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I have a daily obsession. Like most obsessions, it is something some will admit to doing themselves and wonder why I could consider it a detriment. Others won't get the allure and will count me in with fools before reading to the end of this post. But, admitting foolishness is often the beginning of obtaining wisdom. So, here I admit to my folly.
I check the animal humane website almost every day.
It's a good question. I ask myself this question every day. I think I know the answer--actually, more than one to be honest--but it doesn't mean I understand the reasons. Maybe I will by the end of this post.
The first thing I know is I love animals, but I haven't always loved cats. My aunt's cat was born mean and had a personal bubble the size of their front living room. My sister's cat was an enigma--kneading my stomach one minute and the next biting my hand. Now that I have a cat of my own, I understand that I misunderstood some of these feline nuances. For example, a cat's long blink is actually a sign of affection. I think my aunt's cat may have given me a long blink. Once. But, that doesn't mean I trusted her not to hiss at me if I approached her favorite armrest. My sister's cat kneading and then biting could have simply been a form of play as is the case with my cat. But, he didn't trust me the night of a tornado when I tried to take him down the basement, and he scratched the length of my inner arm. Yeah. I was prepared to let him enter the Land of Oz as the Basset Hound and I made our way down to the basement for the night.
I consider myself a dog-person. From the time I was five years old and we brought home our Beagle, I was smitten with canines. My grandparents had several dogs while I was growing up. Most of these dogs were strays because they lived on the suburban outskirts, and leash-laws were loose. The most common stray-breed were Labradors and Lab-mixes. Although most of them were yellow, I remember one black one that was sweet and obedient. But, my grandmother--who loved dogs--realized she was allergic. So, this black Lab was one of few who did not get hit by a car and lived to romp at a neighboring farm. That didn't stop my grandparents from taking in strays or my grandmother from bringing home pet-store puppies. (Let's just say I learned why I prefer Sporting breeds over Terriers and Non-Sporting breeds.) I anticipated these rescues and releases because they happened on a regular basis.
So, maybe that's why our rescued black Labrador, Doc, had a special place in my heart.
I know it's why our rescued Ragdoll-Himalayan does. Yeti is a true puppy-cat who lives to taunt our yellow male Labrador, Shadow. Yeti tries to terrorize our yellow female Labrador, Chanel, who had puppies and will have none of his nonsense. Yeti has changed my perception of cats, however, and I realize that I appreciate his idiosyncrasies. I deny the fact that I am allergic to him.
Which is a logical reason to not have another cat. Which makes my viewing of the animal humane society website ridiculous. Which makes going to the humane society on occasion a dumb idea.
My husband is convinced that if he didn't have a voice of reason in this matter, I would be a crazy cat lady. He's probably right. Except for one thing.
I still have only one cat.
I still have only one cat for the following logical reasons.
I hate preventable conflict. Getting another cat would cause conflict between my husband and me. I don't think my sons would be happy about it either. I can't be certain Yeti would be pleased. Chanel probably wouldn't care. Shadow definitely would.
I am allergic to cats. I'm allergic to dogs, too, but less so. Short-haired cats are worse than medium- or long-haired cats for me. Certain breeds are better for allergy-sufferers than domestics and mixes. That's why Yeti doesn't bother my sensibilities as much as others.
Cats are...cats. They do what they want to do, and go where they want to go. They like who they like. And when they don't...cat fight. They are super cute. But, they can be super naughty without remorse.
I refuse to be manipulated by myself. Well, I'm working on how not to be. In fact, walking into places with rescues is one way I combat the obsession. I walk in, love on the lonely, and leave without bringing them home. I'm not sure my dog-loving maternal grandmother or my cat-loving paternal grandmother would have been able to do that!
Deep down, I know I ought to be satisfied with the pets I have. Obsessions are a symptom of wanting what we don't have or wanting more of what we do. From a moral standpoint, I know I ought to be grateful that I have one cat who loves me and who doesn't cause me to have a sneezing fit.
Someday--maybe--there will be a second cat. Because I love a good story. One of reasons I look at the animal humane society website is because I imagine the adventures of the strays and the abandoned. Having a second cat could make for some excellent stories. But, for now, I want to avoid the catastrophic.