As much as I love animals and support rescues with all of my heart, I understand people’s confusion when they find out I don’t have a pet of my own right now. After all, I have the resources to take care of a pet, the experience and a whole house to myself. So what’s the deal?
There’s no simple answer, but when asked I tell people it’s because I don’t want hair all over my house, accidents on my new carpet or to have to pay for everything that comes along with their care.
All of those things are entirely true.
My OCD flips out when anyone comes to my house, much less a creature roaming around shedding and hacking things up. But the main reason—the one I don’t tell people—is that a) I don’t want to get too attached and b) I don’t want anyone (pet or person) to expect anything from me.
The truth is that I’ve been in “that place” more than I haven’t been lately. By all outward appearances I’m fully functional and fine, but internally I’m anything but.
Don’t worry. I won’t write about it again, as I’ve probably talked about it too much as it is. But as much as I want to pretend things are fine, it’s kind of hard to ignore when all you want to do is absolutely nothing, and anyone—even your own mom—entering your house makes your skin crawl as you fight the urge to clean.
Plus, a majority of the time I feel incapable of taking care of myself and the prospect of having something else to tend to shoots my anxiety up. It’s easier to keep my world very narrow, very controlled and to not get attached to too much.
But easier doesn’t mean better.
And the past couple of weeks I’ve spent entirely too much time looking at cats on the Humane Society website, and then in person, letting myself get a little excited about bringing an animal in. I knew I would want an older cat, one that just needed to live out their days completely spoiled and loved, but I still had a lot of reservations (see above, times 1,263.)
Then I found her.
She’s 10 years old and was brought in only because the previous owners had a baby. That’s the only reason. So after weighing the pros and cons entirely too much, I decided to shut off my brain and bring her home.
I’m still freaking out in a neurotic way, but hoping that along with companionship, this will help me get out of my head, maybe injecting some literal and metaphorical hair and hacking in the places I’ve so carefully controlled to this point.
She’s a short hair, but she’s hairy. She’s calm and clean, but there will be messes. She’s older, but she’ll be loved. Not just because she deserves it, but because I want to let myself love her.
I realize this is a very dramatic interpretation for the simple act of getting a cat, but for me, this will be a huge step.
Because while technically I “saved” her, I’m kind of hoping that she can save me.
(We’ll keep you updated.)
Buy the book. Save a kitten.
Monie’s cute as a bug’s belly button
btw, we still have one cat after Jerri died. Monki just turned 1and she and the dog love each other.
She is absolutely adorable! Congratulations to both of you!!
And thank you for the counsel, fellow feline female friend…and other things that don’t fit the current stretch of alliteration.
Ohhh I’m so jealous! I love her! Can’t wait to hear about how it goes.
I immediately thought of you 😉
Good for you!
Awwwwwwwwwww!! Congrats on your new cat. Monie is adorable and lucky to have you as her owner!
PS: The whole reason I don’t have any pets is because, much like you, my OCD cannot handle the mess, like hair, and vomit, and liter. Good for you, for crossing that hurdle. Color me impressed!
Well, it’s been three hours and I’ve already lost her three times, so hold off on being impressed until I figure out her ninja ways. But thank you. Updates to follow, for sure 😉
Yesyesyesyes!!! I’m not sure how it is for everyone, but I know Buster saved me in more ways than one. Enjoy your new bundle of fur and new favourite pastime. Loving something is never a bad thing xo
You and Buster were a big part of my decision. I’m hoping she’ll want to be my friend…eventually. 🙂
If its any consolation I have OCD and somehow having had a puppy now for about 3 months all of my “rules” have gone out the window with respect to her. I’m still crazy anal about myself and even other people, but somehow I just manage to block off the anxiety when it comes to her. My stepdad can’t understand why the dog is allowed to sleep on my bed but no one else in the house is allowed to even sit on it and I have special “bed” clothes for myself. It makes absolutely no sense, but what about the crazy OCD shenanigans do?
