Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's a girl!

Many couples that we know had the "Honey, I think it's time for us to have kids" conversation. We never did. We knew from the beginning that we weren't the parenting kind. That does not mean, however, that we have not had plenty of conversations about bringing life into our home. Only that we talk about bringing furry life into our home.

The issue, however, is that Hubby is a cat person, and I am a dog person. [Insert gasp here] So there was an awful lot of talking, but not a whole lot of agreeing. Here are a couple of sample conversations:

Me: "I grew up with a dog. It sure would be nice if I had one again."

Hubby: "No"

Me: "But you work long hours and I'm here all by myself. I need company!"

Hubby: "You work long hours too."

Me: "Not as long as you!"

Hubby: "That's not really true, is it?"

Me: "But I'll take care of it! You don't even have to do a thing! I'll walk it, and feed it, and pick up after it, and train it!!!"

Hubby: "No."

Me: "My friend just got a wiener dog and he's sooooo cute! Come on! Can we get a wiener dog?"

Hubby: "No."

Me: "Can we get a wiener dog? Can we get a wiener dog? Can we get a wiener dog?"

Hubby: "No. No. No."

Me: "Don't you even love me?"

[long awkward pause]

Hubby [furrowing his brow in deep concentration]: "Yes. But we're not getting a dog."

*****************

Hubby: "Let's get a cat. I grew up with them and I miss having one around."

Me: "Over my dead body."

Hubby: "They're not a lot of work, Jay. Not like that dog idea you are always going on about."

Me: "I hate cats. They're aloof. They lick themselves and then cough up fur balls everywhere. And they track their kitty-litter-soaked paws all over the house. Gross! I'm not having one here."

Hubby: "They're not that bad, Jay."

Me: "Yes. They are. They are assholes. They are just waiting for you to die so that they can eat your organs for breakfast."

Hubby: "What happened to you when you were a kid?"

Me: "Nothing. Why?"

Hubby: "You seem a little aggressive about cats. Why are you okay with the ones that we pet-sit for our friends?"

Me: "Because I know those little assholes are eventually going home."

Hubby: "You're cold, Jay."

Me: "Shhhhh..... I'm trying to watch the football game!"

*************

... and so on, and so on, and so on...

I thought I'd won the conversations would end when I finally convinced Hubby to get a dog, thanks in no small part to the crazy man running around our 'hood hitting women over the head with hammers. And as I watched the ever-deepening bond between Hubby and Fergus, I was sure we both felt that our family was complete. No more conversations about cats! Yay!

Our very first family outing, and the very first picture of Hubby and Fergus together.

Watching t.v. together

Best friends hanging out and playing in the Arboretum

But as it turns out, Mr. Fergus is also a cat person. After pet-sitting a friend's cat for a week (affectionately nicknamed Princess Kitty, but known as Sadie), we discovered that he absolutely loves having a cat around. Particularly this cat. When Sadie left, he pined over her for days and days and days on end, running up and down the stairs as he futilely searched every corner of the house for her, whining and barking the whole time. Which of course, Hubby used against me. Leading to this conversation...

Hubby: "Huh. Will you look at that. It looks like Fergus wants us to get a cat!"

Me: "Shut up."

Hubby: "Are you really going to say no to Fergus? Look at him! He's miserable and lonely. He needs a little friend around."

Me: "Shut up."

Hubby: "Really, Jay. What happened to you?"

Me: "I'm going to punch you in the face."

***********

Things only got worse for me when Sadie came to live with us for a year after her human got an excellent career opportunity in California. The deal was that she would take Sadie back when she returned to Canada. But with each passing day, Hubby became more and more used to having a cat around. And Fergus was more and more thrilled to have a constant companion and playmate (by playmate, I mean something that he could herd up and down the stairs). Even Sadie started to relax into her new setting, getting particularly attached to the F-Bomb, mewling and howling whenever he wasn't around for her to torture.

Soon, we were a mere month away from our friend's return. As the time drew nearer and nearer to sending Sadie home, I started to dread having to give her back. I worried that her departure would lead to a renewed debate about whether or not to get a cat. I worried that Fergus and Hubby would mope around the house for weeks on end. I even worried that Sadie would be a little sad without her big, dumb, high-strung friend around to mercilessly taunt.

Damn it!

And so it was that, over the Christmas holidays, Hubby and I had one more conversation about growing our family.

Me: "I don't know who will be more depressed when she is gone. You or Fergus."

Hubby: "Ahem.... Definitely Fergus."

Me: "I'm not so sure about that. You want to keep her, don't you?"

Hubby: "Ahem... ahem... Well, Fergus wants to keep her. That's for sure."

Me: "And you?"

Hubby: cough, cough, sputter, sputter "Yes."

*********

The next day, Hubby sent our dear friend a note that went something like this:
You love Sadie. And Jay and I love Fergus. I know that we all want to do what is right for our pets. They have become best friends, and I worry that separating them may not be the best thing for them. If you agree, Jay and Fergus and I have a loving home waiting for Sadie.
....

And so now, we have a cat.

I am still firmly in the dog-person camp. And I still get grossed out by her kitty-litter soaked paws. And I make Hubby clean the kitty litter because I refuse to touch it. But even I have to admit that she has weasled her way into a tiny little corner of my heart. The way she comes running to the door alongside Fergus to greet us when we come home. The way she cuddles up to me as I am doing my post-run stretching routine. The way she curls up in my lap when I'm watching t.v. or reading a book.

Fine! I admit it. I like her. And I'm glad that we adopted her into our home. She makes our little family complete.

She may be an asshole. But now she is my asshole.

Welcome home, Sadie. And thanks, JJ, for making it all possible.

Sadie has become the real boss. She gets the dog bed, the dog hides under the table.


Unless she is in a good mood. Then she will share.

I run with Fergus. But I do my post-run stretching with Sadie

A family moment - Sadie cuddled on my lap and Fergus at my feet

Hubby and his herd hanging out watching t.v.

A rare quiet moment - Sadie hunkered down for a nap. She is actually pretty cute when she sleeps.

Taking a break from chasing and swatting at each other.