By Julie Kirtz Garrett
I just spent $260 on something I promised myself (and my kids) I never would.
I've worked hard during the last few years selling my children on their mom's righteous no-pet stance. I was not going to follow the other moms in our circle and give in to the heavy-handed family pressure to get a pet. I figured, after three kids, I needed a big long break from poop duty. As a busy mom, the last thing I want is a loyal and constant animal companion who needs to be fed, cleaned and cared for. But here's what happened. We didn't get a pet --- the pet got us.
"Cat" (she still doesn't have an official name but we're close) showed up in the yard. Day by day, she got closer to our house. She slept in the sun on the deck. She started pawing at our glass kitchen door at dinner time. Eventually she show up at breakfast.
My kids were curious. They gave her something to drink. I suggested we put a little food out on the deck. Naturally, it made sense to buy some cat food at the grocery store (just a small bag). We were doomed after that. My daughter put up signs in the neighborhood but no one claimed "Cat." She ultimately wore me down with her cool green eyes.
So, we got her into a carrying case and took her to the vet. The lobby was nicer than our pediatrician's (which is a little creepy). $260 later, she is officially our cat.
I am not a cat person. I haven't had a pet since I was 14. Cats always seem too fussy to me. And honestly, all this pampered pet culture seems way out of whack. "Cat" will never be my baby, just a pet. Thankfully, she's affectionate but not too needy. And my three kids are helping to keep track of her.
In fact, without asking, my son Luke saved me from poop duty and cleaned out the litter box.
Julie Kirtz Garrett is a writer and television reporter. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and three children.