“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats, living together… mass hysteria!”
That’s right, the great Bill Murray aka Dr. Peter Venkman, in that cinematic masterpiece: Ghostbusters.Why yes, Dr. Venkman, it could have been the end of the world, but a year later we’re still here, and we’ve morphed into dogs and cats peacefully cohabitating. Who knew?
I am not a cat person – my friends and family know this. I have been a solid member of “Team Canine” all of my life. Yet, it’s been over a year and I’m still coexisting with a cat. How did this happen you ask?
Last year, on a dark and stormy winter night, I was taking our dog Taz out for his final late night walk. As we trouped up the driveway, out from under the car came this pitiful little cry. Ugh, a cat.
I sent hubby Greg out to investigate and he returned with this little mess of a thing wrapped up in his shirt. Even I could see she was in real trouble – just a bag of bones, wearing a little blue collar with a bell, wet, tired, and severely malnourished. A midnight run to the store for kitty litter and cat food and fast forward to today, cohabitating with a fat and happy feline. I thought my ace-in-the-hole would be Taz. Wrong: turns out he’s a cat lover – thanks a lot dude.
Having a cat in my house flies in the face of everything I know to be true about myself. My previous disdain for cats goes way back in my personal history. There is even a decades old ugly rumor that I killed my BFF Danielle’s cat: Tisha. Not true, but the damn thing did die two weeks after it scared the hell out of me one night during a sleepover.
If I’m being honest, our cat has grown on me. Her big green eyes are very alluring when she’s trying to get my attention. I’m reminded that Taz and I weren’t exactly the best of buddies in the beginning of our relationship over twelve years ago. If you’ve read my book, you know that Taz and I have faced challenges such as the time he ate my wedding bouquet, and when he peed on the Christmas tree, and when he pooped all over the front door (probably because he ate my wedding bouquet). We survived all the perils and he’s become the very best companion and truly part of the family.
There are tell-tale signs that the cat has now moved into permanent fixture status:
Strike One: hubby gave her a name – Bonz (because she was a bag of bones when we found her). Have no idea if she likes her name because cats don’t come when you call them – apparently they don’t work that way.
Strike Two: Hubby bought her a cat bed – which she ignored and now sleeps at the foot of our bed each night.
Strike Three: Hubby put a NC State cat collar on her. When you connect your pet to your alma mater, they’re permanent.
What I’ve learned from this experience:
- I’ve mastered the intricacies of cleaning out the litter box.
- Cats, on principle, don’t generally respond to here kitty, kitty; they walk away in the opposite direction, only to materialize out of thin air quite suddenly – when you least expect it.
- Dogs love to travel, cats do not. Here is Taz ready for a trip to the lake:
And here is Bonz:
- Bonz is kind of cute and likes to curl up at my feet or jump up into my lap while I’m writing. This is fairly irresistible.
- Bonz is a bit of a flirt and knows how to wrap Greg around her little tiny kitty paw. This one really isn’t much of a surprise. Greg is a push-over for anything cute and cuddly (we call him the baby whisperer).
- Almost all Calico (Bonz is actually a “Tortoiseshell or Tortie” cat) cats are females.
So here we are: a boy and a girl; a Republican and a Democrat; a cat and a dog; all living under the same roof. What’s next – mixing chocolate and vanilla ice cream? Congress actually agreeing and accomplishing … anything? FSU winning the baseball College World Series (well, a girl can dream…)?
Perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks – up here in the middle-aged cheap seats we are sometimes willing to change; sometimes.
What about you; have you changed much over the years? Anything you once swore “never, ever, never” but you’re happily doing now?
Kate Lindsay saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm
Haha When I was a kid, we found a stray cat in our garage. Mom named him Bones. What a funny thing to relate to you on. Unfortunatley, or fortunately – depending on how you choose to look at it, he did not stay as a part of the family but moved on to another family who were real Cat lovers.
Kimba saysJanuary 31, 2014 at 10:30 am
LOL – and here I thought Bonz was such a unique name! Twinsies!
Karo saysJanuary 25, 2014 at 9:54 pm
So as a teen I had this fantasy of meeting a tanned, brunet boyfriend. Well, I fell in love at first sight with my soulmate whose skin is super light and who's got blonde (now very dark blonde) curly hair. This playful twist of fate has taught me to be open- minded and don't resist something that would not have been my first choice– because sometimes the universe may give you something you've never imagined, something so much more precious than you'd ever expected. 🙂
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm
YEA! Being open to what the Universe offers isn't always easy, but it sure is interesting!!
Jennifer Sanders saysJanuary 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm
It's funny because I've always been a cat person but in the last few months I now have 3 dogs as well as my 3 cats! My fiancé and I moved in together so we have been introducing his digs and my cats slowly with specific cat and dog areas so all in balance so far! I'd love too see them eventually settled together like your pets 🙂 xxxx
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm
Holy guacamole that is a lot of co-habbing going on! We need to talk in about six months because I gotta know how you little Dr. Doolittle experiment work out!
