And so the time has come to surrender the kittens to the Humane Society. These kittens, which have brought us much in the way of joy and companionship, and also in the way of sleeplessness and frustration, have become so much a part of our lives that giving them up feels quite a bit like giving up six children.
I am a person of equal parts pragmatism and romanticism. I am fully aware that we cannot continue to support ten cats – the six kittens plus their mum plus the three cats we already had. We don’t have the space for them and no one will rent to a young couple with ten cats. The amount money we spend on cat food and litter would give any spendthrift harsh nightmares for decades. Having company is nigh impossible, and, if possible, moderately embarrassing.
Because Ash and I are those people, the ones with all the cats. Who haven’t made a meal or a treat without cat hair in it for months. Who don’t get up in the middle of the night to pee and instead suffer a full bladder for hours just so the kittens don’t get riled. Who sleep in positions that would make contortionists cringe because there are at least four cats sharing the queen-sized mattress with us.
Yet, we are also those people. Who never feel alone and who feel most comforted with a cat purring beside or atop them. Who honestly find it odd to sit down and still have an empty lap five minutes later. Who don’t always mind cleaning up after them, vacuuming several times a week, re-rolling mangled rolls of toilet-paper, because there is constant love and joy in our house. Who can be wholly entertained for 30 minutes with just a string or a laser pointer or some bubbles, the television off, the internet forgotten, because we have six kittens and two other kittens-at-heart who love little more than a bit of attention and some fun.
Part of me insists that we can make it work. That there’s a way. The landlords will stop complaining as long as I’m more vigilant about the litterboxes. Maybe we can find a way to buy a house and then no one can tell us which animals we can have.
But I know how impractical that is. I know that the money spent on food and litter should be saved up, especially since we don’t know how Ashley’s standard medical expenses are going to work now. I that I lose a lot of sleep because the kittens wake me up. I know one of them broke my Kindle the other day and it’s only a matter of time before they break something else. I know they caused the Christmas tree to be an endless source of frustration, and I’m not willing to go without one when the season’s upon us.
I know I’m going to have to make my lovely wife very sad.
I know that I myself will be just as sad.
But I know we have to do this. Here’s hoping that we can.