I have what you would call a love-hate relationship with our cat, Coco.
She's about a year 1/2 old and is what you might call a real tramp. I've always had a cat, one or many since I was around 15 years old. You take care of them, you love them and then they die.
After our last cat Kramer died a few years ago, we took a hiatus from cat rearing. Jimmy had been pestering me to get a dog or, ahem, a puppy. We actually considered it and tried out an 8 month old black lab from Craig's list. After knocking the Doodle down several times and pretty much destroying the house I decided Jim was right for the first time ever and we drove that puppy back to his rightful owners around 10:00 that same night. What the heck was I thinking?
The good news was since we gave it an honest try and it was miserable, Jimmy was in full agreement and finally off the Dog Thing.
Then came the Cat thing.
I agreed for a few reasons. One reason was because Jimmy was 8 and I thought it was time for him to have his very own pet, one that he picked out and that he could take responsibility for. It would be his job to take care of it. It would be a great life lesson for him. It would also teach him how to care about something besides himself. The other reason was because I actually missed having a silly little cat sleeping all day in weird places. And, everyone knows cats practically take care of themselves. So we got a cat. Jimmy picked her out and named her Coco. She was just a kitten and not even that cute as kitten standards go. How is it, we ened up with the one ugly kitten in the world? I thought all kittens were supposed to be cute.
After about two weeks and the newness wore off and got bigger and uglier, Jimmy kind of lost interest. And, in true kitten fashion, she was single paw-ingly destroying the house, the furniture, the screen doors. Our house smelled like a cat box. I wasn't too happy.
Then, before I even had a chance to get her fixed, the little whore went out and got herself knocked up. Ah jeeze, although I have to admit I was a little bit excited at the idea of having an entire litter of kittens to play with.
But, Coco wasn't a fit mother. She kept wanting to abandon her kittens, there were four. She kept trying to hide them in weird places and wanted to go back outside to get away from them. We finally had to lock them all in the bathroom upstairs, Coco included. This is when she really went nuts. She was certifiable and hated those kittens. And she didn't care who knew it. All she did was scratch to get out and cry and scream. She was making our already stressful environment with the Doodle even more stressful. I had Jim shaking his head at me with that "I told you so" pursed lip and raised eyebrow thing he does. And what could I say? He was right. Again. Two times now.
It was very mysterious how she went suddenly missing for a few days on two different occasions...then my conscious would kick in and she would magically be right back home...where she belonged.
After 6 weeks of living with a psychotic cat and her obnoxiously cute kittens, (the house really smelled like cat box) we gave her kittens away. You would think this would have made her happy but no, all she could think about was getting back in the saddle again if you know what I mean. She immediately went into heat and was howling and howling to her little Tom Cats outside. We did our best to keep her in until we could get her fixed but she was too fast and crazy for us. With all that was going on with the Doodle and his autism and seizures, it was just too much. At this point I was despising her. I've never not liked one of my own pets before.
Short story longer--we got her fixed. And, after she finally forgave us she has been a much more loving, mellow and not such a freak show of a cat to be around. I'm actually liking her. There, I said it. The other night she was missing for about 24 hours which was very odd for her and I was actually missing the little Tramp. I made Jim drive around the vineyard in the dark while we called her and we searched with a flashlight. I thought for sure she was eaten by something or maybe hit by a car.
She came home the next day but was kind of sick and lethargic. I thought she might have been hit by a car or had eaten some poison. I actually thought she might die which made me really sad. I couldn't picture our family without her. Although it took some time for me to warm up to her, she was now an important part of our family even if I do curse her when she scratches on our screen doors. But, for all the damage she had done and irritation she has caused, she has always been really gentle with the Doodle. It's like she knows he's special. It's sweet the way she lays on the bed with him almost protecting him and has endured some serious Doodle abuse over the last year and a half. Coco has redeemed herself as our pet of choice and if the day comes when we get approved for a seizure dog, I've decided I'm going to make Jim break the news to her.