It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and I just woke up.. again.. I’m a new cat mom (for the 3rd time) as of yesterday, and the first few days are, I imagine, not dissimilar to having a human baby. (Okay, so that’s a bit of a hyperbole, but I digress.) I am napping when the kitten naps, carefully monitoring her to make sure she’s adjusting and not depressed, feeding her, playing with her, gaining her trust. It’s exhausting, but I’m enjoying every moment of it, truthfully.
The kitten is a female Persian, and we named her Muppet because, well, a muppet is exactly what she resembles. She really is the most precious creature I’ve actually seen in the flesh in my entire existence (including the lemur in Mexico, and that was high up on the list).
If you’ve read my previous blog, Symbiosis, you know I already have 6 animals, which, with Muppet, brings us to 7. For some people, that is an unfathomable number of pets. I get it, too; we don’t exactly live on a farm in suburbia. While most people have been excited for us and our decision to open our home to one more, I’m sure there has been some judgement out there as well, and that’s reasonable. I could sit here and concoct 92 reasons why we adopted another cat to try and make those people feel better, but I’m not going to do that. We adopted another cat because we wanted one and, most importantly, have the space and means to provide for her.
I understand that negligence, unfortunately, is out there. There are many pet owners (not pet parents) in this world who treat animals like toys and tire of them quickly – then the next one comes along. They seem to forget each time that baby animals grow into adult animals, and, for some reason beyond my comprehension, don’t deepen their relationship with an adult animal. Sometimes people forget that you don’t just pay a one time fee and then.. bam.. you have a pet forever. Pets are a financial investment, and they cost a lot of money. They need food, proper vetting, exercise, accessories, grooming – the list goes on. They are a financial investment, but the return is much greater than anything monetary. Pets love unconditionally and are there for you in your best and worst moments. You are blessed with (hopefully) 20 years together, and those years are forever cherished; it always hurts when they are gone, but it is because the love was real and eternal.
Pets are not expendable. I have 7 animals ranging in age from 8 weeks to 9 years old. These animals will have a loving home with me and be well provided for until they are called to the rainbow bridge. I have a unique bond with each, individual animal, and I make time to express my love for each one. My schnauzer, Butters, loves to play fetch with his favorite baby, and when he’s tired, he wants a good spoon session, and I’m always there to be the big spoon. My chihuahua, Pooh bear, just wants me to make time to sit on the couch, so he can sit on my lap for hours snuggling. Charlie, my yorkshire terrier with alopecia, just wants me to scratch his bald back, pick him up to sit next to me (because he can’t jump), and hangout. Minnie wants to be my shadow at all times. Occasionally, she wants a hug (literally, her face in my neck and her paws around my neck) or for me to talk to her, so she can talk back. Panda, my eldest kitty, desires a thorough belly rub and the occasional splurge on a nice can of wet food. Olaf, my other kitty, wants pets, to be groomed, and to sleep next to me every night. (He was annoyed last night when he couldn’t get into our room to sleep next to me, and I had to make it up to him with wet food today.) Each animal is complex, unique, and in need of individualized attention, which I’m happy to provide.
I’ve also explored in my Perfect Paradox blog post that I am a textbook introvert. This means I spend much of my time when I’m not at work at home. It is never depressing for me to be home; it is what I prefer 9 out of 10 times. Being a home body allows me to spend quality time with my animals. When my husband and I went on our summer vacation, our “doggy uncle” watched the rat pack for us. When we came home, it was a couple of days until he could meet to bring them back to us. When we finally got them all home and sat down together, surrounded by creatures, my husband said to me, “now we really are home.” He couldn’t have been more correct. I love my home and, as aforementioned in my Je ne sais quoi blog post, take pride in keeping it immaculate. You can walk in my house, and, if the dogs are taking a nap, you wouldn’t know I have 6 (now 7) animals. Certain chores are a daily routine, and the others are a weekly routine. Is it simple? No. It takes time and effort, but I don’t mind expending my energy to make sure I have a clean, comfortable home full of cuddly critters. Home isn’t home without our animals.
My cats have the best life of all of my pets. I couldn’t and wouldn’t adopt a dog right now. I don’t want to adopt a dog for a long time. I would probably only adopt another dog if we were in a place where we, for whatever horrible reason I don’t want to even think about existing, only had one dog. Dogs require more than cats – training, maintenance, attention. They are much needier. I am aware that it would be negligent if I were to adopt another dog because I don’t have the emotional resources or time to devote to properly training it. As it stands, my rat pack have a dog room they stay in when my husband and I are at work. It is their doggy den, and they don’t mind it at all. It is perfectly spacious and comfortable for the four of them. My cats, however, rule the roost. They have freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want. They have plenty of cat trees and scratching posts to choose from. They are welcome on couches, beds, and papasan chairs. Most days, I envy the lives of my cats. They are my posh prince and princesses. My cats definitely have it even better than my dogs, (and most humans) truthfully.
So many animals in this world need a loving home with a true pet parent. My husband and I have the financial, emotional, and spacial resources to welcome another being into our lives and, more importantly, our hearts, where she will live furever. Our decision to bring a new baby into our home was carefully considered and calculated, and we are resolved in our decision. Our new kitten is the perfect addition to our household. Her first 24 hours with us have been smooth sailing. She is eating, drinking, playing, and using her litter box. She has slowly started meeting her kitty brother and sister through the baby gate, and it went well. She is so, unbelievably tiny right now, so we will probably keep her separate for a while. She may be tiny, but she is already taking up serious volume in our hearts.
Welcome to the family, Muppet! Follow Muppet (and the rest of the gang) on instagram: @muppet_the_persian
She was content cuddling with her mommy bear on the ride home. I made sure to rub him all over her mother before we left.
She was a little hesitant to explore her territory when we first arrived home.
But, she quickly warmed up to her surroundings and played until she couldn’t play anymore. She figured out quickly that our scary hands coming towards her actually lead to pretty wonderful pets and belly rubs. She’s eating well, drinking well, and purring well.
Brother was annoyed because he couldn’t come sleep by Mom. This was his flabbergasted expression when I opened the door to tell him, “no, Olaf.”
But, I think he’s figuring out why he had to find a new place to sleep last night. The first meeting went well, and the sooner they become friends, the sooner he can sleep next to Mom again.
Our hearts and home are forever open to Muppet, and she is open to us as well.