Debra Carpenter: Mo’ pets, mo’ problems

Those of you with impeccable memory might recall that I wrote an article a while back called “Puppy or Proof of Insanity?” And those of you without impeccable memory are probably like, What did I eat for breakfast this morning (Don’t feel bad - I’m right there with you). Anyway, I’m hoping that you don’t remember this particular article, because in it, I revealed that getting new pets is a truly insane thing to do and not something that I should ever do again.
May 27, 2014
Debra Carpenter, Mother Interrupted

Those of you with impeccable memory might recall that I wrote an article a while back called “Puppy or Proof of Insanity?” And those of you without impeccable memory are probably like, What did I eat for breakfast this morning (Don’t feel bad - I’m right there with you). Anyway, I’m hoping that you don’t remember this particular article, because in it, I revealed that getting new pets is a truly insane thing to do and not something that I should ever do again.

Well, I did it again.

This time, it’s a tiny little white kitten. She’s the size of my hand and I’m taking full advantage of that by carrying her around with me at all times. I mean, she’s so light, it’s no bother to just scoop her up and let her ride in my shirt while I walk to the bathroom. Or through the grocery store - just kidding, that’s publicly frowned upon. She’s such a wispy little thing that even my nearly 4-year-old daughter doesn’t complain when she picks her up (but for some reason, it’s hard to put her shoes away because they’re “too heavy”).

Those of you that remembered the article about the puppy we brought home several months ago might also remember that there is another domesticated animal at my house: A male cat named Huckle who was once trapped in the refrigerator by my devious daughter (yet another past column – maybe I should write a book). Huckle is sleek, friendly, and even lets you hold him like a baby, which is (to me) the best evidence of a “good cat.”

The problem is that he hates our kitten.

How do you encourage two non-lingual creatures to just get along? How do you make sure The Big One (Huckle) doesn’t kill and/or eat The Little One? And most importantly, how do you tell The Big One that his alpha cat behavior is off-putting and, frankly, unacceptable in your household?

You don’t, I guess. You just sit back and hold your breath each time the kitten happily and naively bounces up to Huckle, only to be hissed at and threatened (don’t we all know that feeling?). You become extremely hopeful each time the two felines begin to show a hint of non-animosity toward each other. And you invest in lots of cat toys to cheer up and distract your poor, bullied kitten from the not-so-welcoming actions of her “big brother.”

Huckle’s lack of hospitality aside, our new kitten is a wonderful addition to our family. But I’ll say this one more time in hopes that it’ll actually stick: We are not getting any more pets for a very, very long time. So hold me accountable, would you?

Debra Carpenter, a Lebanon native, is a novice mother, wife, and college student. She writes a nationally syndicated column on the comedy of motherhood and blogs for The Huffington Post. She’s online at MotherInterrupted.com and Twitter @interrupted_ma.

 

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