One of the lines in my mini-bio, which I am perhaps inordinately proud of, is that I live in Sacramento, CA with “his wife, daughter, and more cats than is strictly necessary.”
Which is to say, four. And sure, four cats isn’t a terrible number of cats, but do we really need four? No, we do not. And we didn’t really choose to have four of the little beasts. Here’s how it happened:
When I was single, I had two cats, Caisha and Shinji. Caisha was a lovely black cat, and Shinji was an adorable black and white kitty with a Hitler moustache. They were best friends, though Caisha was twice Shinji’s age.
Then I started dating Elli, who also had two cats, Cleo, a tortie, and Fletcher, an “orange” tabby kitten. Obviously, once we got married, our two cats each became four.
In late 2006, Shinji suddenly became very ill, and had to be euthanized–one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. He was only five years old.
I couldn’t even think about getting another cat for years. Eventually, we discussed it, and we decided that a “one cat per person in the household” rule was good.
A couple of years later, we came home to find Caisha, who had been his normal self, catatonic under a cabinet, not responding to us. We rushed him to the hospital, and to make a long story short, as I’ve written about this before, he, too, had to be put down. Again, it wrecked me.
Eventually, we adopted Maggie, a one year old ragdoll. She’s amazing, but we decided after a while that maybe three cats was too many, and so we’d let attrition whittle us down to two cats, and then we’d only have two.
Cleo, the oldest of the household, was failing fast, and at 17 years old, we had to put her down to spare her an increasingly painful decline into death.
We then went on with only two cats for a time, until friends had to give up a cat, and we took her in. So now we have Celty, an adorable-but-neurotic cat of indeterminate age (at least 13, we think).
And then my sister asked if we could take another one. He was adorable, and our daughter fell in love with him, so we adopted Loki, who is now two years old and seems to like me best, and then my daughter, and then–if she’s laying in the right place–my wife.
As the guy who does the majority of cat waste disposal, I have put my foot down: NO MORE. And attrition until two cats is the rule of the house once more. Four cats aren’t particularly hard to take care of, and they’re not destructive, but it’s a lot of work. I’m trying to get my kid to start helping, but you know kids and pets–dad does most of the work.
How many cats (or dogs, or rabbits, or whatever; we here at the Johnston house don’t discriminate) have you got?