To Have A Cat

My column is often written the day before it’s due. I’m usually inspired by something after I get everything else chosen – articles and recipes.

This week the hours I had left to plan these pages became filled with other things – felines. Oh, I know, I could have chosen to do my Farm and Dairy work, but this diversion was so special.

My daughters would love to have an inside cat (or two?). They have hinted, nagged, and pleaded for several years after Sandy died. He was an outside cat who had chronic respiratory problems and he had never been robust. If it had been only up to me, they would have had another one right away. I’ve had cats around me all my life, and sometimes I miss having a cat.

My husband, Mark, has a different outlook on cats and all pets in general. I can tell he hasn’t the same feeling about animals. For him there is people space and animal space, and he’d like the line of demarcation between to be clearly established.

For me, people and animal space can overlap and be shared, but one has to keep an open mind knowing that things won’t always be ideal. There will be messes, odors, and other inconveniences to put up with. (Well, the same is true in living with other humans, but it seems Mark thinks we have no choice about that where we can choose to live without the animals.)

I would gladly choose to live with some animals in preference to some people I can think of. My brother, “Uncle Jim,” feels the same way only to the extreme that he would almost always rather be with animals than people. There seems no end to the cats, dogs, and other critters he assists or adopts.

One recent feline adoptee added four kittens to his ever-growing number of dependents just a day or two after he brought her home. She was scrawny and run down; she could use his assistance in tending her offspring.

The kittens – all 4 of them, are eight weeks old now, and they came to spend the night with the Steeb Kitten Sitting Service on the evening that I should have been finishing my Farm and Dairy material for the week.

Luckily, Mark was working night shift. He gave his permission for the kitty sleepover and we made our adjustments after he left for work. Uncle Jim had left feeding dishes and a litter box that he keeps in his truck (he usually travels with a buddy.) Somewhere we have a litter scoop – where did I put it?

How well can we manage before we have to make a trip to the store?

- ’til another installment

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