Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicago (the cat)

I'm not a huge cat fancier. The smell of a litterbox makes me nauseous, even one that is cleaned everyday. Cats aren't as easy going as a dog. A dog will love you when ever you give him attention. A cat needs to be courted on a regular basis and even then, may not want to be petted and cuddled.

Katie received a cat when she was 9. She named her Chicago and at first did a brilliant job of caring for her pet. Eventually, Kate decided that she didn't want to feed or water her pet and completely ignored the need to police that cat's commode.
We spent a lot of time reminding Kate, but frequently one of the other children or I would take care of the cat's needs.

Chicago became a "family" pet and Steve took over the day-to-day responsibilities of cat care. Chicago loves Steve and will spend hours wrapped around his neck or cuddled inside his hoodie. The younger children have always wanted to play with Chicago, but she doesn't like young children.

Since several of the children are at school or work, the cat has started to crave attention. From anyone. She immediately sits on someone's lap as soon as he sits down. She rubs up against my legs when I am cooking or ironing. She's constantly underfoot. I can't decide if it was better when she ignored everyone or not.

Paige and Allie love that Chicago wants to spend time with them now. They make forts with blankets and curl up with the cat. Sometimes they even sneak her up to their bedroom to sleep on their beds at night. Most of the family has mild cat allergies and the cat isn't supposed to be upstairs at all. So I try to shoo her downstairs each evening before I go to bed.

We've had the cat for a long time now and she's never been one to climb on tables or the counter......until recently. When we got our larger dining room table, it had a cherry top, without any laminate. I don't want it to get scratched with daily use, so it's always covered with a table cloth. Chicago thinks that the table cloth is an invitation to sit and rest. We are constantly having to shoo her off the table and change the table cloth. A plastic, wipe able table cloth was purchased a few weeks ago, which I thought would solve the problem. It hasn't.

Chicago has been a mixed blessing over the years. She keeps our home mouse-free and the children all love her. Will we get another cat, when Chicago moves out with Katie or passes away? Probably not, but she's pretty cool......for a cat.

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