My Failed Attempt At Feline Ownership
Warning… If you love cats, this may be a little depressing, but stick around for the end. It’ll be worth it.
Growing up in Austin, I had always been a cat person. I loved every cat that I owned as a kid, but I could never seem to keep one for very long. It was one streak of bad luck after another. I had a beautiful Manx when I was about 5 or 6 years old that either ran away or was stolen when I went on a trip to visit family in Monterrey, Mexico. When I came back, the cat was gone. I was devastated! I loved that cat and now she was gone. The sad thing is that she was my favorite cat, but I can’t for the life of me remember her name. I think it was Bright Eyes… or maybe that’s what her mother’s name was.
Anyway, Bright Eyes (that’s what we’re going with) was eventually replaced and then that cat was replaced… and then that cat was replaced, because it either ran away or ventured off to the road and, well… we won’t go there. There was a pattern that became all too familiar with my failed career as a young cat owner. I even had a three-legged cat at one time that my neighbor adopted (that’s a story in itself). I’m sure if cats had a way of communicating (and we know they do… You’ve seen Cats & Dogs, right?) I’m sure they sent out warning signals to every potential prospect that might end up in the Pruneda home. The average life expectancy of a cat in my care was probably one year. One beat the odds and then disappeared, but she wasn’t the stealing type and I don’t think she got hit by a car. She was a very tough and mean Calico that could probably tear any tire to shreds that would come in contact with her. Yeah, she was that aggressive. I think she just got bored terrorizing my neighborhood and moved on… or maybe even died of old age. Imagine that.
I had one other cat after that. Poor thing lasted three months. I felt so bad because a nice old lady that my mother worked with at the bank had given him to me after hearing about my last cat disappearing. She obviously did not get the memo about the life expectancy of cats in my care. I thought this one was going to be a keeper, though. He was so smart and lovable. I even remember his name… Bugsy. He always liked to explore outside and come home for dinner, but when my family was about to leave town for Christmas, I couldn’t find my cat to let him inside. We had to leave so I just left Bugsy some food and water on the front porch. It got below freezing in Austin while we were gone and I found poor Bugsy on the driveway when we got home. He was my last cat.
So, as much as I loved cats, I clearly was not meant to be a cat owner. Ironically, later in life I discovered that I’m allergic to cats. I still love cats to this day, but I can’t handle them too much or else my eyes get all watery and itchy and sometimes results in sneezing. I think this is the cat community’s first line of defense. Word must have gotten around… even in a different city. My neighbor’s cats seem to like me though… or maybe they’re just extremely brave. I’m even allowed to take care of them from time to time. Don’t worry, they’re both alive and well… and I’ve been cat sitting for these feline friends of mine on and off for over five years now!
To end this entry, I want to encourage everyone who loves animals as much as I do to consider donating to the ASPCA or your local animal shelter. These organizations need our support to continue providing care for the helpless cats and dogs out there in our communities. Many of these animals have been rescued from abusive homes and just want a second chance at a good life in a loving home. I am a proud Guardian member of the ASPCA and give regularly to this organization because of what they stand for and all they have done and continue to do for all types of animals: not just cats and dogs.
For more information about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.
Stay tuned for Part Two of “Cats vs. Dogs” as I write about why I love being a dog owner. And in honor of our feline friends, check out this cute ASPCA video below:
Oh, by the way… I’m so proud of the fact that I actually figured out how to embed video! 🙂
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