Saturday, July 16, 2011

Resistance is futile

1990. MathMan and I strolled through the baby department at Carson Pirie Scott looking for a gift for our precious niece (who just had the nerve to graduate from my alma mater Indiana University). I was struck by the delicate beauty of a pair of newborn socks. My hormone balance tipped, my voice went up two octaves and in that instant my campaign to grow our family from two to three became my goal like it's Mitch McConnell's goal to see to it that President Obama is a one-term president. I was uncompromising.

A year and half and one purloined used condom later, we had this.

1994. Chloe was such a good baby that I decided we needed another. I started making advances toward MathMan who insisted that he liked the kid we already had. I assured him that we could keep her, too. The hospital didn't have a trade-in program anyway.

After some "convincing," we had this.

1998. Back from a misguided attempt to go home again, MathMan and I moved the furniture back into our house in Illinois and tested out the mattress thus producing this before we even discussed what we'd do next....

Later that summer, Chloe, who had begged for years for a cat, finally got her wish. We visited the Chicago Humane Society and brought home the only cat that was younger than a year old. Mean, territorial. Vicious with her claws, but Chloe loved her and named her, ironically enough, something soft and beautiful. Daisy. Daisy the Hellcat. From Hell. Of course the cat fell crazy in love with MathMan.

2003. The move to Georgia. Daisy remained in Chicago with our wonderful neighbor Dan and his cats until we got settled because we didn't know where we were going to stay when we got here.

November 2003. Daisy was retrieved and settled into her new home with all kinds of cool windows to gaze from and a stunning array of wildlife visiting the bird feeder aka The buffet.

Nathan and Sophie felt left out of being owned by a cat. Chloe made it abundantly clear that Daisy was her cat. A want ad. Free to a good home.

We'll take two.

2004. A pregnant cat is treed by a dog. A sucker brings her in because the tails of hurricanes have been passing through and it's miserable outside. Four kittens are born behind Sophie's bed.

Of course we keep the runt.

Who are you calling a runt?
 2009. I'm hanging out with Becky and not answering my phone when Sophie calls. She's attracted another cat and can we keep it please? Pretty please?

MathMan is disgruntled. Enough, he says. This is insane, he says. It's madness, he concludes.

He's all bluster in the face of this face.

 July 15, 2011. MathMan, Chloe and I arrive home from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2. Sophie and a couple of the Covered Bridge Springs Tarts are on the back porch squeeing about this.

Please, People of the Internets, save my marriage. Free to a good home. Not the husband. The cat. He's precious, affectionate, has a high tolerance for cuddling. Needs a place to live because six cats? That would be crossing the crazy line. Five cats may be crossing the crazy line, but six? We'd be outnumbered.

And yes, I did just conflate cats with kids. At some point, both are just as darling and just as annoying. True, the cats won't care for me in my dotage, but there's hardly any guarantee that my children will either. I assure you though, when it's time for the tough choices to be made, I'll play dirty. I'll remind them that they and the cats are here because I insisted on making it so. Left to his own devices, MathMan would likely be living a wonderful, carefree life with a hot car, a hot girlfriend and more money than he knows what to do with. See how I ruined it for him with my bright ideas?

That's what he gets for drinking tequila shots on October 1, 1987. A lifetime supply of Lisa.

Listen, if you know of anyone who needs or wants a cat, please email me at lisa h golden dot gmail dot com. We'll figure out how to get this kitty to you even if it means  I drive him to you. In fact, he's so smart, he might even drive himself.

Until then, he'll be soaking up the love and leaving gifts in the litter box.


  1. The cats may not look after you in your dotage, but, when all the kids go off, they'll keep you company, throw up all over the carpet and the couch, pee on the linoleum, drive you crazy with their need for attention, get cat hairs all over everything, eat the flowers, knock over the ones they don't eat, get in the kitchen sink...

