The Morryce Menagerie 

So amidst all of my soul-searching and angst last week, I forgot to mention an important event in the household: we finally got cats!

It was a hard-won battle, let me tell you. Both sides (parents versus children) employed every weapon and applied every tact available.

On Dad’s side, there was the concern of how the dogs would handle it, whether we would continue to see to a cat’s well-being once the novelty wore off, and their usefulness in the household.

Mom argued that we needed an effective way to deal with our mouse problem, but agreed that no one could not expect someone else to pick up the slack when it came to animal care.

For us kids, we echoed Mom’s argument of pest control and added that cats are good for mental health, that the dogs could easily be taught where things stood as they were with the chickens, and that we were (almost) all adults now and understood responsibility, thank you.

I like to think Dad only put up an argument for the sake of appearances. A couple weeks ago, when Mom pulled in the drive, Dad informed us that she would need help with groceries. I arrived as Mom was lifting a closed box from the backseat. My eyes immediately went to the only items in the trunk: a litter box and bags of litter and cat food.

Nina had a pal over and we were all squealing before the box was even opened. The noise intensified when we found not one but two kittens inside: a 3-4 month old long-haired and a 6-7 week old short-haired, both female. (And both, to our dismay, already given names courtesy of Mom. Her argument? “I’m the one who got them.” Well, who else would have?)

We may have ruined them that first 24 hours when we all wanted to cuddle.

The littler one is playful and pretends to be independent, but is very clingy of the older one. As for the older, she loves attention, but only on her terms. She’s to the point where whenever she sees a human, she drops and rolls so we can scratch her belly (pretty sure she’s not actually a cat).

Both dogs have been spat at and swiped at more than once already. Mine is resigned to a future of loathing from a distance, while Jo’s dog is mopey because he just wants a friend.

We now have 2 dogs, a guinea pig, 2 betas (Jo’s died slowly of mysterious causes), 2 cats, and between 25 and 35 chickens.

If we ever have to move, we’re in trouble.

I’ve said before that I don’t understand how people can live without pets. I pity them very much. Even though it can make life complicated when house hunting, feeding everyone, and keeping the house in order (when the vacuum dies, everyone goes a bit crazy over the pet hair on the carpets), it’s worth it.

Yes, even though my dog is an embarrassing brat. Pets also are handy for teaching you about life and yourself.


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