Yay for puppies! Here’s hoping the same holds true for me. We had about 20 minutes of bonding over brushing and she was a peach. Then she went ninja cat hiding somewhere and I’m hoping I don’t wake up to a pile of something, but we’ll figure things out!
Yay! I have to say that cats are amazing little creatures. I had 2 when I was pregnant and they were so amazing. As horrible as I felt and as depressed as I was they would just snuggled up and it was like they just knew how to make me feel better. I think you will be good for each other.
Oh my gosh I’m so happy for you!! She’s adorable and you just had to wait for the right one! Plus, I’m sure we are going to hear awesome stories about her 🙂 I’m the same way with children. I’m really passionate about foster care awareness and parenting issues but I do not want kids. I did take care of many foster kids for several years and I always tell people that if I ever want kids (which I won’t) I’d be getting foster kids. I usually make the analogy of pets at a shelter actually. There’s a bunch of kids sitting around already out there so why do I need to push one out my vag?
I’m really happy you have a cat 🙂
Little does she know I’m going to depend on her for blog fodder. We’re already planning a dance routine with little matching outfits.
Also, NEVER will there be a child in my house or anything pushed out of my vag, as you so eloquently put it. The cat is my limit and she’s 10, which puts her right in the middle of kitty menopause. We’re past the formative years…
I am not a cat person, usually, but I actually think she’s SO freaking adorable. How did you do that? Also, how do you pronounce Monie? “Money”, “Moon-eh”, “Mooney”, “Mon-ie”? I think you two will make each other very happy 🙂 I’m sort of the opposite of you because I CANNOT WAIT to have my own place, probably just as badly to live with LO as to live with a pet. I think there’s something amazing to be said for someone who just loves you and thinks the world of you no matter what your hair looks like or how crappy of a day you’re having. I’m pretty sure only animals are capable of that “kind” of unconditional lovin’. And maybe you’ll find that having something small and cute to take care of will actually be a pleasure, rather than a chore. It sounds weird, but I usually am LESS neurotic and anxious when I can focus my attention and energy on something/someone else – just sort of takes the pressure off me to analyze everything to do with ME, and just focus all that attention elsewhere. I’m more relaxed when I distract myself with things that don’t allow me to overthink. I love your new friend. Just please don’t dress her in obnoxious little sweaters with pom-poms.
She came with the name, and it’s said like the song “Monie, Monie.” I LOVE having my own place, which is why it’s so hard for me to let something else in. And while it’s only been a couple hours–the jury is still out–I totally agree with everything you said. Once I actually do something and have a different focus, I usually adapt pretty well. It’s taking that first step. Let’s just hope she’s not a nut.
YAAAAY! She’s beautiful! Taking in an older pet makes you totally awesome.
I have my own similar issues with pet ownership. While I don’t exactly like to be tied down, that they need me, and when I think about where they’d be if I didn’t have them (especially the cat, who’s an asshole and nobody else would want him), it kind of trumps all that other stuff.
I expect you will enjoy it. As long as it is not one of those neurotic or crazy cats, they are pretty low maintenance. Keep food and water out and change the litter box. That’s about it.
I’m thinking the poor cat was going, “As long as this new owner isn’t one of those neurotic or crazy people.” She’s screwed, but we’ll try and get along…
congratulations on your new pet and on the courgage to adopt a pet. i for one do not thing you were being “overly” dramatic in your speaking of it and please do keep us updated. i admire your ability to share your story, your struggles and your willingness to take such a “risk”. best wishes to the both of you.
Thank you so much for your comment. It seriously meant a lot!
You can’t deny when it feels right. I chose our rescued kitties based on an inexplicable gut feeling. Don’t let them fool you–they are furry little angels. I can’t imagine life without cats. Wishing the two of you lots of wonderful snuggles and time together.
I can really relate to everything your wrote. I’m staring at the creature that causes me to feel frequently internally twitchy. But I love him and he’s making me be better. He’s a pug. And he’s smelly, snorty, hairy, etc. It’s agony sometimes to live with him. But he’s helping me grow. I totally get it. Congratulations & good for you for going for it. Monie looks like a keeper.
Thank you for commenting and sharing your story. Hugs for pugs!
