We were a pet-free family for the first 8 years of our marriage. While we both were enticed to get a pet, specifically a dog, we didn’t want the commitment or the poop!
Growing up, our family always had a family pet. Or, so I remember. Dogs. Thunder, then Lightning (or vice versa, my memory of 40 years ago is fuzzy), Rocky, then Angel, and lastly Tasha. In retrospect, the memories are few, but the ones I have, I will treasure.
Sadly, my memory of Thunder, Lightning and Rocky are non-existent. I was too young. Although, the stories I hear about Rocky make me chuckle.
Angel was the prize at the end of a Christmas Eve treasure hunt. Our creative mom had my brother and I running in and out, around the house, solving clues to find the treasure. How they snuck a dog under the tree is beyond me. Must be the magic of Christmas!
I’m 90% sure I helped picked Tasha out. If my memory serves me correctly, we picked her because she was the runt of the litter. She was so small and a pretty cinnamon color. Most of my pet memories involve Tasha, she was such a great addition to our family.
Having a family pet was just something families did. Seemed easy. Minimal work on my part, given where we lived. The dogs ran around freely and I didn’t have to scoop poop. Perfect!
Today, as a parent, my perspective is different, especially when I toss allergies into the mix.
We became a pet family when a stray ’sketchy’ looking black kitten showed up in our garage when we lived in Manitoba. Up until this point, I had never been a cat fan. For some reason, they intimidated me. While we had no intention of keeping this feline, she began to grow on us. And, if anything, I thought maybe she’d keep the mice at bay. Cara named the kitten Bessie, and just like that we became a family of 5.
Bessie didn’t like JT or I from the beginning. I get why she didn’t like JT, as he’d toss her around like a rag doll, but I thought I was nice. Haha! I fed her, let her outside, what else do I have to do to win her over.
Feeling the neglect, a few months later, I decided to get JT and I a kitten. Silly, silly me! JT named our new female pet, Joey, and we’re now at family of 6.
To say the girls became fast friends would be a lie. Joey spent her first couple of weeks hiding from Bessie in our Christmas tree. I can’t say I blamed her. I slept with one eye open when Bessie was around. Just kidding!
When we moved back to Alberta, we moved back into the city, therefore our cats were now strictly inside pets. They did get out from time to time, once or twice staying out overnight, but my allergies slowly started to increase.
Sadly, on Cara’s 8th Birthday her beloved Bessie got outside and was killed. It was an extremely sad day. As much as my relationship with Bessie was hit or miss, I felt so bad for the kids, especially Cara and Joey. They definitely grieved together.
Weeks led to months of listening to Joey cry as she sat by the window waiting for Bessie to return. One thing led to another and one night a few months later we found ourselves at the Humane Society adopting another kitten. The kitten we picked was almost identical to Joey, and since I named our kids, Cara named Bessie, and JT named Joey, it was Clive’s turn. While Cara and I tried to get him to pick the name Jessie, so we’d have the two uncles from the old tv series ‘Full House’, he picked Zoe. Which has since been a nightmare because they look alike and the fact that they rhyme doesn’t help.
Each year, as the cold weather sets in, and our doors and windows remain closed, it never fails, my allergy to cats flairs up. We try to stay on top of the cat hair by vacuuming frequently, but it doesn’t seem to make a big difference. I often joke about getting rid of the cats, but as much as the kids would be upset, I have to admit I would miss them too.
After falling ‘ill’ every couple of weeks over the last couple months, we decided something needed to be done to support my allergy. The things we do for our kids!
Which brings us to ‘Bath Time’. We read somewhere about bathing your cats to help eliminate hair and dander. At this point, we didn’t have anything to lose.
For the girls first bath, we caught them by surprise, and the experience went way better than any of us expected.
Their personality’s are so different. Joey is laid back and Zoe is uptight… like Clive and I. Lol! Joey is the cat who enjoys having her nails cut, takes being tossed around by JT with ease and cuddles everyone and anyone. Like everything else, she handled the bath ease and actually seemed to enjoy it.
Zoe, on the other hand, had us worried that she’d fight and scratch. Like Bessie, she’ll run and hide at the sight of JT and I, yet cuddles whenever the chance arises with Cara and Clive. Cutting her nails is quite the ordeal, so I knew this was going to be interesting.
I’m happy to report that after a firmer grip and a planned out procedure, Zoe handled herself better than anticipated and I was scratch free.
We’re three baths in now and each time things get easier and my allergies are definitely less. Catching the cats for bath time is a challenge. They are so intuitive! Seriously though, who wouldn’t want a sponge bath.