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Thursday, July 17, 2014

cats... social pariah or blessings in disquise

our cats being helpful
Met some friends yesterday evening for supper. Then we came back to our house for coffee and dessert... and talk. We don't do this very often because of the cats. Sounds sad, but we've learned over the years that there are a lot of people out there that are either allergic or simply don't like (or believe it or not, are afraid) of cats. Years ago when we lived in another neighborhood, one of our neighbors was so allergic that he sneezed constantly when visiting, and another was scared of all critters...

So outside of our close friends (who love cats) as well as family members, we usually plan to meet others at a restaurant or whatever rather than invite them into our home.  However, these particular people are old friends that I grew up with as well as went to college with. We just haven't seen them often over the years. They recently moved here and hopefully we will be able to incorporate each other back into our lives. So we did the "halfway thing"... we met them at a restaurant first, then invited them back to the house after.  We did lock the cats up in our bedroom before we left so our friends wouldn't be overwhelmed (at least on this first visit). Three of our 5 cats are very people-friendly and would think nothing of jumping into someone's lap (this is what would scare the bejeebees out of our critter-scary neighbor). But... after all, it is their house, right?

They (our cats) know that we kind of build our life around them (sort of like child proofing). We replaced the carpet with cat-friendly slate and ceramic tile (easily steam cleaned).  We use a strange heavy centerpiece for our front room table in order to keep the tablecloth on when flying cats zoom across it chasing one another. We keep a sheet over our master bed quilt to keep the amount of hair down, and we never leave out breakables close to the end of anything because Julie likes to bat them off... etc., etc.

Such is life with cats. We've accepted this. It makes for a more harmonious life. But we do sacrifice some things. That's the way it is. I can't have a beautiful arrangement of real flowers out as the cats would eat them. I can't set a china and crystal table and expect it not to be inspected by many tiny free-flying paws. So we don't put out flowers and we only have special table settings on Thanksgiving and Christmas (and the cats are sent to the master bedroom to await until the danger is past - but they are duly rewarded with ample samples of turkey and the like after).

And like with kids (and grandkids), DH and I wouldn't find life quite the same without them. They make a mess sometimes (both kids and cats), but on the whole, they make you smile a whole lot more. So... perhaps the small sacrifices are worth it in the end. We think so.


Tux and Ghost cozying up
 
Please let me sleep...
me too...






14 comments:

  1. Ha! I gave up on breakables anywhere, because Nicki deliberately would knock things off tables in the wee hours of the morning, to get me up. I've gone from wanting to have a nice living space that had a cat or two, when I first adopted Chumley and then Annie, to most of my living space being filled with cat condos, cat stands, cat scratchers, cat toys...you know! No fresh flowers, nothing valuable. LOL. So I totally get it -- and hope your friends love cats. :-)

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    1. What's that old saying (with a tiny twist), "love me... love my cat" ?

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  2. Geez Rian...I could have written this post. I do entertain but only because I can shut our dining room doors after setting a table and the cats are kept out while we eat. But, other than that, I understand everything you have written here and I still feel, just like you, that life would not be as good without my feline family. We have 4 cats and have added my daughter's 2 for the time being. She is taking over our home once we move so we will be the ones moving out. I find 6 challenging but it is doable. And...we have a hairy dog. :-b

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    1. Deb, I KNOW you could have written this post. You don't know how many times I thought of putting doors on my dining room...?

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  3. That is so funny. I can totally understand what you are saying, although at the present time I don't have any animals. I'm a bird feeder at present. :-)

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    1. If I remember right, you *share* a cat...

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  4. sweet cats here and below, love the two rockers, the giraffe quilt and I have one of those grabbers too, it helped me when I hurt my back severely and now I use it for getting things like you that fall behind or items up in high places.

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    1. Hi Linda, I'm going to re-fire a thing or two and see how it turns out. After your experience, I'm curious. Thanks for the idea.

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  5. Uh-oh, I relate completely to your life around cats, Rian. Where we live in Tanzania, our house is totally geared for our three cats and those friends who like cats know this. Those who don't... well, their loss, methinks! I have joined your blog as a follower and look forward to visiting you. Oh, on Sunday, our smallest cat, Ambrose has posted a L O N G piece about his birthday which shows how he came to our home. Have a great weekend with your cats! Jo

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Jo. We always had 3 cats in our house-hold too... until a feral had 5 kittens in our yard and left them on my backporch. We took them in (they were only about 3-4 weeks old)... and went from 3 to 8 very quickly. However, as the years went by and older cats passed, we are now back down to 5 (with 2 that are about 21 now). I do intend to check out Ambrose's birthday post!

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  6. That’s how it is, if you have pets, you have to include them in your life, otherwise it’s no good for either humans or pets.

    I never had more than two cats at a time, so I didn’t have to be quite as circumspect as you are.

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    1. True, Friko... and there's a difference between including them in your life and just supplying food and water on a daily basis.

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