No More Pets!

Those three words were obnoxiously blurted out by me, after tearfully finding a new home for our silly little Senegal parrot who was a part of our tiny family for the past five years. After careful thought and discussion, all involved determined it was best for him to stay in Washington instead of traveling 2,200 miles to a new place, and with a very kind caregiver, where we boarded him while traveling, offering to care for him and provide him a good home, we knew it was the right thing for all.

I have grown to adore animals, but prefer them from a distance. Kind of like kids. I love them, I love being around them, but I also just as easily enjoy handing them back to their parents. I have too much traveling and numerous adventures yet to do, some of it spontaneous. I can’t be worried about the care of a furry little friend while we take off for trips and vacations.

Well, if you’ve ever spoken the “no more pets!” mantra, you know it almost certainly won’t last long. Here I was, minding my own business, getting settled into the new apartment, when one afternoon, I noticed two people looking at something outside my window. That’s strange, I thought. Why are the looking in the bushes? You can guess what comes next. It was a skinny multi-color kitty cat they were looking at. No collar. No owners in sight. She was just living out there. Some people in our building would put food and water out for her, but nobody seemed to know much about her or where she came from.

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I followed suit by putting a towel along with a small animal carrying case on our patio. The cat obviously needs a comfy place to sleep at night, am I right?! At this point in time, I wasn’t working and had all sorts of time to obsess over this adorable stray kitty living in the bushes outside our apartment. I thought about her constantly. I hated leaving the apartment to go do errands, worried I would come home and she’d be gone.

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She obviously immediately pegged me for a sucker, because the moment she came over to the patio and sat on my lap one afternoon, I was done. That night I read her a bedtime story while she politely curled up in her makeshift bed outside on our patio. No less than 18 times a day, I would say to Andrew “what are we going to do about the kitty?” All the pros and cons kept running through my mind. I didn’t want to take on the responsibility, but I knew I couldn’t let her live outside the apartment building forever. Andrew reminded me how unlikely it was that we’d be traveling much over the next year while we get settled into new jobs and rebuild our savings.

Hook, line & sinker.

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^^ practicing her high dive form

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During that time, a friend mentioned how bringing in a pet changes the dynamics of a home for the best. Not only that, but I already felt responsible for her. She needed a home, and I wanted to provide that and take care of her. These things kept playing over and over in my mind, and soon enough we let her come into the apartment and I was buying a litter box, cat food and a collar from Target.

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Bringing her into our home gave me this incredible sense of peace. I had no idea how badly I needed to nurture something. And since my track record with plants is abysmal, why not this sweet kitty that found us? She is so loving, so laid-back. She enjoys sleeping on our laps, and gets playful only at nighttime. Her fur is so soft, she doesn’t shed very much. She must have been a house cat at one point, because she immediately began using the cat box. She was already spayed, which was a relief. We haven’t had to teach her anything. It is like she has always been here.

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It took us weeks to name her, but we finally settled on Buttons. I’m not sure who is happier – us or her. I am so in love with her ((and I’m not the only one around here who feels that way)), and to think years ago I never saw myself having pets, let alone a cat. She is so darn cute when she puts her paw across her eyes while sleeping. I’m officially a crazy cat lady.

Lots of people say you don’t find pets, they find you. I used to give that saying a big fat eye roll. Turns out it’s true, though. She sure did find us. I am so pleased she did.

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Be warned – think long and hard before the next time you blurt out “No more pets!” because you don’t know what could be outside hiding in the bushes waiting to change your mind!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon says:

    I admit, I made this exact same statement 3 years ago, and haven’t regretting my change of heart, and having bailey hang out near where I am typing or reading.i think this post was one of many that tells all, the true Mary I love. Great writing my dear! Xoxox

  2. Buttons is gorgeous! I became a crazy cat lady when the previous tenant of my apartment left 3 cats behind. They make me so happy!

    1. Mary says:

      Isn’t she sweet? I am so glad she found us, even when she wants to me to get out of bed at 6am to feed her or play with her. I can’t imagine three! You are one brave (and caring) soul. Thanks for the comment!

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