Monday, December 21, 2009

being mean; or, sorry kid, the cat stays here

Last spring my best kitty friend Mazzy died. I had had her for 12 years and having her put down was a very difficult decision, but she had diabetes and she was in kidney failure, so I do know it was the right thing to do. At the time, I didn't want to get another cat. My current life is very unsettled. I am not in my own place and I don't know where I am going to be living from one year to the next, so I thought it would be best to go sans cats for now. Well, life has its own ideas and now eight months later I have two cats.

I inherited these cats, a male Siamese and a female calico from my brother and his family. Last summer my sister-in-law joined the Army and after basic training she was stationed in Fort Bliss TX, so they packed all their stuff and drove to Texas. They had four cats, four dogs, and two kids, so to help them out her mother took two dogs, and we took two of their cats.  It was not my idea. It was my mom's. The plan was that we would take the cats and then as soon as they were in Texas we would give the cats to my sister. It is a long story, but my sister-in-law didn't want my sister to have them. Because we have also have two dogs (one of whom HATES cats) the cats had to stay in my room. Within 48 hours it was very clear that these cats were not going  to my sisters.Or anywhere. Ever.

The Siamese, who was named George, is my favorite. For the first two days he hid under my bed. The calico, Lola, was a lap cat from the beginning and cuddled all the time. I hated the name George and I wanted to change it. We brainstormed for a while, and at first we thought of cute names like Mocha and Smores because of his color, but within a week it became clear that he needed a name with attitude as he is quite a personality.  After spending a morning chasing him around the neighborhood at 6am only to have him sneak in an open door and hide under the bed while I was still trespassing in my neighbor's backyard trying to "rescue" him. I decided on "Maui." Maui is the name of the Polynesian trickster god. Oh, and my Maui is quite the little trickster.

It turns out that the move to Texas and the enlistment in the Army were not permanent for my brother and his family. They moved back here in September. My sister-in-law did not want to be in the Army, and now she isn't. And that is all I am going to say about that. Anyway, when I heard that they were coming back I couldn't help but panic a little. I thought they would ask for their cats back. I made it pretty clear to my brother that I didn't want to give them back. They were in pretty bad shape when I got them (they were outside cats and had fleas, worms, ear mites, and they were malnourished), and it cost be several hundred dollars to get them healthy. Not to mention that now we have bonded. They both sleep with me at night, and that I am a little bit nuts about taking care that they are in at night, well fed, healthy, loved, and well, quite frankly a little spoiled. 

Today, my seven year old niece looked at me straight in my face and asked for her cat back.

Dramatic Pause.

I felt bad as I said, "I'm sorry honey, but he lives here now."

Right now, as I sit in my green chair typing I can see both cats. Lola is in her bed on top of the dresser and Maui is laying on his back in the middle of my bed. They are both sound asleep. And even though it was hard to say no to a seven year old, I know I did the right thing.

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