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Pets and Responsibility

Our new family member!

Our new family member!

There were cats in my home before there were children. Two adorable, huge, long-haired boys named Beavis and Kit-ten. They lived long, happy lives before passing away. My cuddly boy was 21. My husband’s cat was 19. He died right before our second daughter was born. We’ve been cat-free now for about eight years. I missed having cats but since we’re both allergic, I didn’t really go looking for a new pet. Besides, a few years ago we welcomed a rescue dog named Savannah who needed a lot of training and love.

Anyway, back in October we were at the vet with Savannah and we noticed a cute puff of cream-colored fur hanging out in the area designated for adoptions. We oohed and ahhed. We said how much we would love to take him home. We couldn’t believe he wasn’t already spoken for, but then we noticed he was blind in one eye. When we asked about it the vet tech told us that people don’t like adopting animals with medical issues. We went home that day, but the cat stayed on our minds. My little one asked about him (and adopting him) at least once a week. This past December after more prodding we stopped into the vet’s office. Sure enough, the little puff of cream was a little bigger but still just as cute, and still waiting for a new home. After discussing it, we decided to let the girls get a cat as long as they agreed to clean the litter box exclusively. I already walk the dog, brush her and feed her. I also clean the hamster cage and buy worms and crickets for the gecko. I didn’t need another job, I told them, so the only way the cat was coming into the house was if they were his caretakers. They agreed.

He came home on January 2. After giving them a lesson in poop scooping, the girls have divided the responsibilities between them. Since then, they have been wonderful, keeping the box clean, feeding and watering him and giving him lots and lots of love. I am thrilled that they have stepped up and are doing their part. I don’t even hear any grumbling about the smelly litter! They do it without complaint. The big one even cleaned up some cat poop that landed outside the box due to a litter box cover issue. She gagged, but she did it! I was so proud.

It’s been nice to have a cat in the house. I am diligent about washing my hands. He doesn’t seem to shed, and he’s probably one of the nicest animals I’ve ever met. He and the dog instantly bonded. He’s nice to the hamster! He’s extremely clean. The best part: He got my kids to take responsibility for a living thing, a crucial step in their march to adulthood. Can’t complain about that!

We still haven’t named the little guy! We just can’t decide. Right now we’re thinking Clay or CC or even Asia, since he’s got Siamese markings and coloring. Have a good idea for our new pet? Also, have you liked NaPM on Facebook yet? Feel free to stop by and say hi!

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