“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, we have a bit of mass hysteria going on at my house at the moment. We have adopted a cat.
I am not a cat person – my friends and family know this. I like dogs. I have been a firm member of “Team Canine” all of my life. Yet, here I am, coexisting with a cat. How did this happen you ask?
Three weeks ago, it was a dark and stormy night – literally. Late in the evening I was walking our dog Taz and as we trouped up the driveway, out from under the car was 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 here we are almost a month later, still cohabitating; the owner yet to be found. 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 that I know to be true about myself. My 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. It’s 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, the cat is beginning to grow on me. Her big green eyes are very charming 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 eleven 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 shit 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 some tell-tale signs that the cat is now also moving toward permanent fixture status:
Strike One: we gave her a name – Bonz (because she was a bag of bones when we found her).
Strike Two: Greg bought her a cat bed. She still sleeps on the towel from night one, but we’ve set up a domicile for her.
Strike Three: Greg put a NC State cat collar on her last weekend.
Yes, we now have a cat.
What I’ve learned from this experience so far:
- I’ve mastered the intricacies of cleaning out the litter box.
- Cats, on principle, don’t generally respond to here kitty, kitty; they seem to walk away in the opposite direction, only to materialize out of thin air quite suddenly – when you least expect it.
- She is kind of cute and likes to curl up at my feet while I’m writing. This is fairly irresistible.
- She’s 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!)?
What about you; are you on team puppy or team kitten? Anyone else out there a blended family? Any advice from the animal lovers out there; either team?
Jacs Henderson saysOctober 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm
what a fab post Kimba – I'm on the dog team – (I had a kitten when I was 4 but she got run over 🙁 )somehow since then I've evolved disliking cats for being too independent and for walking on kitchen surfaces which I can't help but feel is rather unhygienic – kittens look cute but I don't feel like I want one – However, being in the same position as you were, maybe I could be won over, I wouldn't turn away anything needing help!
I think it's quite something you are all living together in harmony – so far! So you give me hope, but I'm sure dogs are more of a companion – maybe adding on a cat after the dog just completes the family 🙂
Lovely story 🙂
Kim D saysOctober 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm
Hi Jacs. As everyone has been telling me: you don't choose a cat; a cat chooses you. Bonz sure made quite the choice! I know you would happily rescue a needy soul.
Frank Montrose saysOctober 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm
Hi Kim. I am a friend of your mom’s from the food pantry in Florida & enjoyed your story.
The dog/cat mix/clash has been going on for centuries & will probably continue to do so.
There is “love” in both creatures but it is a lot easier to find in dogs. Dogs (particularly the dogs in my life) present it to you on a platter, but cats kind of slide it in under the door.
Kim D saysOctober 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm
Hi Frank! I agree that it's easier to love dogs, but I'm finding this cat intriguing. Hugs to Anna.
Nathalie Villeneuve saysOctober 28, 2012 at 10:49 am
Growing up we had cats and dogs…not too much luck with either. I always loved cats and in my twenties I had a cat called Munchie. She traveled with me from Toronto to California and then Dallas. When I came back to Canada to care for my mom…I left her in Dallas cause she was getting old. I missed her but I knew she was loved.
Your story touched me and made me laugh too. I'd love to see pics! I'm sure you'll get to have a wonderful relationship with her. She sounds awesome. She knows you saved her so she'll always be loyal…at least that's my prediction…LOL
Great share <3
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm
Bonz does seem to be building a very loyal bond with me. I've never had a relationship with a cat before – they sure are different from dogs! Not better, just different. Thanks for stopping by Nathalie – are you creating any FRANKENSTORM themed artwork this week?
Diane Marie saysOctober 28, 2012 at 8:16 am
While I like all animals and have had both dogs and cats at some point in my life, I tend to gravitate towards dogs now. It seems I have developed some allergies to cats and I don't care to be sneezing and have my eyes watering all the time. Right now I have a grand-doggie named Bailey whom I love dearly. He and I have bonded and he loves to come to Nana's house and hang with me. Even though he is 9, he acts like he is a puppy which keeps him young.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm
A "grand-doggie" I love that. It is amazing how soulful animals can be and how attached we become to them. I am SURE he loves his Nana!
Jean saysOctober 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm
I prefer dogs but for most of our 21 years of marriage we've had at least one of each.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm
So, I've finally found someone who owns both! Jean, do you find that they get along, or just tolerate each other?
Arla DeField saysOctober 20, 2012 at 12:13 am
I can tell by the stories, that being captivated by our pets, lets me join the club. I have had dogs all my life, except for a short time (2 months) when I thought I could live without a dog. NOT I was cruising Craigs List within a week and found my new pup after 2 months, almost to the day of loosing my long hair doxie of 18 years. Just could not face going home to an empty house. Rather allergic to cats, so outside kitties only.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm
Arla, FYI, I have a bit of a cat allergy too but after a few days of benedryl I seemed to build up an immunity. What's the name of your new pup? I think how people name pets is so interesting… yeah, I'm weird that way.
