September 1st, 2010

What Came First, the Kittens or the Cat?

Lisa Douglas

The kids came barreling in through the front door, screaming like banshees all hopped up on coffee and speed. “Mom! Dad! We’ve got kittens!”

My husband and I both paused what we were doing to shoot a whatchu-tawkin-’bout-Willis look to each other. “What?” My husband said, as I mumbled something along the lines of “How the hell is that possible?”

Because, you know, we don’t own a cat. Or a dog. Or any pet, for that matter.

“Do you know the door that opens to the laundry room?” My daughter asked me, a glint of hope in her eye for obtaining a free pet was alive and well and quite obvious.

Immediately, my stomach turned. “Um, yes?”

“That’s where we found them.” She snorted as she laughed, taking one kitten back from her friend who was sitting patiently on our porch swing holding all three, waiting for us to acknowledge their treasurous find.

Crap. Of course these things had to be the cutest. things. ever. Dammit, why does God make these things so ridiculously cute and put us mothers in the impossible position to have to say no? I mean, at least I have an out in situations like these, particularly with cats. The kids know that, as cute as kittens and cats are, I’m really allergic, and the possibility of us keeping their adorable find was nil.

At that moment, one of them purred, and that stomach-turning sensation I was feeling became worse the second I saw the looks on their faces. A collective “Awww” along with “Ooh, can I hold one?” and “Can we keep them?” along with many meows and ouches from my kids and the neighbor kids as these scared, adorable kittens clawed them to bits. But the scratches didn’t matter to any of them. It was love at first sight. I could already feel a hive forming on my arm just by looking at them.

“Mom, do you wanna howed (hold) one, toooo?” My toddler, in her still baby-esque voice says to me, making me melt into a big mommy-puddle right there and then.

“No, honey. Mommy can’t. I’m allergic.”

It was hard to diffuse her desperate wanting to put her new “baby” in my arms. It was hard to resist wanting to pet and hold one right alongside my babies holding these babies. It was even harder to watch them cry as we placed these babies back in their “spot” for their mother to come find them once more. “We have to put them back, because they drink from their mom just like Baby Dude drinks from me. We don’t want her to forget them and for them to starve.”

My kids are keeping careful watch of the alcove outside our laundry room door. And I’m damning my allergies and small house, wishing one of these times I could say yes and not no.

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This Weeks Tip

How about a natural way to clean the toilet bowl? Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, pour into toilet and let it fizz for a few minutes. Then scrub it with a brush, and flush. Sparkly clean, saves the environment, and a few dollars too!