It’s one of the questions I am asked most often, “when are you going to start having kids?” sometimes asked by those who want us to have kids, but more often than not buy my clients who are worried about what will happen to their fitness classes if/when I get pregnant. Right now I don’t think we’re ready to have kids, that’s not to say that if I did become pregnant we wouldn’t be happy and excited about expanding our family, but for now I’m happy being childless. Why? Let me introduce you to two reasons:
Pekoe and Ollie.
The amount of work those two furry felines require is insane. I know you’re thinking – I have a cat, it’s not that much work. This is true, for most cats, just not these two. I’ve had cats before. Cats that you threw food at once or twice a day, made sure they had a bowl of water and clean their kitty litter once a week and your golden. Here and there they want to be played with and brushed but for the most part they are independent beings. This is not the way things roll around here.
Sir Pekoe is a boy cat, and being such is prone to crystals in his bladder. After one emergency surgery, and few close calls he was taken off dry cat food and put on a prescription wet cat food that cost something like $1.50/can. I don’t know how much exactly because I don’t really want to know. I go buy a case once a month and pretend I don’t know how much it costs. Now one would think you could just throw 1/2 a can or so of food at him a couple times a day and things would be hunky dory right Wrong. Pekoe doesn’t know how to pace himself. If he gets too hungry, or is left too long between meals he gobbles his food too quickly and end up throwing up all over the place. Now remember he is eating this crazy expensive food – we want that crap to stay in him, and not be all over the rug. Solution? We feed him smaller meals throughout the day. And when I say throughout I mean th-ro-u-gh-out. He rarely goes more than 6 hours without food. And since we are feeding him we need to feed Ollie or she get’s all bent out of shape. Here is a typical day of cat feedings, let’s just call it the number one reason why I don’t have kids – I’m already tired.
6:00 am breakfast
12:00 pm lunch
5:00 pm supper
9:00 pm snack
11:00 pm snack #2
12:00am snack #3
Yes people, we are feeding these cats 6 times/day. Lucky for me J almost always feeds them in the morning (since he often has to get up for work early anyway) and I normally end up feeding them the late “shift.” For example, today I taught 4 classes and am dead tired, but I have to stay up until midnight to feed the cats even though I have to get up and go teach a 9am class because J has to be to work for 6:30 am. Now I know babies require way more work with feedings, but surely after 6 years they learn to sleep through the night. These two always make us stay up late and get up early. It stinks.
Reason number two – I’m already busy cleaning up poop, pee and puke. We now have three different kitty litter boxes in our house. We only have two cats. We have to clean all three boxes at least 3 times/week or else Pekoe will decide that they are not clean enough for him and he will pee on the floor. Please understand it’s not because he is having problems, it’s it purely because he is a jerk. If the kitty litter is clean he’ll use it, he is just really such a diva. Oh and did I mention he will only use the kitty litter box if it’s filled with a certain brand of kitty litter? And of course it’s a crazy expensive brand. What a jerk.
Another reason he’s a jerk is because when he has a hair ball or throws up his food (see above about eating too quickly) he always had to do it on something. A rug, a blanket, a chair. He doesn’t seem to be able to throw up on ceramic tile or laminate that is easy to clean.
And then there is Ollie.
To make a long and somewhat disconcerting story shorter and less graphic Ollie has a constipation problem . A few years ago she had to go to the vet for a series of enemas. When I went to pick her up the vet called me in to see her x-ray. This short little cat was completely and totally full of poop. Now she has to have fibre laxative added to her meals to keep her regular. So now we are feeding the cats six times/day, one cat is having prescription food to prevent crystals in his bladder, the other is having watered down wet food with fibre laxative in it. Which means you can’t just throw food in their dishes and be done with it, you need to take the time to prepare each bowl with the right food, and make sure it is prepared in a fashion that Pekoe won’t eat to quickly and throw up, and that will give Ollie enough water and laxative to keep her regular.
This past weekend someone (me) was neglect in giving Ollie her laxative. She got constipated. She was having issues and then started rubbing her bum on the floor because it was poopy. We had to run around cleaning the floors after and her bum, and then Pekoe she’s her doing that and thinks, “what a great idea! Why bother cleaning myself if I can just rub my bum on the rug instead?” God times.
Moving right along, reason number three – I’ve got a co-dependant cat. Remember that statement earlier about cats being independent? Well that’s most true for Pekoe, unless he wants something he normally could care less what you’re doing, but this is not the case with Ollie. She needs someone with her at all times. I think she is a cat stuck in a dog’s body. She greets everyone that comes to the door, loves everyone, kisses everyone and in general is a very friendly little feline. But she hates to be alone. We leave a TV on anytime we leave so that she has company, but at least once a day we will find her wandering around with Gwyneth (her pet spider) in her mouth crying like someone is murdering her – simply because she wants attention.
We have to make sure Gwyneth is in our bedroom at night or she will go get her and start crying. Sometimes she will substitute an old blush brush we gave her for Gwyneth in an emergency (meaning she doesn’t know where her spider is). That spider is old, and gross but we don’t have the heart to get rid of it because she loves it so much.
Reason number four – my house is already a destruction zone. I’m well aware that when babies/kids come along you house tends to get over run with their stuff. Well right now my house can’t handle to be over run with anything else. Because Pekoe is a jerk, he won’t use a scratching post like a normal cat (Ollie on the other hand has worn out a few scratching posts) so he chooses to ruin our furniture. To try and combat that we cover our furniture with blankets and pillows every night before bed. It looks like some crazy gypsy house with all these different fabrics strewn everywhere. It’s awful. And then there are the boxes. To give the goof something to scratch we keep an empty cardboard box in the living room for him to tear up. He scratches it and Ollie bites it. She’s actually broken one of tips off of one of her little fangs from biting stuff. So we flip the box during the day so she can’t bite it, and then have to remember to flip it back at night (which is when Pekoe likes to do his claw sharpening) before we go to bed. It’s nuts.
Reason number five – despite all of the reasons above, I still love both of those furry beasts and for now am happy to continue on with their craziness (although I sincerely hope this peeing on the floor business has wrapped up). My mother (who gets stuck taking care of them when we are away) says if she had, had our cats before she had kids as a test to see if she would be a good mother she never would have had kids. That must say something that a woman who had three babies thinks these two cats are more trouble than a baby.
Now that I’ve confirmed my status as a crazy cat lady, I must go – it’s it’s almost time to feed the cats what we lovingly refer to around here as “twelvsies”