Congrats, she is adorable, and it sounds like a wonderful move for both you and her.
I waited a long time to get my dog Alfie, as I liked my solitude and independence, and then my life changed with him, and then ultimately my step dog so we have two. The right pet – and then pets – found me at the right time, unbeknownst to me. And it changed my home and my life.
You will love Monie, who will love you…!
Exactly. The same thing happened with Chauncey, my mom’s dog. When the right one comes along, you know. Of course it’s a little early to tell with this old lady, but here’s hoping 🙂
I hope the two of you get on well. She is beautiful!
It is a huge step hun. Good on you. And don’t stop writing about what is on your mind and in your heart. It’s real-just like that Augusten Burroughs quotation from earlier this morning–remember that one? Hell, he is real and raw and beautiful. Now back to the cat–so happy for you! xo.
First of all, that cat is a doorbell. Yes, I just said adorable in an annoying keyboard way. 🙂
As we talked about earlier, I am SO GLAD you made the choice to take in Monie. At first it will be difficult, but I really think it’ll help. You are a badass em effer for choosing to do this even though it freaks you out. I remember the day my friend said his sister was going to have to take these cats to the pound if no one took them, and how I just jumped and said I’d do it, knowing that it would make me a puking ball of stress at first. Now I’m in love with them, and at the same time I’m ready for them to go back home.
Did I mention that’s one cute ass cat? Oh, I did.
This IS huge for you and is making my heart swell up with love right now. Who knew that Monie can buy happiness 🙂 <–too cheesy?
A little cheesy and her name is said like “Moany,” but that looks kind of porny when written out that way. At any rate, I didn’t name her. If I had, of COURSE I would have chosen Cara 🙂
Now I’m singing a Billy Idol song…
And I call B.S. on your name choice, you liar.
Lycky kitty! And you! She’s gorgeous and looks reasly cuddly. I get OCD too, but somehow when it’s your own cars fur in your food it’s not so bad as someone else’s random kitty. I have to wash my hands after petting other people’s dogs but not mine. We are one now.
Excuse my awful typos! Lucky kitty. Really cuddly. My cat is embarrassed of me now.
oh, I love Monie! she is beautiful, and I am so happy you decided on her. big hugs to you, friend. ❤
“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” – Jean Cocteau
I’m super-chuffed for both of you.
So, so proud of you. You took such a HUGE step. You are one BRAVE dude. Feel like dancing around the house singing, “Abby has a kitty, Abby has a kitty.” (Better than, “Abby has a pussy!”)
Saw a lovely quote on someones’s blog (can’t remember whose, possibly Eden’s) the other day that said something like, “If you have come to help me you are wasting my time. If you have come to liberate yourself and help liberate us, then please, you are very welcome to stay.” You and Monie are liberating each other. Good onya.
Have fun with your menopausal furkid. She is lovely and so are you. Love xxxx
She’s so sweet! I want a cat, but I live in a studio and I really don’t think that’s enough space for a cat. If I did get one, I would definitely adopt an adult cat. They’re usually calmer and are house trained. Have fun with your new catbaby!
I think you will be happy with your decision to get a companion. It is not a simple thing to decide to care for an animal, or at least it should not be taken lightly. That is why animals end up at the Humane Society. Their owners didn’t take their responsibility seriously. I wrote a bit about this in my last post, I Love Lucee!, so your post is quite on spot!
Oh yes. We’ve always had rescues. This is just the first one I’ve had by myself in my own place. I used to be an adoption counselor and loved being the final “authority” on whether someone could actually adopt. It was rewarding to give the animals a voice. 🙂
That is a fantastic job! I would love that. I have this instinct about people who are abusive, so it would be great to put it to use!
Congrats on the cat too. That is a wonderful step for you. I get very blue and over these 14 years together, sometimes Laddy cat was the only reason I didn’t give up.
PS They call me the cat whisperer, so anything you need to know about helping her adapt or making her life and yours easier, just ask!
Ah, I had a long post typed out but it didn’t publish. I’ll paraphrase.
