I introduced you to our family dog - Reuben - a few weeks ago. Now I'd like to introduce you to the cat. You know... the other creature that adds substantially to the accumulation of pet hair in my home (and has me vacuuming at least twice a week!).
Meet Reggie. The cat I thought I wanted. The cat Brandon swore he'd never have. The bain of Reuben's existence. And the reason I plan on never owning another cat - ever.
Reggie was the cutest little orange kitten (on a side note, did you know that almost all orange cats are male? there's a "fun" fact for you!). We bought him at a shady pet store and paid almost nothing for him. He "matched" the dog. We brought him home to our very first little condo, showed him the litter box and the rest is history... well not quite. He's only 5 1/2. We've still got a ways to go. I bet he'll be one of those cats that lives to 20 or something crazy like that!
So, first came the funny and wacky (annoying and destructive) kitten phase... Reggie clawed and climbed on the furniture (as well as all the way to top of the patio door screen!). He would run from one end of our little place to the other - jumping up to sit on the window sills in the bedroom and the kitchen. Not only did he turn Reuben into a crazy jealous pup, but he would "fight" with him, scratching and biting. And he kept me awake - driving me absolutely crazy playing with my hair at all hours of the night.
No matter what we tried, he was destroying our furniture and so we opted to have his front paws de-clawed. I know this is considered cruel by some but (in my defense) we did pay the extra for the pain killers afterwards in attempt to give him as much pain relief possible. Even so... I can still remember him shaking his little paw as if to say "y-ow" when he tried to jump up on the windowsill the first few days after his surgery.
Maybe that's when the "anger" started.
Reggie went from this wild little kitten to an anti-social and in some cases even hateful cat. He rarely comes out when there is company, only wants to be pet by Brandon (and only when he feels like it) and has terrorized a few different house/cat sitters that we've asked to come and feed him when we were away. He turns into a raging lunatic for 3-5 days whenever we bathe Reuben (which thanks to the type of hair Reuben has - isn't very often). I'm telling you though - the sounds that come out of him are straight out of some freaky horror movie (creepy!) He tolerates (and steers clear of) the girls and I am almost 100% certain that he doesn't like me at all - unless he wants to be fed - then he's Mr. PURR.
Isn't part of the joy of having a pet that they just love you for you? I guess that rule only applies to dogs? I know when I write this that not all cats are as anti-social and hateful as our little Reggie... but still... if he'd just love me a little... maybe I'd love him a little back.
You get more if you give more, right? Not so in Reggie's case. Layla still adores him. She gets incredibly excited if he sits still for more than 3 seconds and she can pet him (I think it's happened twice). Brandon thinks he's funny - though he actually does "cuddle" with Brandon from time to time - I guess he too, has some need for affection (once every 3-5 weeks or so). Even Meaghan has started watching and smiling at him. And... although I hate to admit it (and this doesn't mean I actually enjoy having him as a pet) I know I will be upset when he's gone.
But mark my words. I will not "replace" him. I will not own another cat. Reggie will be my one and only pet cat... ever. With that said, I will always be grateful to him for one thing - helping me to realize that I am NOT a cat person(!)