Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The Good and Bad of Having a Pet
I used to post or talk about Olaf, the cat my family adopted when he was a kitten, quite often. In the last year or so, quite possibly two years (time goes by so fast), Olaf has been with Steven and Ty. At first Olaf had a hard time adjusting. There's a good reason Olaf went to live with them, but it was hard for us as well.
Time moves on. Time heals loss. Time allows reflection.
As much as I love Olaf, he's a sweet cat, I quickly realized how nice it was not having to worry about him.
I'm on the fence with whether I like having a pet in my life or not.
Usually the debate is if someone prefers cats or dogs. Personality of a cat person or a dog person! Introversion vs Extroversion. Hyper vs don't give a darn. The need to be noticed vs the need to go hide.
When it comes to Cats vs Dogs I do edge out as a cat person. (Insert: I do like dogs). Yes, I'm an introvert. I love how cats need a little love, a little cuddle, and then go off to do their thing. They like their space; I like mine.
With that said, I've met cats I don't like. They can be bratty, mean, arrogant, vengeful, spawn of the devil, etc. Olaf isn't any of these things. He's forgiving and loving. Once my Mom and I forgot to feed him. When we finally put food in his bowl he didn't eat immediately, instead walking around my Mom's legs as if to say "thank you". He displays this patient/loving manner in many respects. It's really nice when a pet comes to love you, especially in moments of loneliness. I'm no stranger to lonely feelings. Olaf always seemed to know when I needed him. Once I was sick and fell asleep on the couch. He snuggled up to me and put his paw on my hand.
(Okay, I'm officially having Olaf withdraws).
Last month Steven and Ty went on a cruise, so we cat sat. Olaf's litter was put in the laundry room along with his food and water. Then all the bad stuff came to mind. Ants in the food. Vomit on the carpet. Olaf hiding and not coming out when called. We've been going through renovations since January and a couple rooms are full of stuff, boxes and nick-knacks everywhere. Olaf escaped into this cluttered room and hid. For six plus hours we couldn't find him! We looked everywhere! Tried everything! (Well, except opening a can of tuna, dang it). Finally my Mom found him under a table and it took the both of us to get him out.
Then there was this one time he wanted me to put treats in his dish. I misunderstood and gave him more food. He looked at me like I was an idiot and left, going up the stairs, and then turning his back to me, looking over his shoulder to gauge my reaction. I stood at the foot of the stairs, hands on hips, and declared causally, "I'm okay with this," and then sat on the couch. He immediately rushed down to cuddle. I totally won the battle.
For me the pluses of having a pet are as follows: Snuggles and cuddles, unconditional love, a little someone to take care of, being amused at all the silly things they do, happy and sad moments, etc. There's a lot of reasons.
The negatives of pets: Pet attitudes, vomit, poop, pee, not able to go on trips without finding a sitter, limited freedom, sneaking into rooms and hiding, hair everywhere, etc.
I can see why people love having pets; I can see why people love not having pets.
Though I miss Olaf, and I honestly don't know if I'll get a pet again, who knows, for now I'm going to enjoy not having to worry about an animal, and visit Olaf when I visit with Steven and Ty.