I have said for years that when our aging cat Tommy dies, we will be cat-free. No more pets that don’t live in a tank.
At our house, the rule has always been: no dogs, no snakes, no large bugs. This includes spiders and hermit crabs. Fool me once (the smelly hermit crab). Over the years, we’ve had parakeets, reptiles, fish, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, and cats. All these animals have at least one thing in common. They don’t use a toilet. It sounds terribly selfish, but I was looking forward to a pet-free home.
My youngest is left with me much of the day, while her five older siblings go out to work or to college, or worse yet (for me), to some fun activity that she’s too young for. There aren’t really many of those, but you’d think so.
So she wants a kitten. And I’m bending.
I do not want a kitten: twenty more years of fur everywhere, randomly deposited vomit, poop in a box, the possibility of poop not in a box…
If it (we) fails at being an “inside” cat…fleas every summer. So it must be an inside cat. We really failed at that before. Oh, and the vet costs, which are financially comparable to human medical costs. Shots, fixing, declawing, shots, shots. We can’t afford human medical bills.
If it (we) fails at being an inside cat, the bill for getting hit by a car and breaking its pelvis.
Or for being swung by its tail, a serious injury leaving the cat needing manual help to empty its bladder.
Or getting mauled by an unknown animal, having to spend six months quarantined in a cage. The medical bill for my husband when its teeth accidentally connect with my husband’s hand while in a biting frenzy to get out of the box while being hauled to the vet.
True stories, every one. Tommy and his mother Isabel. My husband needed a series of rabies shots.
So my vote is: no thanks.
My daughter is a mostly easygoing, compliant teenager. And that is one welcome quality in this family.
We have been homeschoolers all along. My other children had each other for company. They bounced off each other while I frequently redirected their attention back to the work. It was a tremendous amount of fun. It was an amazingly rich learning experience for us all. It bonded us all together in a way I did not know possible. We developed a unique culture of our own. The kids are very close, though not always harmonious, and will be close all their lives. They are real friends. This, by the way, is the real reason to home educate.
My youngest is five years younger than her next older sister. Though she is an equal emotionally, intellectually, maturity-wise, she is nevertheless just starting high school. So here she will be, with just me, a lot of the time. Just us two homeschooling.
She really is going to miss something great that they had, and I’m bending.
She misses her siblings during the day. To have a kitten would brighten her life. And she will have the responsibility to take care of it. It would be a source of comfort and amusement every day. I won’t be immune to the onslaught of cuteness either, once the blasted animal moves in.
My kids have done nothing but make me do things I don’t want to do. The things I do for them.
Update 12/14: The kitten has arrived. She looks exactly like the ridiculously cute picture at the top of this post, except she seems incredibly tinier, and her mew is so small and high as to be almost inaudible. AWWWW!