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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Here kitty, kitty

  • A strange phenomenon has happened in our house recently. Hubby has become smitten over a kitten.
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  • A strange phenomenon has happened in our house recently. Hubby has become smitten over a kitten.
    A little gray kitty has started to show up at our door on a nightly basis and despite his protests; Hubby has started to become attached. She meows and purrs and begs for attention and Hubby falls for her feline finesse.
    "Hi whittle kitty," he says as he bends down to pick her up. "Are you cold? You need to come in and warm up." 
    I think this cat saw him coming from a mile away.
    This is the same man, who has always said, "I mean, really, what do cats do? They sit around and sleep a lot. They walk around the house with no apparent purpose."
    That CAN seem true. But cats can be warm and cuddly and, unlike dogs, you can leave them alone for a couple of days and they'll be just fine.
    Experts also say that owning a pet lowers blood pressure and creates a sense of well being. Personally, I think that all depends. Hubby and I owned a pet together once that nearly gave me a heart attack and to this day has caused discourse in our family.
    Hubby wanted a dog and I wanted a cat. We went to the Humane Society together and for reasons I can no longer remember we ended up with just a dog. This hyper, golden lab puppy named Buddy made paw prints into the hearts of every family member except myself.
    While he represented happiness, playtime and joy to the other family members, I resented him for the extra work he caused me. On my lunch hour I was responsible for making sure I got home in time to let him out to relieve himself before he made a mess in the kennel. More often than not, I was not successful.
    To add insult to injury, only my clothes and shoes seemed to taste the best to Buddy.
    The last straw was when I came home from work to find that one of the kids had let Buddy out of his kennel and while they weren't watching him he ate every single last pair of my underwear and then chewed on an expensive pair of my brand new shoes for dessert.
    I repeatedly warned Hubby and the kids that if they didn't start sharing the responsibility of shaping this dog into a well-behaved member of our family, he was going back to the Humane Society where we got him.
    No one believed me because the dog loved me the best. And that's what was so annoying. The feeling wasn't mutual. Our household was busy with two full-time working parents, a preschooler and a third grader. I just didn't see the joy in caring for what felt like a third child (not counting Hubby.)
    Page 2 of 2 - Shortly thereafter I found myself on the ledge. As I was getting the kids ready for school one rainy day I found Maddie's brand new rain boots filled to the top with doggie diarrhea. I made good on my threat and took Buddy back to the Humane Society that day.
    I received the cold shoulder for a week from every one of my family members and gained the label of "dog hater." 
    So you see, it's been my experience that you're either a cat lover or a dog lover—not both. Hubby has harbored resentment towards me since I took the beloved Buddy back to the Humane Society. He swore he would never love another pet–especially a cat–more than he loved Buddy.
    He said I had taken the joy out of pet ownership and we could never again have a pet out of respect for Buddy.
    Oh, please. Hubby can be so dramatic sometimes. Give me a break. It was five years ago! And we only had that dog for a month or two.
    Never the less, since then we have settled quite well into life without pets, as long as no one brings up the name Buddy.
    Then this kitty showed up. She sits on his lap purring away and snuggling against his chin while they both glow with contentment.
    Maybe the experts are right and owning the right pet can bring a sense of well being. And hopefully, for my sake, allow forgiveness to take place.
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