Today the answer to that question is covered by one name to be percise. Meatball.
Okay, Meatball, not as in spaghetti and meatballs. Our Meatball is a dark as midnight American Shorthair Cat. I am 56-years-old and I grew up with no animals in the house. Then as a victim of a violent trauma in my mid-20’s the memories of which are triggered by cats, mice and hair it’s been a life rule. No animals indoors. Face it, you’re unaware they’re approaching. You know it when you see what they leave behind, droppings and hair.
Because of that and earlier when I gave in to my daughter’s plea for a cat it had been a diaster. The cat was traumatized. Ended up on Prozac. I had good reason to refuse to cave to the pressure. Until August 30 this year.
My daughter though, is one of the loves of my life. God, my husband, our daughter. It’s hard to deny her what she wants in spite of many things. She had abruptly left home in late November, wasn’t speaking to us and going through some circumstances that forced her to grow up some. She wasn’t living at home the day I had to drop her father off at the hospital. (COVID-19 restrictions meant I couldn’t stay with him.)
I went to where she was staying and told her what was going on. She came over a bit later and eventually that night we’d hammered out the details of her coming home.
Out of that difficult situation she was quickly dating a young man named Dallas. It’s proved to be an unhealthy relationship and ended badly. The only problem with our daughter walking away was that Dallas had gotten a not-yet-old-enough-to-be-weaned kitten they had been raising together. Turns out Dallas wasn’t great boyfriend material or a great pet owner. (Surprised? Really?) Meatball went to board at a relative’s house. They love animals and already had some indoor ones.
Just recently that arrangement fell apart. We had to find Meatball new living arrangements. Options were really limited and time felt short. Unbelievably I found myself asking my husband, “I think we’re about to have a cat in the house, what about you?”
Just like that. Meatball came “home”.
It was crazy. Picture this. I try not to be a quick decision maker unless it’s necessary. I weigh the pro’s and con’s. I study the options, possibilities, proable costs. What are the chances for success? Is the risk of failure a cost we can live with? What about my life rule? What about my phobias and PTSD?
Bottomline though I knew our daughter adored that cat. It was her birthday. A day she has not liked to celebrate since second grade. Yes, she’d done something that upset the boarding situation but it wasn’t meant as it came across or was received. It certainly didn’t warrant sending the cat to the pound.
Surprisingly, Meatball hasn’t been difficult to have in the house. We’re adapting. Our daughter knows and understands my phobias and stress and has been really good at keeping the “house rules”. I’m not a wreck.
Four months ago this crazy, unbelievable cat in our house was a no way, no how. Today? Meatball? She’s a family cat with a crazy name. Although I’m not 100% confident our daughter knows Meatball is a C-A-T not a D-O-G.