Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 248 of 365

It's quite interesting how when parents become empty nesters, pets become the new kids.

I've always chuckled at older folks with their little dogs. But since we're empty nesters and we have a cat, I shouldn't be chuckling anymore. When our daughter was at home, the cat played a somewhat small role in our lives. Not now.

Our cat was born to a barn cat. She was several weeks old, bright blue eyes, a tiny little body, and a big bushy face when she was given to us by one of my fourth grade students. We started out calling the cat Furby because of how her facial features looked in comparison to her body.

She was quite a wild little thing. She only let us pet her on her terms. She didn't even care to be around the three of us, either. Even as she got older, she still had no interest in hanging out with us. She was an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, and a back and forth cat. Didn't seem like she preferred any one over the other.

But now that daughter doesn't live here anymore, the cat acts differently. And so do we.

Granted, she's 10 years old or so now, but she sure has calmed down. She's decided she wants to be a lap cat. She can be sound asleep upstairs but as soon as I head down to the basement to watch TV with hubby, she tags along. Jumps right up into my lap and falls asleep. I go back upstairs - back up she goes, too. She sleeps at the foot of our bed, but for some reason if I'm turned on my side in bed she'll use me as a balance beam. She'll start at my feet and walk herself up my legs, past my hips and plant herself on my upper body and fall asleep. What's up with that? But the even bigger question is, why are we putting up with it?

Because she's become our new kid. We talk to her all the time. We ask her questions. We keep her on a regular feeding schedule. My husband is always looking for good sales on cat food - both wet and dry - and has us buying the best food out there. If we're outside, she's outside. If we're inside, she's usually inside. On cold nights and hot days, in the house is where you'll find her.

She gets to sit on the barstool when my husband is getting her dinner ready. We let sleep just about anywhere she wants. She bawls to go outside at four o'clock every morning and hubby gets up to let her out. She wants back in every morning at six and she gets let back in.

Spoiled little ball of fur.