It hurts not having a cat. I’ve had felines all my life and love everything (well, almost everything) about them. I love their soft fur. I love the way they undulate while walking on their toes. I love their need for cuddling. My cat Rocky died three months ago and I’m still grieving. So why don’t I just get another? Here are six reasons that hold me back…
Libby – Sigh. I have this Yorkie/Papillion who dominates our lives. She’s loyal, fun, sweet, but also a bully and tyrant. She’s twelve pounds and smaller than most felines. But here’s the problem…Libby considers herself a “one-pet gal.” She doesn’t want another animal working her side of the street. And although they lived together three years, Libby never “accepted” poor Rocky, even though he was here a decade before her. I’m not sure how a new little kitty would fare… or maybe I do.
Destroyed furniture – For all Rocky’s sterling qualities, he had some bad behavior I don’t miss. Our whole house became a scratching post (with the exception of actual scratching posts that remained pristine). Even getting items at discount furniture stores didn’t stop the horror of seeing love seats, couches, and chaises clawed to death. We bought cans of “Kitty Off!” by the case, but nothing deterred Rocky (and other cats we’ve had) from the demolition. I don’t miss that.
Libby…Again – Libby made her feelings known to Rocky in no uncertain terms. If she were lying on my lap (which was often), she’d growl at poor Rocky if he jumped up to get a piece of Mom — a place that had always been his domain. It got so bad I’d have to sneak off to snuggle Rocky. Now what will happen if I go to pick up a tiny baby kitty and have it growled at by this possessive little dog? What would life be like for this animal, constantly on the lookout for Miss Bossy Boots?
Litter Boxes – Even now, months later, I catch myself going to change Rocky’s feline port-o-potty. I’ve had them so long, I forget what its like to live without one. And yes, in the scheme of things, litter boxes aren’t terribly high maintenance, compared to dogs that do their business outside several times a day…in all weather. But it’s nice to have one less thing to do, one less messy (and at times gross) task involving animal care. I confess, I don’t miss the litter box.
Libby…Once More – I know Libby would never actively hurt a cat…then again I see what she does to some of her plush toys and it’s not pretty. But at the very least, she would never be nice. And there’s something else — I picture Libby’s big brown eyes watching in envy while I cuddle our newest family member. How can I not adore this new little creature? But how can I not see how jealous and yes — probably depressed — Libby would get?
One Pet is easier – I tell myself that Libby with her vitality, playfulness, energy, and verve is like having twenty pets in one. When Libby’s in the room, all eyes go to her like a magnet. She loves the attention and spotlight. She’s adorable and precious. She’s like the cute little circus dog, always getting into spirited mischief. And yes, there are also practical pluses to one animal — less food to buy, less clean up, and less wear and tear on the house.
It’s sad to think Rocky was our last cat – the end of a long, sweet era in our marriage. The ones we had over the years – Callie, Floyd, and Rocky – brought us so much happiness, laughs, and memories. But for the first time, it’s not an easy call.
My husband Randy says go for it. The dog will adjust and part of me wants to believe that. And maybe he’s right. Maybe both animals will grow to love each other, like our other dog and cat teams did.
But Libby’s not like other dogs.
Or maybe this problem will solve itself with time. Maybe Libby will soften with age. Her muzzle will grow white. She’ll slow down. Maybe she’ll even mellow out.
But will she ever willingly and graciously let another animal into her domain? That remains to be seen.
Have you had to seriously think about getting another pet? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share.
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