    Oh, excuse me. Those things are what OUR cats do when the kids go off - and also when they're here, but at least then I have someone else to tell to clean the mess up.

    Our cats would shred any newcomer which helps me to resist.

    Good luck!

    [Our male cat (aka Mr. Spitty/Peeonthefloor/Eattheflowers etc.) is currently in the next room meowing out of loneliness. There is no door between the rooms. He is amazingly stupid.]

  2. I'd almost be willing to say I'll take the kitty just to see you hop in your car and drive to Nova Scotia. I guarantee we'd have some fun - we could even go outside well after midnight and scream in the park just like the drunk girls.

    The pictures of the baby kids are wonderful. It's interesting how life happens and how plans start making themselves once the first decision is taken. Still and all, the best things in life may not always be free but they are the very best.

    Good luck with finding a nice home for number 6.

  3. They're adopting you, you know.

    I can't afford to be owned by cats. The joint is a biohazardous place.

  4. Wonderful, entertaining post. I hope you find a home for the new kitty, but is six really that much more than five?

  5. Thanks but no thanks. She's adorable though!

  6. I live with MLight, and have to agree that our two would make mincemeat out of any third. A recent stray we took in for several days had to be kept outside and in the garage for the sake of whole feline skins. Fortunately the grandfather of the owner saw our ads on a telephone pole and the grateful teenager came and picked up "Squeaky."

    Seriously, the vets sedate our male before they do ANYTHING with him. And, like your one orange cat, he was the runt. If he had a brain cell it would be lonely - but he has the courage and ferocity of a jaguar. And he marks (rubs his cheek against) every single object brought into the house. He takes territorial to a whole new territory. I shudder to think what he'd be like if he still had testosterone...

  7. Furry and non-furry creatures are like the Borg, ain't they, and since you've already been assimilated, what's one more implant.

  8. I too have the invisible sign over my house that reads "soft touch for homeless cats". So I now have six, plus I foster a few more kittens for the local cat rescue org. Any more than six are temporary, I swear.

    Good luck with finding a home for your latest interloper.

  9. Your orange cat is adorable. I have a soft spot for fluffy orange felines. Don't tell Pip, because he wants a cat when we get to our new place.

    Sorry we can't take your stray off your hands. I'm terribly allergic and would only succumb to an orange tabby.

  10. Want me to do "free to good home" ad for you on Large Nameless Agency's internal online bulletin board? Zillions of employees in the Atlanta area -- one of them might want a cat.

  11. Just as well this is a one house cat. I don't think you could use bringing him as a good excuse to visit UK

  12. How 'bout a swap? One cat for one obnoxious 5 year old boy who likes to drop his pants and threaten us with his member. I have a feeling it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better so I'd really really like to get rid of him.

  13. Really you do have to draw the line somewhere Mathman speaks wisdom.
    Besides... they can mutiny, you don't want to be the minority.
    Maybe you can give away two & pare the herd of cats down to 4.
    DOWN to 4???

  14. Ha ha! While you might think it's bad you threw the cats in with your kids, this post just reinforces to me what a cat lady I am. Your kids are truly adorable, but it wasn't until I got the cat section that my heartstrings were sufficiently pulled. Not good. Or, on second thought after looking at the orange cat or the kitten with little white's FANTASTIC.

    I wish I could take your kitten...I wish I could take all cats. I just want to hug them. I want them in a basket and I want them on a rainbow! But alas.

  15. Adorable children, kitties, but no, we're stopping at 4 grown kids and 2 cats.

  16. Cats love to take over. They are the lords of the manor in most homes.

  17. 1. Your gray cats together picture makes me melt.

    2. If I'd have known you'd drive him down, I'd have risked violating my apartments 2 pet policy.

    3. All I got for drinking tequila in 1987 was stitches in my chin and pretty good (bad) blackout. Damn.


And then you say....

(Comments submitted four or more days after a post is published won't appear immediately. They go into comment moderation to cut down on spam.)