Anyone who has followed my life for any length of time knows I’m a dog person through and through. The first thing my husband and I did after we got married was adopt a dog. We currently have an older shepherd/pit bull mix named Sadie and a lovely one-year-old miniature schnauzer Gabriella (Gabby) who has definitely earned her nickname with her “talking.” I love to mention my pets on social media and often show off pictures of my “babies.”
So, I think it came as a surprise to everyone, especially my extended family, when we recently adopted a bonded pair of teenage black and white (tuxedo) American shorthair kitties. I’ve had issues with allergies to cats in the past, so I was especially hoping and praying this would all work out for us.
Which it has. Kind of.
Our first issue is the brothers are practically identical twins and my husband especially has difficulty telling them apart. We tried breakaway collars in different colors, breakaway being the key word. Those lasted less than a week before the cats figured out how to take them off. After a while, I started to notice the subtle differences—Hype’s chin is pure white. Dab has a black spot on his tummy. Hype eats more often than Dab. Dab is way more vocally expressive than Hype. (I call him my Meow-Meow…he may think that’s his name.) My grandson Boo picks them up to figure it out. If it meows, it’s Granny’s cat Dab.
Two cats means double the trouble, quite literally. Dab and Hype (both named after Boo’s cool contemporary dance moves) have evidently decided they don’t like the way our house is decorated, so they’ve taken it upon themselves to redecorate at their leisure. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been woken in the middle of the night to a crash or a boom.
Nope, the cat didn’t like the plant on top of the kitchen cabinet. RIP spider plant. Although, to be fair, I have the worst black thumb ever so the plant didn’t look great to begin with. Then there was the tower of DVDs. And the feather duster–it looked as if a bird had been pulverized all over the house. And the free-for-all mess that covers (er…covered) the top of our bookcase. Okay, that last one really did need to be decluttered.
At one point, my husband asked, “Is nothing sacred?”
The very next evening, the cats answered that question by taking the pins out of the pictures of Jesus we had on our cork board, leaving the pictures to float down to the top of the bookcase.
So…evidently not. We’ve had to put all our calendars high on the walls and make sure there’s no way for the cats to jump up and bat at them with their claws. We keep doors closed in the evenings if we don’t want kitty escapades.
It’s also taken us a while to get used to being walking, talking cat towers. Let’s just saw we both have more than a few scratches. I keep reminding the boys, “Paws, not claws.”
At the end of the day, I discovered I was a cat person, too. There’s something truly special when a cat chooses you, when they decide it’s cuddle time and curl up under your chin with their motorized purr and kneading paws. And the dogs and cats get along. Gabby and Hype love to roll around together fake fighting.
It’s a win for us, and I am positive there will be more cats in my novels in the future (although my current series is about service dogs!)
So, what about you? Are you a dog or a cat person? Or, like me, are you a both/and instead of an either/or?