Over the years, I’ve had quite a few pets. There was Pee Wee the mutt, Crush the mutt, Ax the mutt, Springer the golden retriever, Princess the lab-mix, Fluff the cat, Fluff’s kittens Meanness and Feisty, Slash the schnauzer, Hans the schnauzer, Sting the parakeet, Fred the hamster (and like 18 or 19 others), a chameleon whose name I cannot remember, Trudy the affenpinscher, Murray “The Beest” the Brussels griffon-mix, Pixie “Pie-Time” the pomeranian, Mötley Brüe the Boston terrier, Ozzy Pawsbourne the pom-chi and Donatello the turtle.
A few quasi-exotic pets, almost more dogs than I can count and a single cat. My parents had Fluff when I was very young and I was a nightmare for her. I was too young to know how to handle pets but especially cats. Fluff swatted at me nearly every time I came near and usually just avoided me altogether. It may have been because I put her in the wicker clothes hamper that one time … or maybe it was because I incessantly aimed my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Thrower pizzas at her despite the bottoms of the pizzas saying DO NOT SHOOT AT ANIMALS.
Around the time my parents got divorced, Fluff had kittens. She had several but the only ones I really remember were Meanness and Feisty. All were given away, my mom taking Meanness and my dad keeping Fluff at home.
Over the next year or so, Meanness lived a rather stressful life in our apartment on Allan Dr. and she was eventually given away, to whom I do not know or remember — I was 7 or 8 years old. Fluff got sick and ran away from home, presumably to die in peace.
We never got another cat.
As I got a little older, I learned how to befriend animals and started enjoying their company. All the pups I had over the years showed me unwavering loyalty and it helped me mature into a grown man who seems to get along with every pet I meet. And as cool as it was to be friends with so many canines, the truth was I never had another cat and presumably would never have another.
Fast forward to present day — we live in an avid bird-watching home with two dogs, a turtle and a dream to one day have a black cat, chickens, a child and maybe even a goat. A few months ago Katie and I were talking about getting a cat in the next year or so and she immediately started looking at PetFinder. I took that opportunity to remind her that we’re not actively looking for a cat, but we’d consider it if one presented itself.
And no kidding, just a couple of weeks later, one presented itself. No, I was not ready to take this on and yes, I knew that as soon as Katie found out about this opportunity, it would only be a matter of time before we were cat parents.
A friend-of-a-friend had kittens to give away and one of them was, of course, solid black — just like we wanted. It took Katie just a couple of days to talk me into it and before I knew it, we were driving back from Sevierville with a black kitten wrapped up in a towel.
And in classic “dad” fashion, the guy who said we didn’t really need anymore pets — me — is now smitten and would basically die for the sake of our new family member. Her name is Wednesday Von Simpson (named after our favorite anti-heroine) and she’s gorgeous.