The Doggie in the Window
"I want a dog," my daughter announced for the umpteenth time. I reflexively replied with my usual answer:
"That's nice. But what about the cats?"
I wasn't always a cat person. That's something that developed over time, when I was a single gal living in an apartment complex that didn't allow dogs - but tolerated pets of the feline persuasion. I adopted my first kitten by accident, when a co-worker tired of the pet he acquired just a few weeks earlier — and told me he was going to take her to the animal shelter.
I was so clueless, I didn't even know I needed some kind of carrier to take the kitten home. She pooped in my car.
I began to think that taking her on was a big mistake.
We were wary of each other at first, and it took me some time to get used to her ways... like her penchant for perching atop my tallest bookcase, only to pounce on my head when I passed by. Closed doors made her crazy; if I shut her out of the bedroom, she would claw at the door and the carpet until I let her in. She wasn't anything like a dog. She didn't come when called, and tended to ignore me... until I spread out the Sunday paper, which was her cue to sit right on top of whatever I was reading.
But when I came home late after a long day at work, she greeted me with a big meow and a head bump. I'd been living alone for a while by then, and it was nice to have someone who was happy to see me (even if only because she wanted to be fed).
And eventually, I got used to having her around. More than that: I loved her.
By the time I met the man who would become my husband, my household included a second cat. We married, moved into another apartment (no dogs allowed), had a child, bought a house... and brought the cats with us. He would have preferred to own a dog, but we weren't ready to add one to our little family. Besides, we traveled a lot and the cats were fairly low-maintenance. Better to wait until the baby got older.Continued on the next page