I was starting to get selfish. Seriously. My time was getting more precious with each passing day, each passing friend, each passing duty. I’d been slowly offing all manner of those. Duties, that is. I was feeling rather hermit-ish.
No kids at home, no clubs, no committees, no boards. My life is my own again. Was it ever really? I don’t remember. Perhaps that is why I’ve been relishing these days so thoroughly. But, doggone that nagging little voice, quiet, but ever present: “You need something else. You’re not grounded.”
What? I give to homeless and good charities. I help anyone I can.
“No, something more.…”
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My last two old cats, sisters from the same litter, lived to be 20. They’ve been scratching in that great cat box in the sky for two years now. That’s the longest I have ever been without a cat since I was born! Even when I ran away from home, we had a kitten in a stocking cap, in my coat, between us on the motorcycle.
My last two came from a dear friend who just so happened to have three available.
“Uh, OK, I’ll be right over.”
Well, heck, what would you do if a purring little fur ball curled up on your shoulder? (Who happens to be giving my typing arm a decent rabbit kick at the moment). At 9:30 p.m. on a Friday, I was cruising
Atascadero looking for some decent kitten kibble and kitty litter.
“You’re in for it now, Di.” What can I say? I’ve always loved little boys in striped shirts and stripey kitties.
I realized what was missing: someone to worry about. Naturally, I’ll never stop worrying about my sons, but at 22 and 28 years old, they can feed themselves. And change their own cat pans. How about, “Phew! Kitty ripped a bad one!” And, “Oh, I’m late because I was trying to get the cat in/out.” Ah, yes, the handy excuse! A friend came to meet Monty Bob (Short for Montgomery after my mom and Bobcat because he’s got large feet). “Oh, I could see how you might not get anything done,” as she continued to tease him with a piece of rolled up paper on a string.
Besides, you’ve heard all the studies on how calming pets are. Just stroking their fur makes you feel good.
Well, I like it. They give you a sense of commitment but, more importantly, a sense of purpose. Obviously not everyone is cut out to have animals in their lives. Travel, allergies — by the way, my mom was allergic to cats but refused to give them up — I understand. But, for me, well, you’ve heard my history.
(By the way, felines will not be allowed in massage studio, so fear not if you ARE allergic!)
By the way, I was looking for a cat with personality. I believe he has it — as he tears through the living room, up and over the chairs. Of course, he needs a playmate. I went to HART and can pick up this other little hellcat by the weekend (after he’s been neutered: Get your pets fixed!).
“Do you know what you’re getting into?”
Yes. After 56 years of loving on, dressing up in baby clothes (That was a patient Siamese!), taking road trips with, raising children with — heck, raising children! — Yes, I’m ready for some action.
Let the games begin. Gentlemen, start your engines!