I love dogs. I mean they are just so loyal, they are great protectors, they love to play, and they even keep your feet warm in the winter sleeping at the foot of the bed. What more can you ask for in a pet? Cats, on the other hand, are just finicky; they wouldn’t care if we live or die as long as we bring them food. Oh yeah, and they are very obnoxious about begging; they are so in your face. I could go on and on about how bad cats are as pets. Alright, I’ll give you one good thing; they kill mice when you live out on a farm or in the country. This is what I believed most of my life.
Since having a family, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with cats. Both of them had to do with “spraying” all over our house. Yikes! I guess you could call the cat colony over at my in-laws as an additional experience. They had, I don’t know, maybe 300 cats (an exaggeration) in their open shed on their property. My mother-in-law had a big heart with animals and kept feeding them as they kept breeding. What this comes down to is, I did not like cats and wanted no more to do with them no matter what. Each time one of my children would approach about a cute kitten a neighbor or schoolmate had that was looking for a home, I would stop them in mid-sentence. Once I heard them say the word cat, I would immediately just say, “NO!” – end of discussion. My poor catless children. “Oh, you awful father!” Enter the kitten eventually known as Marshmallow.
For whatever reason, my 13-year-old daughter came to me asking for a cat. I think I made the mistake of letting her finish her sentence. It had something in there about a kitten that the owners were going to take to the pound, and I know what happens when cats are taken to the pound. I don’t know if it was the fact at 52 years of advanced age, I’m getting soft and sentimental, or if I just all of the sudden went “insane”. Without hesitation, I said yes. Afterward, I thought that if it went bad, I would just plead temporary insanity.
The anticipation was too much; my daughter was like a 6-year-old at Christmas. The day finally came when she could pick up the cat. My wife drove her there, and I noticed while she was gone, I was feeling some anticipation; you could even call it excitement. I kept telling myself I was excited for her. When the kitten arrived, the family swooped down upon it. I heard a whole mess of, “Awwwww!” and “How cute!” When the kitten finally came around to me, and I saw the little thing with the white fur and the black spot over one eye. I was instantly smitten. Since then, I’ve found the kitten the most fun, crazy, and even caring ball of fur I had ever met. We have a true connection. Oh yes, my dog Yogi even likes the cat. One more thing to do: a visit to the vet for some neutering … sorry Marshmallow!