1. I have similar reservations when getting a pet, but really want to adopt a dog and a cat and have them be besties.
2. Monie looks exactly like a cat I used to have. I miss her.
3. Enjoy your new cat friend!
I love this post. Monie looks so sweet. I’m excited for you.
I’ve always felt the same as you. I have yet to desire to take on the responsibility/expenses/cleanup that a pet requires. I can barely afford/deal with myself. But I assume one day an animal will melt my heart and I will make it mine immediately. Until then, I’ll just admire pics of other people’s pets.
Oh, that got me all teary. Monie is, as I’m sure you know, completely adorable, though I couldn’t look at the pics too long because my own cat was getting jealous. I hope you bring exactly what was needed into each other’s lives.
Oh, congrats Abby. Huge step, and I’m super proud of you for taking it, even if you’re the one who ends up needing a Thundershirt before it’s all over. Honestly, the fact that Cooper was a rescue – as horrible as this sounds – eased some of my OH MY GOD I’M A TERRIBLE DOGMOM (over everything) anxiety. Unlike some katrillion-dollar purebred-straight-from-some-European-monarchy’s-line puppy who would probablydefinitely have a much better life elsewhere, any time I started to freak out and feel guilty about being less than perfect, I could remind myself that for him, at least, it really COULD be much worse. (Please know, random other people, that I do take pretty phenomenal care of my dog, and the vet/boarders laugh at me every time I come in convinced I’ve missed something obvious and he’s going to die and it’s all my fault – when they’re impressed I even noticed anything was going on in the first place. We’re talking “oops, forgot to swing by the pet store today, guess it’s treats and cheese for dinner” ‘failure’ here, before anyone calls animal control).
Above disclaimer aside, it really has helped the perfectionistic anxiety – especially when it seems like he’s the only creature who DOESN’T think I’m dropping the ball in some major way, when he’s one of the few I feel is entitled to slink off in a corner and pee in my shoes, metaphorically speaking. It’s like those goofy(adorable) little magnets that say “Who Rescued Who?” I don’t have one, because I think they’re the dog equivilent of the little stick figure family decals, but I have one in spirit, haha.
Good luck and congrats – cats make me sneeze and scare me a little, but yours really is adorable.
I love you for all the reasons above, and I’m sure Cooper would love you if you did put the little stick figure decals on your car and pee in your own shoes. And yes, I was just saying, “At least she’s no longer in a tiny little glass cage.” True, she has to live with me, but it could be worse, right? RIGHT?!?
Abby, you are wonderful! Not only for adopting a sweet soul, but for challenging yourself. Refusing to be stagnant is the only way we can get better (a therapist told me this). Wishing you lots of luck and clean litter boxes!
That is one lucky kitty. Because of the OCD and anxiety about having her you’re gonna try even harder and she’ll be well loved. Thank you for your blog, I just want to say, reading you makes me realize that I’m ok even if I’m not, does that make sense? again, thanks for being here and congratulations on your new addition, she’s gorgeous!
Awwww Monie!! I love her already! Congrats on the new addition, I am nothing but sure you will be the best mother to this sweet little lady 🙂
Oh Abby good for you! I’m so glad you got Monie. I still have my two girls, Tiny and Puzzle, and it is just so great to have “someone” there in this empty house. To sit in my lap, to sleep in my bed, to barf on the carpet… love them so much.
If you don’t want to write here about “that place,” you know my email. Please Abby.
I bet Monie would like to meet Tiny and Puzz. 🙂
Congratulations! Monie is super cute while simultaneously giving that special cat look that says “I don’t take any shit.” I predict the two of you will get along well.
Congrats on the new addition to your household! Monie is super adorable, but I might be biased because I LOVE cats! (And dogs and horses…).
What a pretty girl! I hope it all goes well for both of you. My cat is medium-haired but well worth the occasional fluff flurry.
She is beautiful. I hope you make each other happy!
That’s when it seems to happen..Animal? Boyfriend? When you least expect it and you say it won’t happen again. You and Moni are meant to be. She is gorgeous! Great choice!