July 10, 2008
A few months ago I posted about our less-than-tolerant attitude toward our cats. They used to be our babies, our furry children. Then we had a real, non-furry, human child and sadly, they kind of got knocked down a peg or two on the Priority Scale.
I know that part of it is my fault. I should make more of an effort to pay attention to them. I should scoop their poopy litter box every day instead of just a couple times a week. I should dangle a furry mouse-toy in front of them and let them chase it for a while. I should scratch behind their ears for 45 minutes like they want me to. I should constantly be checking to make sure that their water bowl is filled with fresh, clean, cool water and their food bowls are free of moldy cat food.
BUT REALITY IS NOT LIKE THAT.
I can barely keep up with anything lately. Having an active 15-month to chase around, plus a business to run and clients who need emails answered and phone calls returned, makes things a little crazy. Then there’s dinner to cook, laundry to wash, phone calls to make,
tripping over cleaning up of toys to do… at the end of the night when I should be taking care of the cats, I want to collapse onto the couch and stare at the wall for a while before bed.
It goes way beyond just the day-to-day stuff too. For the last couple of months, the cats have been really ridiculous. Peeing on the carpet downstairs- which they’ve actually been doing for a while, but we’ve been down there more often (somebody likes playing on the steps so we end up down there) and DUDE IT SMELLS. This weekend we’re tearing it all out and just leaving concrete for now- at least that won’t stink so bad. And several times in the last week, I’ve had to clean up cat puke and I HATE CLEANING UP CAT PUKE. Especially when I also have to keep Maggie from coming over to play in it. And also when said puke has noodles in it FROM MY DAUGHTER’S DINNER LAST NIGHT. (Scotty likes to steal food from her high chair, which is another issue altogether) We are constantly tripping over them int he kitchen because they are RIGHT THERE ALL THE TIME, and when we’re up with Maggie in the middle of the night if she’s sick or fussy, trying to get her back to sleep, they think it’s playtime and start meowing and hissing and playing Wrestle Mania and OH MY GOD I WANT TO KICK THEM ACROSS THE ROOM.
Basically, I’m in the business of making my life easier and as stress-free as possible. I constantly have eleventy-billion things going on, and the cats are just one thing on the list I can’t deal with.
So, I am seriously considering finding a new home for them.
Before you hate me or think I’m evil and irresponsible for giving up on the responsibility of having pets, just know that this is not a decision I’m making in a few heated moments after cleaning up cat barf this morning. This is something we have been talking about for a few months. Could we? Would we? Where would we…? Who would we…?
There’s been talk of letting Scotty live at my sister’s MILs house, though her cats are outside/garage cats. She offered, even though she’s heard the stories of Scotty’s antics. I think he would be fine with that after a while, he’s been outside a few times and seems to like it. But I don’t think I could just let them both outside here in our neighborhood. I really think it would lead to other issues- Where are they? Who are they bothering? What garden did they just poop in? What small defenseless animal did they just eat? And, oh yeah, THEY’RE MEOWING AT THE DOOR, THEY WANT TO COME INSIDE AGAIN. No thank you. And I don’t think that Gracie could handle being outside, she’s very skittish and shy, I don’t think she’d survive. I think splitting them up would be okay if we had to, Gracie pretty much hates Scotty because he tries to eat her and she hisses at him occasionally when he just happens to walk by.
So I don’t know what to do. I could never, ever just take them to a shelter and leave them there. The only way I could do this is to give them, either together or separately, to someone we knew would take good care of them.
Dan is on board if I am. But he wants to make sure I won’t regret the decision. And to be honest, I’m not sure about that. I tried to picture myself physically handing them over in their little carriers to their new Humans and I will admit, I got a little sad and teary. But I’m not sure if it was because that meant I wouldn’t get my head stepped on by a big orange furball at 3am anymore (do I secretly enjoy that? I don’t think I do.) or was it because I felt bad and like a failure because I’m giving away my two kitties? And what kind of example am I to my daughter if I tell her one day that, yes, we had cats but Mommy was a Big Mean Lady and gave them away because she didn’t have the energy to deal with them anymore?
I have an email saved in my ‘Drafts’ list going out to everyone I know, to see if anyone knows anybody who might be interested. But I haven’t sent it.