Now, the first thing I want to make clear to all of you is that I don't hate animals. I just have a strong aversion to those four-legged animals (and the three-legged ones, as I recently witnessed) that don't have, well, proper etiquette.
Come on, you know what I am talking about. Contrary to the cute snuggly bears we see in the television commercial, neither cats nor dogs use Charmin. And I know many dog lovers that will encourage their pets to run outside and "make duty," to only then encourage Fido to jump up into their bed to snuggle close for a long night's sleep. And I guess they are not afraid of bed bugs either.
OK, back to my idea of getting a cute little kitty. To this day, I do not know how I got there, all I know is that one afternoon I awoke and found myself at the local Humane Society.
I approached the desk where several ladies were busy at work.
"Can I help you?" A pleasant young woman asked.
"Why, yes, I am here to buy a cat," I said.
Silence ensued. I blinked back at her, and then thinking I was somehow not making myself clear, I added, "You know a kitten, really. Preferably one that is already, well... trained."
I now had the complete attention of the entire front desk staff.
The largest of the three, her name tag read, "Supervisor," glared at me and said, "Honey, I don't know where you think you are, but this is the Humane Society and you don't "buy" an animal here, you adopt one."
It was immediately apparent that I'd made a mistake. And sensing my opportunity to score big points with my hubby slipping away I knew I had to act fast.
I quickly donned my, "I just love animals and it doesn't matter where they poop or pee" mask and said, "Of course, of course! What I meant to say was adopt, adopt as in make a special part of our family, to have and to hold, blather, blather, blather. All the while, I was thinking, "Show me the damn cats."
I must have sounded sincere enough, as an animal nurse came around the desk to take me to the place where they kept the cats. I looked around and the eager little kitties were meowing for my attention.
I stuck my finger into one cage and said, "Here kitty kitty." The darn thing flew up to the cage and hissed at me raising its paw to strike.
Certain that was not the cat for me, I quickly backed off and went to the next cage where there was a small butter colored kitten just staring at me.
"This is the one I want," I declared.
The cat-nurse opened the cage to remove the kitten and offered her to me.
"Oh no, I don't need to hold him or her, just WRAP it up" I replied.
Cat-nurse looked at me with surprise, "You don't want to hold it?" she asked incredulously.
"No, I am good," I replied. "Besides, this sweater is dry-cleaning only. But do you think you have a box I can use?"
The cat-nurse glaring now said, "You do know that having a pet is a big responsibility and not everyone is cut out for it. You may very well have this cat for fifteen years?"
Fifteen years, I silently cried! Did I know what I was getting into?
Fifteen years seemed like a lifetime of pet ownership. And what about the whole, "Cats have nine lives" deal. Had she included all nine lives?
But then I regained my sanity and quickly began to factor in how I was constantly losing things and besides, our new driveway was super sloped, all risk factors that cat-nurse knew nothing about.
"No,I'm good, I'll take it" I replied.
Cat-nurse ushered me into a small private office where she had about twenty pages of paper work for me to complete.
I remember thinking, "Hello cat people, for crying out loud, this is a CAT we are negotiating over here. Do you really need my social security number?"
But I silently completed all the forms and stood up, ready for my new charge.
I walked back up front where cat-supervisor lady stood waiting for me. She said my total charges would be $80.00 and I would be able to pick my new kitten up tomorrow after 3pm.
Yeah, believe it or not, they had decided that I fit a certain type of profile and needed a 24 hour "cooling off" period, before they'd be comfortable in releasing the pet to me.
Twenty-four hours, ha, I cried, they were crazy if they thought I'd change my mind in 24 hours. I knew it would take at least 48 hours for buyer's remorse to set in!