December 06, 2013

How Pebbles Came to Be My Cat

I came from a family that never owned pets, or never meant to own pets.  I had a father that didn't want to mess with the responsibility that comes with taking care of additional creatures besides the wife and 3 daughters he already had.  However, in my later years, we came to own two dogs and a cat, completely through circumstance.

The two dogs were my aunt's dogs, and when she became ill, we took on the job of caring for them.  My mother had promised she would do this, despite my father's protests.  The cat came into her life when my older sister came to live with us after moving out for a short time.  While she lived on her own, she adopted a beautiful black and white tomcat that we later named Samson, Sammy for short.

When I moved out on my own, I never thought of owning a pet.  It was enough for me that, at the time, my parents owned 3 pets I loved.  I guess I was like my father in this way.  I wasn't sure I wanted the job of taking on the job of mothering a pet.  In order to do it well, I think you need to take care of them, and sometimes I have trouble taking care of myself.

However, fate stepped in and brought me and my kitty girl together. 
In year 2000, I lived with a roommate who was a cat lover, and she had recently lost a beloved cat.  This cat, if I remember correctly, was white in color and very loving.  The cat was a lap cat and liked to snuggle.  After a brief time of healing, my roommate decided she wanted another snuggler.  I rode along to pick up the lucky new candidate.

When we arrived at the pet store, we found that three kitten remained from the original bunch.  They put us in a "meet and greet" area to interact safely with the cats.  I remember it clearly.  The first cat was very loud and immediately came up to us.  This cat wanted attention and was very pushy about it.  The cat was a smotherer and would be very demanding.  The 2nd cat was standoffish and wouldn't come out from behind the bench.  I knew this cat would be hard to please and not very good as a cuddler.

However, the last little kitty was "just right."  Initially, she stood off at a distance, but after a short bit of hesitation, she was ready to interact.  Even when she stood off, her eyes were bright.  After being called, she came out behind her hiding place to sniff fingers and be rubbed.  I told my roommate, "This is the cat you want."  And the match was made.

In a way, it was a perfect pet situation for me.  I got to play with her and interact with her, and the roommate had all of the responsibility of paying for her, feeding her, and taking care of the bills.  I got to be the fun aunt.  Then things changed.

My roommate had just began dating the man who would become the love of her life.  And the love of her life wanted a dog that ended up living with us since his roommate didn't want another dog in his house.  The puppy was cute as anything, but Pebbles was still a fairly new cat.  Gradually, the cat got less and less attention and the dog received more and more, which makes sense since the dog was part of the new relationship between her and her love.

I also think maybe Pebbles wasn't the cat my roommate wanted.  As I mentioned, her last cat was a lap cat and was content to sit and snuggle.  Pebbles was a kitten and wanted to play.  She had an independent spirit.  At the end of day, though, she still liked to be petted and loved on.  I began leaving my door open because at night, I would sometimes hear Pebbles crying outside in the hallway.  Pebbles and I began to hang out regularly, and next thing you know, I was in love with this cat.

When my roommate moved out to get married, I asked her if I could keep Pebbles, and we negotiated a deal.  It was official.  I owned a cat.  I remember when it was done, I told Pebbles, "You're mine now.  I bought you."  And that's how it all started.

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