Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here, Kitty

We finally went shopping for a pet. This was pretty amazing for us since Husband and I have Post Traumatic Pet Syndrome. When either of us even think about getting a pet, the first thing on our minds is not my chronic asthma, it's not the kids' springtime allergies and wondering if they'd be allergic to a pet too, and it's not being tied down to an animal just when our lives are getting easier. Instead this is on our minds: our former beloved cat dying an agonizing death from kidney disease when Bar Mitzvahzilla was just a baby.

Since Bar Mitzvahzilla was a dangerously tiny preemie who took ten weeks to come home from the hospital, we certainly had our hands full when he came home in October, 1995. There was an apnea monitor for the baby, an IV for the cat. An oxygen tank for the baby, injections for the cat. Doctor visits for the baby, veterinarian visits for the cat. Carrier for the baby, carrier for the cat.

Unlike the baby, who thrived, busting out of those little unisex preemie outfits like Superman, the cat did not, despite our best efforts to keep her alive. Finally, we had to let her go. We called the mobile vet, laid her down in Husband's arms and the vet gave her the shot to put her to sleep.

So when we see a cute little kitty, we don't just see the kitty. We see the grown up cat, the responsibility, we see the vet visits, and, unfortunately, we see the end. We're not a exactly a barrel of monkeys when it comes to cat shopping.

Based on our checkered past, when we finally went to the Humane Society last Friday to check out the cats, there wasn't much chance of us leaving with one. First there were the four of us and our individual expectations of a cat, then there was the lurking ghost of our dead cat. There was also Husband's list of required attributes for a new cat, which basically meant that the kitty would have to be a reincarnation of our old cat.

Ultimately, none of this came into play. We walked in, we picked out a cat to see. The kids pet the cat, both of them lifting their hands in horror at the cat hair clinging to them and swirling in the air around their heads. Then they began sneezing: six times, seven times. Then they put their cat hair-covered hands to their mouths to cover their sneezes. More sneezes.

We ran for our lives.

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