Tuesday, May 10, 2005

little feet, big decision

My friend-who-I've-known-since-the-4th-grade has a dilemma. Well, not quite a dilemma. It's more like a quandary because although she's faced with a difficult choice, there's really only one way she can go.

Her young daughter has been diagnosed as having severe cat allergies, and they have two cats. Obviously, her daughter's health is tantamount. But it's difficult for her to let the cats go. She's had both cats since they were kittens -- one a 16-year old sweetheart, and the other a healthy but handicapped fellow. And aside from losing their daily companionship, she naturally wants to be assured that they will be well taken care of.

When the possibility of removing the cats from their home was first raised, we offered that -- if it ever got to that point -- we would take them in. Well, it's at that point. So, we are now faced with a dilemma. Well, not quite a dilemma. We're faced with figuring out the details.

We have great relationships with both cats. Heck, I too, have known Kayla for 16 years, and Ted and I both met Chester (a.k.a. Woodle) when he joined their family several years ago. Our conundrum is in how Milo, Sadie, and Flannery (a.k.a. Schmoo) will take to the additional members of the feline Semple family, and similarly, how well Kayla and Woodle will adjust to becoming part of it. I think Sadie and Kayla (the elder girls) will have respective issues with the merger. Ted is concerned that Schmoo might not like it. We all think that the boys, Milo and Woodle, probably won't care. We also have some logistical concerns.

  • An additional litter box (we have the perfect spot for one; not sure where we'll put a second)
  • Blending and/or changing diets and feeding patterns
  • For that matter finding floor space for all those food bowls
  • Elbow room (enough space and comfy sleeping/hiding spots for each to have his/her own turf when necessary)
  • Weekends away (currently, we can leave our three alone for a few days with the electronic litter box and adequate food and water; not sure how it will work with five)
  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera...

It feels like we're adopting children. Big decision. I feel fairly certain that it's a done deal, though. My poor friend is in a terrible spot, having to make such a choice, and it's not the world's biggest sacrifice for me to help her. My husband is being a terrific sport about it, considering that he was firmly in the "dog person" camp when I met him eight years ago. He has taken each new cat in stride, and although he still loves dogs, he has come to appreciate cats. He has the same concerns that I do about blending our two cat households (into our house), but he also understands the significance of the situation.

So, our current stance is to plan a weekend visit. My friend will come to Connecticut with Kayla and Woodle in tow, and we'll live together for a few days. If it's apparent that there won't be any major fueds, then they'll stay here with us. If there are big dust-ups that we think may not be resolved with time, we'll have to address the situation then.

It's a good thing I don't blog more frequently. It seems like everyday there is some weird situation that presents itself. I might come across as amazingly scattered, or perhaps even unglued, if I documented it all. This year has been chock full of them. The cat situation arose yesterday. Today's weird situation is a positive one: we won $100 from a scratch ticket I bought on a whim while filling up the car with gas. Yippee!

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