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Here Kitty Kitty

Now, in the most drastic about face I've ever witnessed, the Dorf turns to me this morning and says,

"We should go get a cat."

Thankfully, I had finished chewing my breakfast at this point, and I didn't spit it all over his face.

3 years ago last May, we had to put 'the Grr" (Edgar Varese) to sleep. He was the COOLEST cat ever, despite getting a little loopy from his illness. It was extremely hard, and not just because I was pregnant. I stayed in the room as they injected the whatever, and watched him die. But the vet assured us there was nothing we could have done, and no way to make his life better. (actually, the vet was good-I asked him point blank if I could fix him, and he looked me in the eye and told me that if I valued quality over quantity, then putting him to sleep was the best thing)

I've had cats my entire life. I grew up with Suji, the bitchiest calico ever, then had Booger, who was likely eaten by a bear in Northern Ontario, then I had someone give me Mara, the cat who acted like her master, and shortly thereafter we had Xenakis and Leroy.

I had to give Mara, Xenakis and Leroy up, and while they went to good homes, it broke my heart.

The Dorf has always been anti-cat. 'I'm allergic", "they make messes", "they smell", etc, etc, etc. He grew up with poodles though, so I forgave him this. I was slowly turning him into a cat person. I grew up with a cat, and felt that growing up with any type of pet helps a child develop empathy for others. And, there's nothing better than a purring kitty on your lap in the dead of winter now is there?

The Dorf says that he was motivated by the picture of a particularily cute cat on the front fo the paper-the local SPCA also is running out of room. So despite my fears for the kitty with Rosalyn McGrabby around, we're going to at least go to the SPCA and see if we fall in love with anyone. I want an older cat, a calm cat who will sit and judge us all with contempt.

I'm also worried that the thing that ultimately did Edgar in was my inability to find the food I had been feeding him. In Toronto, we fed him Solid Gold, which while expensive, made an obvious difference in him. We were not able to get it here though, and even what I could find didn't seem as good.

SOOOOO-the point of this is to also ask for advice-my kids are three and 1.5 years. Am I rushing this? Part of me wants the kitty RIGHT NOW, and the rational part of me says to wait until next summer at least. Any advice on acclimating a kitty, or if I should even try?

If you do decide to do this, definitely look for an adult cat. The last thing you need is a kitten--not with 2 HUMAN kittens!

A female who has had kittens might work very nicely---we adopted a "mama" cat when our girls were 4 and 1, and she really seemed to get that these were "kittens"--she just scrambled out of their way as needed.

We also have a very mellow male cat we adopted about 6 months later. When we met him my 1 year old dashed over and rested her head on his side and he let her. We knew then, he'd be fine for us.

If you can deal with animal rescue people, their cats have usually been fostered out in homes, so they will really a lot about the cat's personality. That's how we got our two--and they are beloved family members. Good luck!

My husband is a cat person, and would eventually like to get another cat. Paul is also 1.5 years old, and doesn't handle cats that well yet. But I think that's largely because he's used to having a dog. Jack loves getting hugs and kisses, and is pretty tolerant of the occasional misstep. My sister's cat, not so much.

We're probably waiting until Paul is a little older, since he doesn't understand cats aren't dogs. My husband said that he'd prefer an older cat with a proven kid friendly track record instead of a kitten. However, I'm personally leaning toward getting a kitten, so the cat will get along with Jack too. Either way, we'll probably be waiting until Paul is 3 or 4, because I have my hands full with one toddler and a puppy :P.

I've never been much of a kitten person. Especially after Leroy impregnanted Xenakis 2 DAYS before having things chopped off. I couldn't believe it. After that, I swore that
1. ALL cats to be fixed when they arrive, NOT when I feel I can afford it.
2. NEVER EVER trust a male anything.
3. Kittens are annoying.

I LOVE older cats. They're so mellow. And Caitlin, I don't think I could handle a puppy without the toddler!

Thanks for the advice!

Go for it, there will be places it can hide if it needs a break. We have two, one is 15, the other is 1.5, we got her to take the pressure off the old grumpy bitch.

Wow. As many opinions as there are cat lovers.

Have fun.

we got her to take the pressure off the old grumpy bitch.

ROFL!

Just remember, a dope trailer is no place for a kitty....

Thanks all!

The upside of having cats with young kids is that they learn early on about cat behavior and how not to piss them off. The downside is that this often involves scratches. Lucy has done pretty well with our two since she turned three, but at 18 mos only our female would really get near her.
We got both before Luce was born and since they came from good shelters we had a great idea of their history (Bean, the male, was a street cat and takes a while to warm up to people whereas Pickle was a housecat who someone couldn't keep. She's a cuddler.) Lucy has learned a lot about how to treat cats and is generally gentle, but it took a while to convince her that Bean was scared, not mean. Now that she can feed him and he's pretty sure she's not going to maim him, they are much closer.

An aside--I had the cat-impregnated-days-before-fixing thing happen as well. Man, kittens are like two parts work to one part cute.

Does your blog look totally different or is my connection just retarded?

Anyway, I don't know what age a child should be before one considers getting a cat. I mean, there are plenty of people who bring a new baby home to a house full of cats and they seem to be no worse for wear.

We're gonna got this weekend and see if we fall in love with someone, mostly because I WANT A KITTY DAMMIT! :P

And I've known people with cats and babies, and it seems to work out. Cats are pretty good at self preservationa anyway.

We have two cats and a baby.

My suggestion: Get a female tabby.

My male cat (Russian blue mix) is an ass. Our female, a tabby, is the awesomest freaking cat ever. She tolerates everything.

If you get a kitten (or something kind of young) you can mold it into appreciating the kids. Any older and it's just too damned crotchety to like kids.

Oh yeah, I'm drunk!! :)

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