Back in December, I shared that I was thinking seriously of getting a kitty.
Most of you loved the idea and your enthusiasm was powerful. I had visions of little Pipkin (brilliant, Lesley!) licking his whiskers, curling up for a nap on a stack of quilts. I even emailed the pet adoption center downtown and filled out the application form to foster a kitten after several readers advised me to start there. It was all very exciting.
Just a few people said, “Hm… Are you sure, Mar?” and I was glad that those voices were there because as much as I hated to admit it, I had a small but real hesitation in my mind about getting a cat. If the “Hang on there, cowgirl” people hadn’t spoken up, I might’ve ignored that little doubt and there could be a kitten on my lap right now.
(Oh, wow. There could be a kitten on my lap right now… That sounds really great. Wait! No! Focus, Mary Fons! Focus!)
Here’s the problem: As I said in the original post, I really, really want a little dog. I love cats. I do. And we know from this Quilt Scout column that I’m not sold on the idea that “there are two kinds of people in the world” and therefore there are cat people and dog people and ne’er the twain shall meet. Truth be told, I’m actually afraid of big dogs; I’ve personally known two people who have suffered dog bites — bad ones. Like, face bites that required surgery. (I know; it’s really, really horrible.) But even not-so-big dogs can freak me out: One of my best friends from back home, her dog when we were growing up was mean as a snake, barked incessantly, and snapped at me whenever I got near her and she wasn’t much bigger than a Big Wheel.
But the truth is, like a young girl who has watched way too many old-school Disney movies dreams of her Prince Charming, I dream of my teacup Maltipoo, Philip Larkin. He’s a teacup Maltipoo and he’s my guy. My problem with getting a cat is that really, I want a dog and I’m not ready to be mature and wise and gracious and giving and get a different species entirely because I can’t have him, yet. (If you haven’t read the original post, the reasons I can’t have Philip Larkin right now are listed there.) I just have this Phil-or-nothing mindset. It’s like I’m practicing pet chastity or something, saving myself for…marriage. (That’s a super weird line of metaphor that I’m going to drop immediately, even though it is weirdly accurate.)
Perhaps what cinched it for me was my learning from all of you about how cats really need to have a feline companion, especially if they’re alone for long hours in the day. Having two cats makes total sense and if I ever have a cat, I’ll have two. But that was just it: Instead of not having one dog, suddenly I had two cats. And it felt wrong.
For now, I shall wait. I will pet my friend Sophie’s cats. I will pet my friend Heather’s cat. And I might still foster a kitten at some point, just to make sure! But several people have asked me about the Cat Question and I thought I’d update you.
Someday, little Philip Larkin. Someday, buddy.