Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Johnnie and Junie, or One Thing I Will Never Be Is A Crazy Cat Lady

I am not an animal person. But you already knew that.

I didn't grow up with pets, but S did. He had cats when I moved in with him, and we had cats until we left No Longer Red State (where we left our last psycho cat behind, because he would not be caught the morning we were leaving, and S is quite sure that the outcome was that our dear neighbor finally caught him and took him to his aunt's farm to live out his days in psycho happiness, and I am choosing to believe S, though I have no recollection of this, because it's better than thinking that we abandoned our cat, though, really, by that time, I was ready to be rid of him, even though once upon a time he was my dearest darling kitten, but, like I told you, I am not an animal person).

I must say that I have been quite happy living life without cats. But E has not been happy. E has been pining for a pet. I think she would like a dog, but she knows That. Will. Not. Happen. so long as Daddy works nights and Mommy is the primary adult in the household. So she wanted a kitten. Then she started asking for a hamster, which was just so pathetic that we gave in and promised kittens for Hanukkah.

These days, S and I are stretched about as thin as most working parents, which means we meet all basic physical and emotional needs--kids are fed, clothed, homeworked, and loved--but anything not necessary slips through the cracks. Like dentist appointments, taking the car in, and getting around to getting the kittens. But in my family there is a long unfortunate history of promised gifts that never actually happen, so I finally started nagging S to go get the kittens.

On Sunday, S took the girls to the shelter (I could not go because I had work to do, but also because I knew that picking out kittens would totally stress me out, which would in turn stress everyone else out, and, really, the expedition would be much more successful without me, plus I wanted to continue my state of denial about the fact that we were about to have cats again until it actually happened).

The first shelter had no kittens. So they went to the second shelter. Where there were no kittens either. But there were cats. Specifically, a bonded three-year-old female and one-year-old male. Who were clearly meant for us.

Why? Because they'd been found stray in Colonial Town where we'd spent a most delightful day the week before. And because they were named June Carter and Johnny Cash.

I mean, come on, how could we not adopt cats named June Carter and Johnny Cash?! Especially since S's first cats were Fred and Ginger, and his second cats were Sly and Robbie (someone out there, please, nod vigorously at that one), and then Robbie had an unfortunate end--by that time, they were my cats too, and I did quite love them--and then we got the darling kitten who was eventually transformed into a psycho cat by a nefarious housesitter, and we named him Ozzie Buddha, because we had a friend who named his child Dylan Jesus, or something like that, to which I said we'd name our child Ozzie Buddha, because we were so sick of hippies naming their kids Dylan, but then it seemed better to inflict the name on a cat (Ozzie, of course, being after Ozzie Osbourne).

Anyway, we are all, including me, in love with Johnny and Junie, but they are not yet feeling the love, because they have been under the bed since S and the girls brought them home yesterday. But we're hoping they come out soon.

Edited to add: M just coaxed them out! First Johnnie, then Junie, though Junie went back in (Johnnie is M's and Junie is E's.)


Libby said...

I don't get Sly & Robbie as a pair, though I can attach an identity to each (probably the wrong one). But I think this post is very sweet, and I'm glad you got cats. We are working our way up to a (very small) dog, I believe, after this summer. We'll see.

Jackie said...

Reggae, right?

We are now a two-cat family, and I am the no-animals person in my house too. If it were left up to my S and R, we'd be living in our own menagerie. Cats are very good pets for people who are not quite animal people, I think.

Also, those names are too perfect!

postacademic said...

When cats first come home from the shelter, they hide and they get an upper respiratory illness. So if they do get sick, find a vet and get the pink liquid amoxicyllin (you new cat owner you). If you are quiet and reading (preferably under blanket), they will emerge. But everybody needs to be quiet and reading ... the vibes need to be very mellow for scared shelter kitties. They'll explore, find the litter box, and eat while you sleep. (just as a reminder)