Before OH and I met, he wasn't much of a pets kinda guy. He didn't not like them, but he hadn't had one before either.
I, on the other hand, was a fully-fledged, well-established and thoroughly experienced crazy cat lady, with an extensive portfolio of felines behind me, and that wasn't going to change. Ever.
So within a couple of months of us living together here in Melbourne, I began waging the battle of "Let's Get a Cat". I fought valiantly and, perhaps a little more easily and also sooner than I had imagined, we were on our way to the RSPCA. Naturally, I wanted the calico kitten who was dangling by his claws from the chain-wire enclosure's roof, mewing like a feline who could recognise his own shortcomings. But OH wanted the black and white floof who was parked in the middle of the sleeping pile of floofs, giving them all a good lick. She was Sundae. She was the greatest floofcat in the world. Joe was smitten. She travelled far and wide with us, lived in both Sydney and Melbourne, dived off third-story balconies, made friends with the odd pigeon and formed strong relationships with neighbours and their office chairs, dining room tables, beds...
Fast forward 10 years and we miss our Sundae everyday, as she's no longer with us. She left large boots and we clearly struggled to fill them...
...because now we have Idiot #1, Idiot #2 and Idiot #3, and they seem to just one up each other everyday.
Idiot #1: Saffron
Saffron has cost us upwards of $5000 in vet bills in her short 4 years. Turns out that she and her sister both have a penchant for swallowing sewing thread. This would ordinarily not be a giant issue if I wasn't a costume maker by trade. That stuff is everywhere. On sewing machines, on workbenches, on coffee tables, kitchen cupboards, next to the toilet. Joe loves it how I really spread my work-life around the house. One day, Saffron skillfully handpicked the length of thread that also had a needle on the end of it. Need I say more? She is a delightful creature who does everything a cat is meant to, except for avoid death.
Idiot #2: Clove
She's not as much of an idiot as Saffron, because when she swallows thread she just swallows and doesn't chew. Therefore allowing me to catch her in the act, and proceed with the delightful task of gently pulling out metres of thread from her insides. She doesn't learn the lesson. Ever. Clove is extremely affectionate and loving towards you if your name is Zoë, but everyone else can get stuffed. No Pats Permitted.
I should add that these two idiots were subject to a pretty rough start to life - they were found by a dog walker, buried alive in an enviro-bag. They were skinny and sick and it took a lot of foster care to get them back to good health. We were never meant to get two. But when we headed to Lort Smith Animal Hospital to adopt a floof after Sundae passed, we noticed the two sisters and couldn't say no. A duo of floofs!
Idiot #3: Hugo (aka Whoops)
Sometimes I really try to remember the old days of waking blissfully late on the weekend, sitting inside warm cafes in the wintertime and enjoying a clean floor and ordered garden. I try to remember having conversations with OH that involved me expressing a desire for a dog, and that it would have to be a Border Collie. I'm told I said this numerous times. I'm told I really thought it was a good idea.
Hugo is the best dog. Honestly, the most well-behaved, easily-trained, loveable and silly little creature. He sits, and says please, and plays dead. He wipes his feet on command and always waits to eat until he's told he can. He's a good boy. And mostly, I adore him.
It's just that, well, he's a dog.
And furthermore - he's not a cat.
It's not his fault. But he just isn't.
Dogs dig. And drool. And smell. And have a loyalty that means they want to be near to you all the time. But that means that the drool and smell is near to you all the time. Have some independence! Scratch me a little! Hate me a little! Sit up on the mantle and ignore me!
You can safely assume that Idiot #1 and #2 despise the very air that #3 breathes (heavily, heated, on your face, smelling of old sock).
The cats are the boss-ladies. Boss-ladies of my heart.