Remember the More Kitty and More Puppy memes, in which I spotlighted my own pets (one current, some former) and those of my readers? I guess I'm briefly bringing that back.
If you follow me on social networks, you undoubtedly know there's someone new in the house. His name is Jordan, and much to the chagrin of my dog Ella, he is a cat.
I'm not going to go into great detail about their introduction, because I'm guessing most of you follow me on Facebook, or could easily enough (if I'm wrong about this, let me know in the comment section below). And I have gone into quite a bit of detail each day. I've left reports almost every day to chronicle the process of the cat and dog getting to know each other with no bloodshed, and with a minimum of chasing, clawing, hiding and hurt feelings. My Twitter friends also probably noticed shorter updates. (Hey, it's Twitter. Short is built in.)
I'd have thought people would quickly grow sick to death of hearing about the minor ups and downs of a dog and a cat learning to get along. I would have been wrong. If anybody is not enjoying it, they've kept it to themselves. And I can't tell you how many people have told me they enjoy "watching" the progress. I guess it's more encouraging than watching the process of peace in the Middle East, the gun debate, or Congress.
As you can see, it's going well. (Jordan and Ella, not peace in the Middle East, the gun debate, or Congress.)
So far as I know, I haven't said much, if anything, on social media regarding why I adopted a cat. So I'll do that here. I'll start with why I didn't get a cat a long time ago:
1) I love cats. I grew up with a beautiful Siamese named Ming. I had other cats in (young) adulthood. Then I adopted a parrot named Ziggy. I got help finger-training him from a young man who clipped his wing feathers for the purpose of training. They never grew back in properly. So he never flew dependably well. So I didn't get a cat while he was alive. He lived to be 27.
2) My goal just before I adopted Ella was to adopt a dog and a cat more or less together. That way, I figured, they'd be more likely to accept each other. But on the same week I got Ella from the Humane Society, I began seeing someone who was allergic to cats. So I just adopted the dog. A couple of years later, Ella seemed quite jumpy and chase-y (sure, that's a word) when we saw a cat on the street. So I figured it was too late, I had missed my moment.
Why I changed my mind now:
Ella's friend Tony1) Ella has a new doggy friend. His name is Tony. He comes over sometimes when his people go away for a long day. And Ella is welcome over there any time. But they have a cat, Edward. And I wasn't sure how that would work out. But Ella met Edward, and she was FINE.
2) Most of you know my mom passed away in March of 2012. It's been a little too quiet around here. For both Ella and me. Part of me worried Ella would be sorry I adopted the cat, jealous, or maybe constantly on guard. Another part of me felt it's almost always better to step outside one's comfort zone. I'd rather have a life that's richer and broader than one that's comfortably unchallenged. And I decided I wanted the same for my dog. Our "pack" had shrunk from three to two, and that felt too small. Less like a family and more like a person and a dog.
3) I kept seeing these Facebook ads during the holidays asking if my home and my heart weren't big enough to take in one more homeless pet. (Hint: turns out they were.)
So I'm formally introducing my blog readers to Jordan, who is from H.A.R.T. (Homeless Animal Rescue Team) in Cambria.
I'm still open to feature other people's pets, if you want to send photos and stories. And if you want to go back and see the ones I've featured in the past, you can click on the blog index category Pets, Mine & My Readers.
I have a new blog meme coming up this year to help newer authors by spotlighting their newly-released books with in-depth discussions. And I have no fewer than four new book releases of my own for 2013, possibly more. So, as always, please do stay tuned.