t die. She went to live with another family.”

”Oh,” he shrugged. “I didn’t remember.”

“Too bad,” I said so only my husband could hear, “because now you’ll never adopt a cat in this town again.”

And we laughed and laughed. Yes – at our kid’s expense. We know. No wonder people think we’re not fit for pet ownership.

On a positive note, we are still pet-free and it’s not entirely my fault so I’m feeling really good about myself as a mom and at peace with the universe. I mean, I tried, right?

9 comments:

SUEB0B said...

I have had cats and dogs and I think dogs are much superior. More company, more fun and if you get a good one, they don't screw up all the furniture.

landismom said...

Heh. We have three cats right now, and one of them is totally insane--hates all humans except my husband, hides in the basement whenever strangers are near, etc. Last summer (when we only had two cats) when we went on vacation, we boarded our cats at the vet.

A few weeks after our vacation was over, we decided that it was time to get a new kitten, and we went back to the vet (which does animal rescue). The woman who had taken care of our older cats had to be reassured by the vet himself that we were responsible pet owners with a crazy cat--not crazy people who would drive another cat insane.

Big fun.

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Ms Picket To You said...

do not get a fish.

they either die in about six hours or live FOREVER. so long in fact, that after watching them swim in endless circles in their tiny bowl, you will consider a swim in the toilet to be a better life choice.

seriously, do not get a fish.

fudgelady said...

I have two words for you: Stuffed animals.

They are cute, lovable, and low maintenance. You don't have to walk them at 3 a.m. in January.

What's not to love?

Personally, I'm allergic to cats, scared of dogs, and have traumatized a couple of goldfish to death. I'm definitely a member of the Not Ready For Pet Parenthood Players!

Carole said...

We have a dog and two cats. In the past 2 days - yes, just 2 days - I have cleaned up 4 different instances of cat barf and swept dog fur once off all the steps and also swept the kitchen. I also just noticed there's a circle of fur where the one cat normally lays that will have to be vacuumed. If you like a clean house, ix-nay on the pets. They are getting to be more work to clean up after than my DH and DD!!!

cce said...

I posted about cats today too. And if you're still wanting one, I could arrange to ship you our remaining feline that is driving me crazy with his ridiculous heart ache.

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