I Am an Animal Person
We have a new addition to our family. No, it’s not a new baby, despite the way things appear in my latest knitting photos. She’s a tiny kitten that found us one evening, on our walk. Get ready for kitten overload.
We’d decided not to get any more pets after Mo died. It would make things easier when we needed to travel. It would make it easier to sleep without disruption. It would be easier on the animals since I wasn’t able to be home as much as I once was… blah, blah, blah. None of these thoughtful, mature decisions can stand next to a tiny, hungry, mewing thing at your feet.
That’s how she got us. We were walking and talking with our daughter, when she peeped over a parking block and raced across the lot toward us. She would not stop getting underfoot, despite my resolve. She knew better.
At first I thought we’d just hold her until the Humane Society had an opening. Look, I know the idea that black cats are adopted less from shelters has been debunked, but when I talked to a girl at our Humane Society, she said they are put down the most.
At this point we’d already rearranged my daughter’s old room, which is now a sort of yarn vacuum. And we’d rearranged our lives around introducing her to our other pets. She was practically ours.
Anytime I was home I would sit on the floor in that room, that is now the room of yarn. Many a test knit were made that way.
That room has become the yarn vacuum, so it was only natural she should be interesting in knitting. Slowly, we introduced the dog, whose elbows were rubbed raw at this point from crouching down to stare at her underneath the door. Then we had to convince the big cat to even enter the room, forget about them interacting. But, eventually, there was also some playing with the same string under the door and Hazel was set free in the house.
She sort of idolizes the Big One now.
We named her Hazel but Cato might have been more appropriate, with the way she hides from the dog then jumps on his poor back when he least expects it. He’s lost weight- another problem solved by a kitten.
She liked the Christmas tree so much, we bought a cat tree. It’s okay, I guess.
Here’s the amazing part- Since getting the kitten, the Old One has quit waking me up all night. She hasn’t swiped at any of us too hard when we pass by her sleeping perch. She comes to me, in the evenings, to sit on my lap for a few minutes so I can try to figure out the perfect method for petting her so that she will stay. She even sleeps beside me for a few minutes every night. And she hasn’t attacked the dog when she sees a neighborhood cat through the window in months. Could it be that our “wild” cat was really just an overgrown kitten, who needed exposure to a real kitten so she could mature fully?
I don’t know, we seem to have gained two lap cats by adopting one. That’ll work. She’s also a pretty good knitting buddy, at night.
So, we’ll still have to deal with traveling, and days when I’m not able to be at home much. The kitten still sleeps closed up in her own room because she likes attacking legs under sheets.
It also looks like we’ll be covering our newish sofa slipcovers with various throws for a long time, to prevent clawing. The pet hair and clutter and other imperfect scenarios are better than the alternative. I mean, we are what we are, right? I am an animal person.