The joy of youth; it fades and is no more. This morning I’m watching it from the perspective of a kitten and an older dog.
The kitten is so wide-eyed and curious about every sound and movement. It takes it all in – exploring every nook and cranny. The energy and the ability to just sleep from pure exhaustion; it’s enviable. Then I look at my dog. Not too long ago, he was a bundle of energy. Now he rests at my feet and watches the kitten scurry this way and that. You can see his frustration.
The kitten jumps, runs, grabs the ball, rolls around, chases Bodies tail, leaps onto heights Bo can’t, and in short, annoys the heck out of him. Poor Bo. He can’t keep up. He doesn’t have the energy to roll the way this little kitten does. The kitten beat boxes Bo’s tail and Bo just takes it. His tail wags and the cat pounces. The cat loves the game: Bodie, not so much.
Honestly it is fun to watch these two. The cat is new to our world. We are a dog family – a one-dog family. My kids have begged for two, and I always say no. I have my hands full with the one; I don’t need to add more. Little did I know, or think, we would add a cat to the mix.
My 17-year-old walks in the door on Monday with a precious bundle of energy in his arms. “Mom, don’t kill me. But I couldn’t let this kitten go to the pound.” Immediately, ‘no’ is on my lips. Intending to stick to it, regardless of how cute, I rationally explain: “James I don’t want the cat tearing up my furniture and peeing all over. Cat pee is the worst! No — I’m sorry.”
He convinces me that the cat has nowhere to go for the night, so can we keep him just for the night? He assures me he will take care of him; feed him, clean his litter box, etc. This is very difficult to believe, considering his room looks like a tsunami hit it with clothes, trash, dishes, and ‘stuff’ swirling in a mass on the floor.
Nevertheless, I take him at his word and commit to one night. Fearing this cat will pee everywhere; I rush out to the store to get ‘kitten’ essentials. I want to go cheap, because I have no intention of keeping this cat. The lady in the store is so excited for me. A cat! Like I won the lottery. She is telling me all about the stuff I need and why. She is giving me coupons and letting me know how her four cats are her world. The mass of scratches on her arms reminds me why I can’t keep this cat. I walk out of the store $49 lighter with the essentials needed for a short stay.
When I get home, James is cuddled with this cute black and white bundle of fur. The cat is loudly meowing and seems to be hungry. Taking my cue from the Petco lady, I give him kibble and soft food (according to her, soft food is how cats get most of its water?). The cat mows down the food and then just as quickly goes into the litter box and does its business – what? I’ve only had dogs. Dogs do not instantly learn to potty where it should. It takes a long, frustrating time for a dog to get it. I’m so impressed this cat just knows. Seriously, blows my brain!
Over the course of the next two days, I reluctantly had to inform my hesitant husband, I am falling for this cat. It is so adorable and more like a dog than I thought. It actually wants to be near me. I always thought cats were no-nonsense animals that wanted nothing to do with people. It essentially wanted to be fed, have a place to do its business and that’s it. But I’m finding this little guy is a loveable cuddle bug.
When James named it Oliver, I knew it was over. This cat was going to stay. I’m a sucker and I know it! It is too cute and precious; my heart would break to hand it over to the pound or another family. Even though it isn’t official, (Mike hasn’t fully come over to the ‘keep’ side), I have a feeling Oliver is now one of the family. I better go make good friends with the cat lady at Petco. I have a feeling my arms will soon be covered with scratches.