Carol Dodsley - The How2Girl saysOctober 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm
I must admit I am definately on the doggy team side. Although not so long ago I was without any pets and had strongly said NO for years to having another dog (having been brought up with them and had one when the children were small and loved them all my life)
Then – somehow without really knowing why – last year I was collecting a 9 month gorgeous rescue boxer cross pup and then a few months later a really teeny rescue puppy of just 8 weeks old arrived ….. now despite the cream carpet being a very strange colour and hairs everywhere and some deep secret holes being dug in the garden – I just couldn't imagine being without my girls :)xx
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm
Carol you have a big heart – however, might be time to invest in a steam cleaner! Thanks for stopping by.
Christina saysOctober 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Thank you for sharing–I enjoyed this story! I'm a dog person, having had dogs all my life. I don't know if I'm a cat person, because I was never allowed to have cats even though I wanted one. And I suppose I can get a cat as an adult…it's just, well, what about the dogs? It just seems like a lot of extra trouble, already having dogs. But someday I would like to get a cat. I think it's all about trying new things. It's awesome that you're opening yourself up to something new and able to laugh at it!
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm
Christina, I must say I was a bit shocked by how easily Taz and Bonz get along. Animals are so intuitive – I think Taz sensed that Bonz was in trouble and needed some care and attention.
Suzanne saysOctober 19, 2012 at 9:46 am
Oh, this article is right up my alley…I love animals. I feel so connected to any animal that is in my awareness. I have two dogs that I adore and we are quite the pack….my husband, myself, and two dogs. Family time is my most favorite time of the day where we all climb onto our bed and cuddle. I grew up with cats and we never had a dog, so I have made up for the "no-dog rule" as a child in my present adult life. Great post!
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm
Question Suzanne: do you allow the dogs to sleep with you? This seems to be another animal lover dividing line…
Didi Fisher Weinreb saysOctober 18, 2012 at 10:34 am
Although animal hoarding is a real issue, I think I'm well on my way. Over the years, there first was one dog, Mogul, the Maltese, then two, Oliver, the schnoodle moved in, plus one kitty, Chloe, white and gorgeous, then two, Coco, and then three, Pumpkin, then added to the mix a finch and then a second which proceeded into many, if you know what I mean. Paco, the quaker parrot arrived shortly after that and we thought our zoo was complete until a friend found a Cockatiel in her driveway and knew, who better than Didi to foster it. The kittens grew into cats and well, weren't kittens anymore so we decided to find another place for them to live. Then Mogul died but Radar, the other schnoodle arrived; the finches were multiplying faster than I could find homes for them so they too were given away. The Cockatiel, who we named Spike, went home with the housekeeper but Paco remains to this day. He is about 14 years old now. Oliver was having health issues and we didn't want Radar to be lonely so we invited Charlie, the toy poodle, to join the pack. Oliver did die a few years ago and then came Sparky, the white fluffy devilish angel to join the family. Son, Ben brought home a German Shepard puppy a month ago and his girlfriend, who has now taken up residency in our basement will be adopting a Vizsula puppy on Monday. So at last count, we are up to 5 dogs, 1 bird and no cats. I think that keeps us on Team Canine.
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm
OK Didi, you just earned the nickname "Noah."
Danielle Brian saysOctober 18, 2012 at 10:19 am
I am so glad you are experiencing the wonders of a cat finally!! I'll bet soon she will be the boss of the house. And yes I forgave you long ago for that little accident with my beloved Tisha – I know you didn't mean to do it….
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Dani, you need to come see me with Bonz – you will NOT believe this is me with a cat. Surely the 7th sign of the apocalypse.
Terry Hanley saysOctober 18, 2012 at 8:26 am
BTW, digging the "Z"…..kitty got street cred 🙂
Terry Hanley saysOctober 18, 2012 at 8:23 am
I'm an equal opportunity animal lover….I don't have a preference towards either. That said, let's not get crazy here. Cats & dogs may be able to coexist, but I have faith that Gators & Seminoles will always despise each other as much as Red Sox & Yankees will ALWAYS maintain a deep hatred towards each other. THIS is the TRUE law of nature !
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 18, 2012 at 9:07 am
Well Terry, gotta agree with you that there are some things that can't be messed with (FSU/UF; Red Sox/Yankees). And, glad you like the "Bonz" name. Taz and Bonz – we thought it kind of made sense.
Linda Barton Macapayag saysOctober 18, 2012 at 8:12 am
I am Purr-fectly happy on Team Kitten!
Kim Dalferes saysOctober 18, 2012 at 9:05 am
No surprise there Linda. Might need some pointers from you!