At the risk of losing a huge portion of my readership I am just going to come out of the closet and say it. I am not a cat lover. Having said that I also realize I am in the minority, both in my family and in the wider world. Not only are the other six members of my family cat lovers, so are my two daughters-in-law. I simply don't stand a chance.
I grew up on a farm. Cats lived outdoors and were there to keep the mice population down. It was a shock to marry into a family of cat-crazed people who not only allowed their cats to stay indoors, but actually didn't even allow their cats outside the house for fear they would get run over by a passing car. The difference between the two scenarios can be summed up by saying that on a farm you own a cat and in the city you are owned by a cat.
Another difference between rural cats and city cats is the cost. There is no such thing as a vet bill for a cat when you live on the farm. Charles Darwin could have saved himself the trouble of going all the way to the Galapagos to make his observations about natural selection. He could just as easily have observed this by watching the cats on a local farm. The stupid ones get eaten by coyotes and the weak and/or sick ones expire on their own. As a result country cats are a hardy species and also quite easy on the pocketbook.
Contrast this with their weaker city cousins. Diana was recently quoted a price of $600 to get a decayed tooth removed from her cat Lucky's mouth. All I can say is somebody definitely is getting lucky here, and I don't think it is the cat. Even worse was the mystery infection our cat Emily had last year. I am reluctant to admit how much that vet bill was, but I will say this. It beat the cost of my plane ticket to Korea, taxes and security fees included, by about $50.
Which brings us to the present. Just over a month ago we had to put one of our two cats down. This has left our remaining cat, Emily, sad and lonely. She goes around our house making a pathetic crying noise that sets my teeth on edge. She also has developed dog-like behaviours such as following her people around and begging for attention. It is both pathetic and irritating.
At nights we keep her locked in the basement of the house where Alexandra sleeps. There is only so much this non-cat person can handle, and I draw the line at having my sleep disturbed by a needy cat. On Friday night - well, actually the early hours of Saturday morning - this is exactly what happened. Emily had somehow managed to get out and she was doing that pathetic cry by Jay's side of the bed. I pretended not to hear, but knew that if Jay didn't get up and take care of That Cat I would have to break down and do it myself. My cat patience quota is pretty low.
Thankfully he did get up, scooped the cat in his arms, and headed down the stairs to lock Emily back in the basement. Unfortunately when Jay was on the second flight of stairs he misjudged which step he was on and fell. Hard. The result? He broke his big toe. To give you an idea of how hard he fell our carpet has a dent in it similar to when a heavy piece of furniture has been on it for some time. Jay is 6'4", so when he falls he falls big.
This was at 3:40 AM and I never did fall back asleep. Any guesses as to the answer I gave when we had friends over for dinner last week and they asked if we were going to get another cat?
Not in a million years.......