“With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” ~ Fernand Mery
“A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days.” ~ Albert Einstein
Our American, short-hair, tabby cat Tangy joined our family under fortuitous circumstances and remains a valued member of our family. After years of hamsters, guinea-pigs and the like, my children were ready to graduate to something larger and so they asked for a dog.
“If animals could speak the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” ~ Mark Twain
I grew up in a household where dogs were the preferred pet; we had lots of outdoor yard space and the dogs could run around and not need to be “walked.” We had different breeds romping through our homes as we moved around quite a bit for my dad’s work. Cats were out of the question as they were seen as aloof and self-serving. Tangy changed that perception and I am the better for it.
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ~ Jean Cocteau
When my children asked for a dog, I knew we had to discuss the not so small matter of care; who would walk it, feed it, groom it, play with it, and so on. Any parent would relate to this necessary conversation. After we discussed the options, it became clear that we needed to compromise on the pet choice and care conversation.
“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.” ~ James Herriot
Nevertheless, off we marched to the Elmsford Animal Shelter to adopt a four-legged pet. We had to visit a few times to be sure that our final selection was exactly what we prayed for. The shelter is home to a wide range of animals in need of an adoptive home and the staff interviews every prospective parent to make sure the right match is made. Once the interviews prove productive and a pet is selected, then papers are signed, fees are paid, veterinary visits are completed and a pick up date is arranged.
“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
On our third visit, my children had picked a black and white cat they had been watching on previous visits. However, it turned out he had worms and was not ready for a home until his treatments were concluded; there was no definite timeline when the “all clear signal” would happen so we had to pick another cat.