I’m sad my daughter is sad losing her spider buddy, but I’m not sad there’s no longer a big furry arachnid living in my house on purpose. I’ve been upfront about my domestic pet battles, but I reiterate that my effort to limit our resident critters is not a dislike of animals.
Believe me, I pin plenty of Grumpy Cat memes on Pinterest. I just don’t want to care for animals beyond the bipeds I gave birth to and when those bipeds keep acquiring quadrupeds and even octopedes and their interest in them diminishes (and it always does), I become default pet mommy.
Another such pet drama recently played out.
You might remember last summer when I wrote the rant about my daughter’s new pet tarantula, I mentioned my other daughter also brought home a stray kitten. I rebuffed keeping it, but Daddy’s little girl worked her magic and “Oliver” took up residence with our other barn cats.
Even when we acquire pets against my will, I’m responsible and follow Bob Barker’s plea and have them neutered. When Oliver matured, I’d take him in for a cat nip and tuck. But with males there isn’t as much urgency, so it was months before I remembered the tomcat was still on the prowl. I’d just put the task on my weekly “To Do” list, when a friend who’d been petting Oliver made an observation; “he” was actually a “she” and expecting.
This was my daughter’s fault and I told her so. This was her issue to deal with since she’d brought him/her home and she’d misidentified his/her anatomy. When four kittens arrived, she was responsible for finding them homes. My daughter tried to place them, kinda, sorta, not really, so I got cat dumped. The kittens were getting bigger, older and losing adorableness which reduces marketability.
I had to act fast.
I managed to place two with some new neighbors whom I convinced of the necessity of having cats when living in the country for mice control (it’s true), but I struggled placing the last two. I got desperate and did the unthinkable.
I wrote “FREE KITTENS” on a cardboard box and camped outside the local pool one afternoon just as swimming lessons ended. Though I came close a few times, no deal. Then I sank lower and set up outside WalMart. I came close again a few times, but no deal. Meanwhile, I had taken “Olive” in to be spayed that day. Upon picking her up, I asked if the shelter accepted kittens. They did for a fee, of course.
I paid it.
I also had to pay an additional fee for Olive’s spaying because she was still lactating, of course. I fumed all the way home.
I didn’t have time for this!
I didn’t have money for this!
I never wanted any of this!
I told my daughter about my shameful afternoon working as one of Satan’s sentinels preying on the sentiments of innocent women, children and superstore shoppers. I showed my daughter the bill for the spaying and kitten shelter and hoped that’s just what she wanted as her gift from me for her upcoming wedding.