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com saysJanuary 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm
Hi Kimba! While I've always loved dogs AND cats (As a gemini I find it easy to live in the space in between) I agree with Carol above about the changes I've made in my life. Yes, yes and yes! In fact I prefer to hang around people who are constantly evolving and changing as they go, it makes life so much more interesting! ~Kathy
Manifesting my Destiny with Lorii Abella saysJanuary 25, 2014 at 9:34 am
Yes, I agree Kim. To whatever situation it is applicable, we all change. Whether we are aware of it or not, we change to something we think is better. We just hope that people around us see it the way we do too. Thanks for sharing.
Marquita Herald saysJanuary 25, 2014 at 6:38 am
Inspiring as always Kimbra. I grew up in a cat household but as soon as I was on my own I defected to camp canine. I don't actually dislike cats, in fact I'm as big a sucker for all those cute kitty photos on the Facebook news feed as anyone, but when it comes to living with another warm blooded creature, dogs win out hands down. Still, sounds like you are all peacefully coexisting so one never knows.
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm
Dogs and cats are just SO different! I'm enjoying both now – Bonz is just quirky, loving in her own way, but quirky to the point of very funny.
Susan Wright-Boucher saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm
So true! A few years back I was asked to move to the west coast to finish a corporate acquisition. I couldn’t wait for 3 years to be finished so we could move back east. That was 6 years ago. Now you couldn’t get us to leave Vancouver for anything. To our surprise, this has become home.
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm
LOL Susan – my move to DC was also supposed to be temporary; that was nineteen years ago!
Janie Emaus saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 10:24 pm
I'm not sure anything could turn me into a cat person due to allergies and just a plain, overall, not-really-loving-a cat attitude.
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 6:25 pm
Trust me Janie, I NEVER thought I would c-hab with a cat. But I figure if my dog Taz can love her I can too.
Jennifer Steck saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm
My son brought, Bubba the cat, into the house when I was away on vacation. Otherwise, he wouldn't be here. I have grown to love him and it's a real giggle watching him chase my scaredy dog around the house. I am definitely a dog person. Looking at the diversity in your household, I suggest we send you and your husband to Washington. Maybe we could actually experience some reasonable progress…
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 6:33 pm
Sadly Jennifer, we already live in the DC area – I'm afraid the situation up on the Hill is a bit hopeless. That's WAY beyond what can be healed with a cat and a dog…
Suzie Cheel saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm
Was a cat person as a child and remeber Siddy well, then i became a dog person when i inherited dogs, now i am a no animal person, I would probably get a dog if I was going to have a pet.
Kimba saysJanuary 26, 2014 at 6:38 pm
Suzie, I bet you are great with dogs AND cats. I can picture you walking a dog on the beach as well as curled up with a kitty on the couch.
Beverly Monical saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm
Totally Team Canine here! I usually get a runny nose around a cat and I don't like the way their claws grab my clothes and skin, but I have been around a few that I thought I might be able to like. There are a few nevers that I still have never done but I am more open since being sick. Great post.
Kimba saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm
Beverly, you are so brave I can't imagine there is anything you wouldn't do! I haven't become completely feline neutral – Bonz may be a unique gift from the universe.
Diane saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 11:48 am
Totally team canine here. Raised OES for over 30 years. But I know if I found a poor, suffering little furball, I'd be in your exact position. Good for you!
Kimba saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm
Diane I've never co-habed with a cat before last year. They are SO different from dogs. Interesting, but different. A long as she gets along with Taz, who am I to judge? 😉
Kathi saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 10:57 am
Kimba, I have also been surprised at how "Bonz" has attached herself to you. You and I are (were) not cat people and I'm still allergic, so will most likely not ever live with a cat.
It is true, however, that we do change as time goes by. Back in the day, I couldn't imagine myself kayaking. What?! Get into that skinny log that will tip over and send me into the drink when I'm affraid to put my head uner?! BUT, Ned got me started several years ago and now I have been ocean kayaking, surfed waves in my kayak (small ones), and gone for moonlight kayaking adventures.
They say that with age comes wisdom, but I think it's more like with age we lose FEAR. Fear, after all is just a False Event Appearing Real.
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm
Kathi, I love to picture you kayaking by moonlight. You’ve got Ned and I’ve got Bonz – seems fair. 🙂
Carol Cassara saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 10:08 am
There's nothing like a trick question! "Have I changed over the years?" I hope so! 😉
Kim Dalferes saysJanuary 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm
Carol, I was just discussing this very issue with someone yesterday. A common "complaint" with spouses is that their partner has changed – DUH! Of course they've change, we all change, but the hope is that we all change for the better, right?