I’m allergic to dogs, and even moreso to cats. Naturally, we always have about a dozen to 18 dogs around. (Hey, what are allergy medications for, anyway?!) Years ago, when Merlin died, his Sheltie-sister (cousin, actually) Ellie was really lonely. I worked about 18 hours a day (some things never change!), so I knew that another puppy was out of the question. As a compromise, I got Ellie a cat, a wonderful orange tabby named Cassie. Cassie was a really great cat to have around, very good with all of the dogs (taking no crap from any of them, either) and served as a very nice way to screen rescue Shelties for cat-related problems…and train the dogs out of those problems!
When Cassie was a bit over 18 years old, it became obvious that her quality of life was slipping rapidly, so we made that terrible decision that we animal lovers face when our furkids get old and sick. Because of my allergies, we agreed that we would be catless, although not happily.
Well, about a year ago, we discovered that we had a mouse problem in our house. Ugh! Rather than putting down traps for dogs to find and hurt themselves with, we headed off to the Humane Society shelter (no, NOT related to HSUS!!!) to look for a cat. After going through the usual “I can’t decide. They’re ALL SO CUTE”, we settled on a very smart, active-but-settled, and affectionate black-and-white year-old cat whom we named Zen-cat.
Little did we know that Zennie thought that she was a dog with a cat suit on. We got her home and she settled right into the pack. She lays on the floor, on her back, paws in the air, demanding that one of come over and rub her tummy (she’s our “tummy-cat”, just as Sheltie-girl Star is our “tummy-girl”!) Right now, as I’m trying to type this post, Zen’s in my lap, hanging over my left arm with her nose slightly out of joint because I won’t dedicate my left arm and hand solely to holding her!
Oh, great, now she’s looking up at me with those soft green eyes, asking for a kiss! Yes, this silly cat loves for us to kiss her. She’s even been known to kiss back once in a while. And when we take the pack out to go potty, Zen’s among the first out the door and absolutely the last to come back in. She plays with some of the dogs and tells others off, and she’s at least as good as Cassie was for screening and training rescues for cat concerns. And just as soon as I’m almost asleep tonight, she’ll crawl up onto my chest, laying there purring and going to sleep herself.