January 2, 2010

So what had happen was….

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:37 am by alongcamelucy

“I want a cat!”

“I neeeeeeeeed a cat!”

“PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET ME HAVE CAT?!”

“All I want for my birthday is a cat”

“Can I have a cat?”

“For Christmas I think you should get me a cat”

“If you don’t get me a cat, I think I am just going to die!”

Phrases such as those have been a prevalent part of my vocabulary for the last 17 years. I always had a cats growing up. Life without a cat seems unnatural to me. A cat in the house seems unnatural to my husband. He told me this in the brief intern after we met but before we started dating. I was so smitten with him that the impact of his words went right over my head.

That is how I accidentally ended up married to a “no pets in the house” guy. My husband Jeff is a wonderful man. He is kind, handsome, generous, sweet and funny. In the last 16 years, my want, no my need for a cat never wavered except for a very brief 2 weeks in 1997, where I was able to bring a stray cross-eyed Burmese into my apartment. I literally opened the door one morning and there he was, waiting for me to let him in.

In an apartment complex with nearly 100 different apartment units to pick from, he had chosen my doorstep. As soon as I opened the door, he just walked right in like he owned the place and I loved him from the second I laid eyes on him.

I named him Clarence.

A few months before Clarence showed up on my door step, Jeff bought me a new living room suite with a leather sofa. Jeff and I both loved that sofa. So did Clarence. Clarence showed his love by kneading the sofa with his nails and big meaty paws and using it as a scathing post. With in a week he had ripped the side of the sofa into shreds. Jeff once again insisted no inside pets and said it was him or the cat. The apartment manager also reminded me that our lease had a very strict no-pets policy and it was the cat or the apartment.

I found Clarence a wonderful forever home with a lady who lived in the neighborhood behind us. She already had 3 special need animals , one of which was a cat born without both eyes, her whole life and home were dedicated to pampering her pets. Just like me she fell in love with Clarence the second she met him and they lived happily ever after.

Clarence set the tone for pet ownership the next 16 years of our marriage. No inside pets, not ever, no way, no how, no discussion. If I pushed the issue to much Jeff would always bring up the destruction of the brand new sofa, followed by a lot of “I told you so’s”. And as he often pointed out, he had made his stance on indoor pet ownership perfectly clear before we ever started dating.

Over the years Jeff did try to offer up comprises. I could have a pet as long as it was an outdoor pet. Humph! There was no way I would leave my pet outside and going through all the trouble of finding a pet then kicking it out of the house, didn’t mean you owned a pet,it made another stray animal roaming around outside!

He let me get a fish. A gold fish named Erin. I ended up spending a few hundred dollars on a tank, rocks and supplies for her at a time when we really did not have a lot of cash to spare. Erin was the most spoiled (and loved) goldfish in the world. I think she lived for close to two years. She loved me as much as I loved her. She would come to the edge of the tank and blow kisses at me every time I walked by her. When she died I was so heart broken that my step father built her a coffin and a cross grave maker and him and my mother helped me organize and attend a funeral for her. Jeff decided that I was clearly not emotionally stable enough to have pets and from there on out No Pet rule was strictly enforced.

No pets, not even fish or a cockroach were allowed. After we moved to FL I had an abundance of lizards and birds in my yard and I pretended they were my pets, but I still want a cat and still “I neeeeeeeeed a cat!”

On December 23, 2009 Jeff and I were driving back from Tampa after attending a party at his mothers house. We stopped off at a service station very close to our house and as soon as I opened my car door I saw a kitty, clearly a Russian Blue, hiding under the car in the parking lot beside ours. I was so excited that I got down on my knees in my party clothes in a parking lot, looking perfectly undignified and goofy to try and pet her but she wouldn’t let me. The service station attendant said that he had been feeding her for a long time, but that she would not come near him, she was wild. He had been trying to gain her trust because he really wanted to keep her himself.

After we got back in the car I just broke down crying. One of those soul sapping cries that well up from the center of your whole being. 16 years of wanting something so bad just flooded out. I am sure Jeff was just as shocked as I was, he said he was sorry and once again ran down the laundry list of reasons having a pet was a bad idea.

Then out of the blue, on Christmas Eve, while standing in line at a Starbucks in Target, Jeff turned around very nonchalantly and said “You can have a cat.” And I started crying again in the line at a Starbucks inside Target.

Meet Lucy

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