I’m going to have to do a little bit of salesmanship (or saleswomanship) in the next few weeks. T doesn’t know it yet, but there is going to be an addition to the family. We are in the “family way.” Our new addition is in utero. He (yes, it’s a boy!) will be born in the next day or so. I am so excited, but I’m afraid T won’t share my excitement. I put a deposit down on a yet-to-be born puppy today. His mommy is overdue, and I am excitedly awaiting his birth.
I’m a little fearful of what T will say when I tell him. He once told me, “The only reason I will ever divorce you is if you bring another dog into this family.” Hmmmm…. I am not doing this to upset T. I’m doing this because I miss having a dog in my life. Yes, I have Pepper Wondercat, but it’s not the same. Pepper is a loving grouch. He doesn’t perform like a dog. He isn’t loyal like a dog. Pepper is aloof. After all, as dog-like as he is, Pepper is still just a cat.
I’ve had a series of pets in my life. When I was a little girl, my mom once told me that I needed a house with a floor drain in the living room so I could just hose it down at the end of the day. You see, I had a thing about bringing home strays.
When T and I were first married, we bought a giant standard poodle and named him Abe. He was a gentleman of dogs. He laid by my side through bedridden pregnancies. He tolerated curious babies. He liked to wear human clothes while we laughed at him. He wore red boots when he played in the yard so that he didn’t track mud into the house. He was a figurehead of dogs. He was with us for 15 years, and I still miss him.
After Abe, I brought other dogs into our life, and the results were not so good. Hank was another standard poodle, and he was nothing like Abe. Hank broke free from leashes. He dashed in front of cars. He was crazy. If mental insanity is possible in a dog, Hank had it. Eventually, we found a good farm home for Crazy Hank.
Next came Pete. He was a beautiful dog who just happened to be blind in one eye. Time after time, he would sail through the house playing with the kids and run straight into whatever happened to be on his right side. Sadly, Pete developed epilepsy. What a disturbing disease! Pete had seizure after seizure until we found the right combination of medications. Pete became a healthcare money pit. For a time, we spent more money taking care of Pete’s medical needs than those of our children. When little Lola came along, and she began to crawl after the dog, Pete’s seizures went out of control. Eventually, I paid money to the no-kill shelter to find a quiet, subdued home for poor Pete.
We bought sweet Violet for Emily’s 10th birthday. Violet was a bichon frise, and was truly a sweetheart. When Violet was about a year old, she became sick. Once again, T and I were spending more money on our pet than on our children. Violet underwent a series of tests and medications until it was finally discovered that she had an advanced stage of bladder cancer. She went downhill fast. There were no surgical options left, and we had to put her to sleep. T sat in the living room holding her on her last night while tears ran down his face.
Next came Henry. He was an orange cat who had adopted us. All summer Henry had sat with us around the campfires on the patio. He made his way into our house and our hearts. While none of us were partial to cats, Henry became part of the family. When the summer turned to fall and the weather grew colder, the girls begged T to allow them to keep Henry in the house for the winter. T relented, but told them that Henry would have to be neutered and declawed. Shortly after T dropped Henry off at the vets office for surgery, I received a call. Henry had died on the operating table. The vet felt terrible. He said that Henry must have been allergic to the anesthesia. We had killed another pet! Emily was at school that day, and I dreaded telling her about Henry. We hadn’t even wanted a darn cat, and now he was dead.
That morning at work, my dear friend Tony showed up. He had a little pet crate in his hand. He said, “C’mon. We’re going to go get your girls a cat.” Off we went to the animal shelter. We spent hours in the cat room at our local shelter meeting each cat. Pepper Wondercat was the first cat to greet me. He followed me from cat to cat as I checked out the prospects. He made it clear that he was MY cat. He’ s still with us five years later, and has become a wonderful member of the family. Still, cats are aloof. Cats are not goofy and cuddly like dogs. I have missed having a silly, furry best friend. Pepper needs a buddy, too. As far as cats go, Pepper is a sweetheart. He will love having a buddy to hang out with during the day.
T doesn’t share my love for pets. He “tolerates” Pepper…although Pepper loves T. Pep sleeps on T’s feet each night. When T falls asleep in the chair, Pepper snuggles up on his lap. T has been adamant about NO MORE PETS. The girls and I have been talking a lot about a puppy, though, so T won’t be too shocked.
Our little boy won’t be ready to leave his biological mother for a couple of months. I can’t wait! Hopefully by then I’ll get the nerve up to tell T!