Divorce Kitty

8

Ok, I did it. And I am still married.

For now.

I walk in to PetsMart all the time when they have adoptions – the cat rescue folks are there every weekend. But nothing hits me. Then, I was at the vet’s last week with Willie and the minute I signed in the receptionist was like, ‘You want a kitten?”

I gave her the big eye roll. Then I meekly said, “No…uh, but what does he look like??”

And that was it.

It’s just chemistry. You have it with people. You have it with animals. So, I took him home. 16 was thrilled. BC was not. He didn’t speak to me for about a day.

I never thought I was a cat person until my first real boyfriend had one. His family had an orange tabby named Reginald and he was the über coolness of cats. He would sit on top of their fridge in the kitchen and swat your head every time you walked by. He hung out like a dude. He was just the chillest cat I knew. So I talked my parents in to a kitten about a year later (not related to Reginald). The whole fam fell in love with her – we got lucky-she too, was cool and we loved her.

We had a succession of animals in my family growing up.  Shimmy – a small poodle – passed after being bitten by who knows what.  Buster – a cocker spaniel we loved but eventually went to a ‘farm’ to live.  Chipper – another poodle who ended up living with our maid in Newark.  Bucky-another black cocker who passed and was totally over protective of my parents and a little psycho.  Dollie – a bichon who was smarter than my parents and went to live with another one of mom’s maids from north Georgia.  Then mom PAID for a Persian kitten that was so anti social you didn’t know he was in the house because he lived under the sofa.  I think he went to a farm too.  And now, Mac.  Mac has been with my parents for 12 years, has an insatiable need to hump pillows and stuffed animals and detests BC.  We did have one orange kitty that lost a battle with the neighbor’s garage door.  Which I found out about in my late 20s. I was told he ran away. . .

Mac

My sisters and I have decided that when Mac kicks the bucket, no more canines for mom and dad.  Just felines.  And FREE ones at that.

Cute little (for now) Tye likes living in 16’s room.  He lounges on her bed, harasses the shit out of  Allie the bunny, plays with the cords to the blinds, has already learned to climb over the doggie gate, and has swatted Willie on the nose.  Adorable.

And BC just called up to me from his man cave. “You know, honey, we need to go get Tye out of 16’s room and socialize him more tonight (meaning– I wanna play with him)”.  Shhhh-he likes him too…

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Help Me, I’m a Hoarder

2

Hoarding.

Hello, My Name is MAP and I am a Hoarder.  It’s the next mental illness I need to find a pill for. My family thinks I am an animal hoarder. I reason that it is because I only have one child.

And that maternal need keeps sneaking back up on me over and over. I held a nine month old the other day. Wow-that was like Iwannanotherbaby crack.

So let me introduce you to our funny farm–love me, love my animals….

The HAYBURNER

Larry–First Pony

Here is the deal-every little girl wants a pony.  I did, I had one with a little blue western saddle.  And thus began a lifetime of equine love and eternal poverty.  I have always had this un-relenting love of horses.  I do not know what it is.  And, unfortunately, 16 does as well.  I used to drag her to horse shows when she was a toddler in the hopes that the whole thing would bore the hell out of her.  But with all the extra dogs, people, kids, ponies and hay bales to jump over, she loved it.  We are on horse number 6 right now.   I have put many trainers’ kids thru college and paid for more veterinarian pickups than I can count.

Oh, we tried gymnastics (no flexibility), soccer (cartwheels on the defense line), softball (do NOT throw me that ball it hurts!) basketball (liked the outfit), tennis (too hot), swim team (only for the social parts-meets), golf (BC really tried but the cart is the best part to 16), we tried EVERYTHING. Nope, kept going back to the barn.  I will say that she is a lovely, quiet, rider, who, for some reason, can remember a 17 fence jumper course but not remember to flush a toilet.  Oh well………….

If you value your marriage-keep your kids out of horses.  If you want to keep her focused, not dating, not into shit, then get into horses.  I will say, it is cheaper than rehab. But you’ll be buying your clothes at Costco. I promise.

We have 3 DOGS.  Roscoe, a Jack Russell Terrier with an intense fear of weather, Willie a mixed terrier with a serious Napoleon complex, and Max,  a mixed redneck chihuahua of dubious origin who thinks my Karastan rug in the dining room is his personal toilet.

Roscoe

Napoleon

Kiwi

We have a cat.  Kiwi is a tuxedo cat and at the ripe age of seven, hates the terriers, brings nice presents in through the cat door like half dead baby rabbits and sleeps in my office.

BC has a fish tank.  A gazillion gallon one that used to house some Oscars that started the size of a quarter then grew huge and he had to give them away on Craigslist.  Seriously some chick from south Georgia drove up to get them with a bucket.  Now it just sits there with some sucker fish in it.  It’s gross.  Thank god it’s in his man cave.

16 also has a rabbit.  Named Ollie.  Sits in a cage all day long and watches her play Xbox.

In our past, we have had a snake, a bearded dragon (which I do not suggest Googling unless you put ‘lizard’ after it) fancy rats, a robo hamster, and various beta fish.  My parents don’t like to come visit because of all the chaos that ensues but now that the reptiles and rodents are basically gone we see them more often.

I have to give BC some credit here.  He’s pretty good with all this.  Well, except the horse.  And I get that.

But there is something so relaxing about the smells of the barn.   And when Willie (my favorite) claims my lap the minute I get home from work and sit down to watch the news. And Kiwi walks in from his long day of hunting the hood and says ‘Hello’ (he really does) in his cat voice.

And the joy that I see on 16’s face every time she sees her horse.

So, when other parents get upset that their teens are sleeping till 2 on weekends, I find it a relief. Keeps me from going out and bringing home a rescue kitten.

All the good ones are gone by then.