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Paisley Kitty

I grew up with cats. There was Misty who Becky once sat on and sent the poor thing into labor. And Hooter (yes, his name means exactly what you're thinking), who I told all my prepubescent secrets to. There was the season of dying cats which exacerbated my already-over-the-top teenaged gothy melancholy. The black cat that my family thought was ours—until we figured out that his week-long absences were happening because our next-door neighbors also thought he was theirs. My mom got me a cat, Noelle, the Christmas I was 17 because I told her I either wanted a cat or my own baby, and she was desperate.  The next year Becky got her own siamese, who was named Chris. He was enormous and once, cornered in a dark part of the flower garden, gave my dad such a ferocious scratch he had to take a ten-day course of antibiotics.

At heart, I am a cat girl.

Kendell, however, doesn't have similar cat affections. Since the demise of Emily, our family has been taking a cat sabbatical. This is only because Kendell doesn't like cats, as all the rest of us pine and yearn for and desire above all to once again be cat owners. I am trying to be fair: Kendell dealt for 15 years having a detested cat. Now it is my turn to deal without a cat for awhile.

(I joke with him that I'm stopping at the pet store on my way home from his funeral.)

My mom remains a loyal cat person, and recently her Siamese cat, Princess, had kittens. We've been to visit them twice now and I, unfortunately, have fallen in love with this one. Meet Paisley:

Paisley kitty 
(the one on the left; she has the cutest calico-esque markings but most of her is white with very faint Siamese-colored stripes.) Oh, I love her! I want to bring her home and make her a part of our family.

It's just that little thing about how compromise makes for a happier marriage that's holding me back.

I am wont to joke around about the word "compromise." My personal definition: the thing you choose with the goal of making everyone happy that really makes no one happy. In the cat situation, it means it's my turn to be unhappy about a decision.  Since Kendell was unhappy for our 15 years with Emily, I guess that's fair.

Compromise and the attempt to be a reasonable, fair wife aside, I am still head-over-heels in love with that kitten. It happened when I held her and named her and she crawled up my shirt until her little head was nestled under my chin. I don't know what to do with this feeling. Except for thinking that I should visit my mom again, very, very soon.


Melanie Bell

Or maybe you should take her home and risk having an unhappy hubby............just kidding. My husband can't wait until our cats die. No seriously, he can't. And then I'll be in your shoes. Except I'm not sure I'll be as nice as you. I'd take the kitty home. :)

Becky K

Oh Paisley, you are so cute! My kids are dying to go and meet the kitties at mom's house. I admit I want to see them, too. I wish you could have her! If only all babies stayed little longer, including kittens. Grown up cats are far less cute than baby ones.

Bridget S

I grew up with cats. My husband was raised in a cat-hating family. We have been married for over 20 years and have always had a cat. He refers to them by their fur color and not by name. I have agreed to no more cats after "the black and white one," meets her maker. Seeing the photo of those sweet kittens makes my heart melt. I wonder if I can do it. You are a very good wife.

Pat Passamonte

Hi Amy,

You have been having angst the last few months over the realization that you probably won't be having anymore babies, so it's time to bring out the same line you used on your mom when you were 17--Give you a baby, or give you a kitten. My guess is that Kendall will welcome the kitten.

Relate from my life--our eldest cat died a couple months ago, and though I was really sad, I was secretly glad that we were down to 4 indoor cats. I never wanted to have more than 3, so while I hope my other guys live forever, the numbers were going in the right direction! Then someone left a 6 week old kitten on our porch. So now we have 5 again. But the new baby, Zippy, is bringing us so much joy. Our kids are all grown and gone, so we treat all of the cats like spoiled grandbabies, and we both just love Zippy so much. Sometimes the thing you don't think you want (or in your case, you don't think you should have) is exactly what you need...


Amy - you can never name an animal - once you do they become yours!!! I once found a dog (or she found me)and I took her to the pound in hopes of finding her owner, but before leaving her i had given her a name. When I told my husband he said "oh no, you did not name her - that means she is ours!". I denied that this would be the case until I went back and got her - ha! :) We've had her for 2 years and I love, love, love her! Adding that name made her more than just a dog - it made her mine (ours). My husband isn't a dog guy - at all, but we have 3. He puts up with it because he loves me, just like I put up with some of his craziness because I love him. I think there are so many areas of 'compromise' in our lives....there's got to be another way, maybe??? I vote for Paisley.... but then, my vote isn't really what's important. Kiss Paisley for me the next time you see him/her!

Pamela K.

I told my hubby that when he passes away that I'm getting a cat and naming it after him. ;-)

Chris S.

I love the picture and Paisley! I'm not a good one to help you over the pain as I say you should have Paisley! (from me who it took 10 years to convince my hubby to get a cat). Your post brought back good memories of Hooter, Noelle and Chris :) I fed my hunger for a cat then by being at your house!


overall not a pet person but I grew up with cats and I think if mark felt differently I would probably have a cat. they're so low maintenance and I LOVE the purr....


Sweet! My parents' cat Molly is a calico but her father was part Siamese. She's very talkative.

Kim D

I agree with Pat wholeheartedly - you either get a baby or a kitten. You are grieving the loss of the babyhood in your family, and that grief needs soothing.

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