Tuesday, 15 May 2018


We became pet owners recently. To those that know me well, this came as a great surprise. Okay, fine, a total AND UTTER shock. “Anthea, a cat person? Hahahahaha, that's a good one." 

At my ripe old age of, ahem, murky forties, I have no shame in admitting that I am a bit of a clean freak (my husband will be laughing heartily at my ‘tame’ description of myself). It’s hereditary all right; in my family, you were either clean or you were promptly sold (to the dirtier family down the street). But once we had our son, and that realization that it was only going to be the three of us, the proverbial pet clock started ticking loudly. And of course, once the King approached the age of will, demonstrative dialogue and had testosterone coursing through his veins, the guilt was laid on thick.

It became a constant barrage of “Why don’t I have a sibling?” “Just go buy one Mommy!” (Yeah, okay, I’ll get right on that); or “If I don’t have a sibling, then can I please have a pet, cause if I don’t get a pet, I may end up in therapy cursing your name for years.” Okay, this was implied, and not exactly stated, but the message was clear, this kid needed something to look after.

No pressure then.  

So after a stern talking to my OCD self, I caved first (deep down when it comes to the King, I am a soft touch) and then informed my husband we were getting the King a cat -- [see how I did that, "informed."] At first he looked at me, reminded me who I was, and started laughing. “What about the smells, the hair, the furniture?! You could never handle it.” To which I responded, I’ll deal with it (on the inside I wept a little at the thought of shredded furniture, but nothing a homeopathic sedative didn't fix). As I saw it, my cat, my darling cat would be the cat exception. The angel cat that wouldn’t scratch furniture and would sh*t rose petals. Yes, in this one instance I was an idealist.

And as fate would have it, we soon fell in love with a Russian Blue kitty cat (he's grey and he matches the decor of the house, I'm telling you, it's a bourgeois dream come true). My son started on his name list and I quickly delved into the world of cats -- holy haystack was that a wake up call. Between the food, the toys, the litter, the bed, the scratching posts, AND the insurance, I looked at my husband and pondered whether buying an actual baby from the local high street was an option... Come on, doesn't Argos sell babies yet? 

Once Albus - as my son anointed him -  arrived, I quickly realized that we didn’t need a baby. We had one: a grey, fuzzy, manic, slumbersome ball of meowing fur. And the rest they say is history. My husband, the last one one to get on board, is now amusingly and utterly under this cat’s spell, the man is putty in Albus's cat paw. He holds him, talks to him, and worries about him endlessly. 

"He’s crying, I swear he’s crying… he looks depressed, anything that sleeps that much must be depressed, no? His eyes look weepy, should we call someone?” 

And of course my son walks around the house repeatedly telling me that his life has been profoundly changed now that “we are cat owners.” In fact, the elation on that kid’s face when he curls up in bed at night with Albus beside him is starting to make me think that a cat farm may be in our near future. 

OCD be damned, I may have just saved myself a fortune in therapy bills.

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