It was December 9th, 2001. We had just left my parents house, driving somewhere I didn't know. Trevor handed me a wrapped present and told me to open it. Inside was a bag of Kitten food. And then I knew.....we were on our way to get a cat!
We had been married a little over 8 months. That meant that I had lived without a cat for a little over 8 months. My whole life I had had a cat, sometimes 9, sometimes 2, but always at least one. They weren't always my cat, but they were the family cat. The best cat ever was Cubby....but he deserves a blog all his own.....someday.
Anyway, the apartment Trevor and I had moved into after getting married didn't allow cats. At least that's what the landlord told us. Nevermind the fact that my brother who lived next door had two, and his neighbor had one. So Trevor, knowing how much I wanted a cat of my own, took it upon himself to plead with the landlord, tell him what good tenants we were, and how vigilant we would be with the cat. And remind him of the other 3 cats he was allowing in the same building. He did all this without telling me. So he could surprise me.
We found ourselves at the pound that day. Selfish as I was, I wanted a kitten. I tiny one. Really, really small! We passed many an adult cat (which I probably shed a tear for later) and found no kittens. Trevor has been by a couple days or so earlier and there were kittens then, but with the holidays coming, they had been wiped out. Duh. (This made the whole adult cat thing sadder) So we left. And I was bummed. SUPER bummed! Trevor said we could wait and see what they would get in the coming weeks, but I was having none of it. I found out I was getting a cat and I wanted one....THAT DAY!
We tried a few pet stores in the malls, and nothing. We called other shelters, and nothing. Trevor asked me about the adult cats, I checked my cold heart, and nothing. But I wouldn't give up hope. Back at my parents, I got out the phone book and started calling more shelters, pet stores, and rescues. Finally, after exhausting Orange County, I called a place in Norco. They had kittens! Trevor gave me a weary look and off we went!
When we got there, the place looked like a pet supply rather than a pet store. That's because it was a rescue. Oh how sweet. The cats and dogs they "rescued" were in the back. We walked back and saw 6 cages stacked two high, and a small corral for the puppies. Of course, Trevor went straight to the puppies....but that was REALLY out of the question. I looked at the cages, and surveyed the options. The far left held the youngest kittens, about 8 weeks old, and $80 a pop. Quite an increase from the $35 the shelter would have charged for a fixed and vaccinated cat. The middle cages held the 15 week olds, at $50. And then we had the old fogies...I mean adult cats, $30. Trevor, of course, leaned toward the older cats, while I, of course, wanted the little babies. We compromised with a 15 week old.
As I looked in the cage I noticed a few kitties, a black one, an orange one, and some others that I can't remember. Really the only thing I remember is what happened next. I knelt down and opened the cage. The black kitten was sitting right by the door and started to sniff at the open gate. I said to Trevor, "If this one crawls into my lap, he/she is the one." And that's when Scout entered our lives. She crept out, and practically curled up on my knees right there. Done. Sold.
The next couple weeks, we adjusted to life with a pet. Not a terrible adjustment, but a new responsibility. She was REALLY sweet, curled up with us every chance she got, wanted to be under the covers with us in bed, directly between us, even if it meant laying on us. Got into every box that laid on the ground........it was Christmas time and there were many gift boxes and decoration boxes to enjoy.
In the beginning, she had many sicknesses. The place we got her from turned out to not be so great in their rescuing. We pretty much saved her from the rescue! We nursed and she grew into a super rambunctious, crazy cat! Me and her used to chase and stalk eachother down the long hall of the apt. She would rear up on her back legs and run at me sideways. It was fantastic!
Then we moved to England. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do....leave my "baby" for a year. But we did it, and the day we got back we picked her up. She didn't really remember us at first, but after a few weeks, she got comfortable with us again.
After being gone a year, both Trevor and I missed her terribly. Unfortunately for Trevor, that did not last. The first couple years we were back were fine, we were in a smaller apt, and she was cramped, but we dealt with it. Then the hairballs started. And they kept coming. And then we found out we were having a baby, and the hairballs kept coming. Changing food didn't help. Brushing her more sort of did, but we weren't diligent. The vet didn't give much advice besides what we had already done, and she was "healthy". Then it died down a bit....good timing.
When Declan came it wasn't such a problem, but since our move, it's gotten a bit worse. And since the boy can crawl and will be walking soon, it has gotten harder to take care of. We've come home and in the dark stepped in it and tracked it through the house. Having a mobile child, that is not something you want to deal with. AND the carpet is brand new!
So the time has come. I have gone back and forth about this, and cried and cried about it. Some days I'm ready for it and others I am totally not. But this is the truth: Scout needs to go. My heart breaks even writing that sentence. I love her. I love her fuzziness. I love her purr. I love that she stills wants me to pet her when I go to bed, even though she hates me touching her any other time of the day. I LOVE that Declan is fascinated by her, and wants to chase her.
But I'm tired of cleaning up after her. I'm tired of the litter and her litter box. I'm tired of the black hair all over my stuff. And I'm tired of Trevor's much justified contempt for her. I know these things are attached to pet ownership, but I need to focus on parenting right now. I hate that this has to be a choice, but I care about my son, and I cannot spend time making it work for the cat to be here, when I should be caring for D.
So.....if anyone would like a black, long-haired cat with a white ascot (spot on her chest), a slight kink in her tail, that is friendly to a point, but only on her terms, and who's a little puky, let me know. She's been indoors her whole life, but she still has claws (oh yeah, there's that problem, too) so she could probably adjust to going outside some. I DO NOT want to take her to a shelter, and I really don't want to take her to a rescue. I would love to know the person who is taking her, so I could visit, but, at the same time......she will have to eventually go....somehow. :(
She is beautiful though....