To Adopt Or Not To Adopt
2013-12-14, 10:39 a.m.
I have been taking an online class that talks about psychological issues. During the class, the instructor pointed out to me that I need to break out of my box. That I am, ah....essentially a pretty frozen person at this point and I need to do something about it. Either I break out or someone else breaks me out. Well, that last one's not under my control exactly, so I asked my shrink about this. And my shrink's suggestion for breaking the box was to get a cat so I can practice loving SOMETHING live that can't be easily ignored.
I think it's a good suggestion, but I don't know about actually doing it. I used to have pets back in the day--fish (boring) and rabbits (my favorite animal, cats are my #2) growing up. Then I went off to college, where obviously I was animal free for a few years. During college we fostered a bunch of kittens. At one point a roommate and I had a hamster, but that didn't go too well. The roommate after that one had two cats, and that eventually led to two more kittens to live with. The roommate after that one had birds. So I pretty much have been borrowing off other people's pets. Since I've been living alone, I have been pet free and resorting to pet sitting other people's pets. L's cat Bender a lot for the last year, and my mom's friend's dog Lili for the occasional weekend a few times a year.
I decided years ago I was never going to have my own pet again. I didn't think it was a good idea to have a pet all by myself with no backup, especially with no car to take a cat or other pet to the vet in the event of emergency. That's no longer a problem so yay there, but other big issues with the idea remain. I am rarely home, what with being at the Craft Center and taking classes and going to the gym. I am going for a 9 hour day at work, have no other roommates, and don't get home until semi-late or late at night a lot, and go out of town on weekends pretty frequently. I have had it pointed out quite a lot (especially on oh, any SPCA paperwork or website) that that is horribly bad, or at least rules me out of getting any pets through the SPCA. And what if I surprise, ended up with a needy cat, like Bender turned out to be? When L isn't out of the country for three weeks at a stretch, she's at least in the apartment enough doing work (nerdy research jobs don't mind some work done at home) to satisfy the kitty's need for attention. I don't have anyone else around for backup or entertainment. And to be honest, I do not want multiple cats so kitty can have a friend to play with. I know some folks handle it well, but it worries me when the pets outnumber the people, especially if any one of them turns out to be really difficult. It's not exactly gonna be like living with Koko and Yum Yum :P
And then there's things I don't even think about now that could be a problem. Like me having a pointsettia (okay, that just got moved to work with the other one), or having a giant tacky Christmas tree collection that sits out all year because it outgrew the closet space. There's lots of yarn and other projects around here, plus one bored cat who's left alone all day....Is that the world's best idea? Probably not, right? And my mom is kinda scared and freaked out by cats after a permanently scarring cat sitting gig --how's she gonna deal when she's here for a weekend and the cat wants to sleep on the bed? Plus I already bought a car recently and am worried about future financial applications of that--is adding on a cat and unexpected vet bills the world's most brilliant idea there either? Who the hell am I gonna get for cat sitting? I can make lists like this forever.
I don't exactly passionately want a pet at this point so much as just kinda like the idea...but I don't feel passionately about very much these days at all, so figuring out What I Really Want And Will Actually Go For has... pretty much become a non-starter. My biggest emotional excitement these days is directed at making knitting projects, for fuck's sake. But I have also long since weaned off of the idea of having my very own, you know? I don't know if that means I don't want one or I just learned to deal without very well. Like uh...other human/love-related things in life I have learned to live without and be okay with. I'm used to the idea and how things are, and reconsidering a decision that I pretty much consider to be set in stone is very hard for my rigid Taurean brain.
For the moment, this is something I am technically just thinking over because given my vacation plans this month, it's not the world's brightest idea to take in a pet and then jaunt off to Hawaii. I totally concur that adopting a pet for the holidays generally seems like a bad idea to do during the craziest time of the year and it's very weird to see so many pet adoption events and sales being pushed right now...though seeing how much the sales are ($5 for an adult cat) makes me wonder a bit.
But I think deep down I suspect I would be an inadequate/shitty solo pet mom, and the idea of that bothers me so badly that I think I'm better off just leaving things as they are.