I Don't Want To Be A Cat Person
By Alanna Rusnak on November 06, 2013
She told me how when the old boy died they mourned that kitty, a family circled around the memories and stories and laughing and crying and doing it together because they had loved him together. I told her how I felt affirmed in my choice to not have a pet in my home, in turn saving myself and my children the inevitable grief of losing it. This made her sad. "But isn't it better to have loved something than nothing at all?" she asked.
And I felt like an idiot.
I didn't want an animal in my home. I didn't want hair on my furniture. I didn't want a food dish on my floor. I didn't want to fight against a 'creature' smell. I vowed I wouldn't do it.
But, to live in the country you have to have something and so I secretly agreed to adopt my sisters cat under the condition that he would NEVER be an indoor cat - that he could have free range of the barn and the yard but THAT WAS WHERE IT STOPPED. I didn't ask Scott. I didn't tell him. She just dropped off that poor, skinny beast and he became part of the scenery.
Then one day he noticed.
"Hey, there's been a cat hanging around..."
"Dat's Pippin," Liam told him (and this was more than a year ago so he hadn't lost that baby-liam-accent that was the most perfect thing in the whole world) "Aunt Heidi gived him to us. He's awr new bown-cat."
"Barn cat," I interpreted. "He won't come in the house. Ever."
And I meant it with every cruel fibre of my being.
A few days later, I come home from work to a massive box sitting by the piano. A television. A huge, manly, monstrous television.
"What's this?" I ask.
"It's a TV."
"Don't we talk about big purchases like this?"
"You didn't ask me about getting a cat so I just figured..."
And I stuck to my convictions (and quickly learned that The Walking Dead on a fifty-five inch screen is pretty stinking amazing!). Pippin stayed outside.
Night after night they came, scuttling with their scuttle feet in the ceiling above my head after I went to bed, nibbling with their nibbly teeth in the cupboard under the sink, pooping from their wee little poopers underneath the couch!!!
If you have followed my story you will know that I've had my fair share of rodent battles - I am the Rat Butcher of Durham - I am the Killer of the Greys - I am the Mighty Morphin Mousefolk Murderer - DO NOT MESS WITH ME!
I had visions of waking up with them chewing on my face. I did all the right things. I put out the traps. I tossed poison under the drop ceiling. I chanted at them while I lay in bed: "Die...Die...Die...DIE!"
We needed a mouser. And this cat has got the skills!
So, with a blush of shame I waved the white flag, I folded on my vow, I desecrated the sacredness of a heart-born promise (much to the gleeful delight of my children).
I have a house cat. What was a barn cat is now an indoor cat and I feel like I'm confessing a crime - an embarrassing crime like misspelled graffiti or serving jail time for overdue 'Twilight' books.
And I'm ashamed - I snuck up the Walmart pet aisle hoping no one would see the litter box I grabbed.
Because I don't want to be a cat person. I don't want to be this girl.
And yet, last night I found myself laying on the piano room floor, snuggled up against his purring, not even caring that he wasn't intently preying on the scuttlers. Yet.
Alanna Rusnak writes honest blog posts reflecting her world as a mother of three, wife of one, employee of a church, and a lover of beauty over at SelfBinding Retrospect