by Ruth, a.k.a. Momma Frizzle
Pet rule #1: I have kids, not puppies. Translation: NO PETS!
No other rule in our house gets attacked, lobbied against and secretly broken more than the “no pets” rule. What my kids want — in no particular order — are dogs, cats, chickens, goats, horses, or all of the above. But we do not live on a farm. So my poor desperate children turn any living creature they can into a pet — ladybugs, cockroaches, lizards, dead crickets. I mean anything.
Their dream came true one Monday not long ago. They found a beautiful calico cat meowing at the back door. Like a gift from heaven. She didn’t have on a collar, but she was friendly and tame. They named her Fluffy. All day long they played with Fluffy, pleaded to keep her, and begged to feed her.
When Daddy Rooster got home he said, “Anyone who feeds that cat has to sleep outside with the cat.”
On Tuesday morning, the kids looked everywhere before mournfully reporting that Fluffy was gone. At breakfast, the 5th grader said accusingly, “Why don’t you write about Fluffy – the cat we couldn’t keep?” Hmm…good idea, actually.
On Thursday, we got a lost cat flyer in a mailbox. There was a picture of Fluffy with a phone number. I called and reported Fluffy’s whereabouts earlier in the week. Turns out her real name is ”Pumba-Bear.” Her owners found her as a newborn kitten in the woods and fed her with baby bottles. She was totally an indoor cat. Until a visiting college student left the front door open sometime in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and she escaped from her cloistered life.
When Pumba-Bear’s owner arrived at our house my six kids joined the impromptu search party. They looked high and low. In the flowering bushes, behind the neighbors’ pools, around the alligator-filled lake, along the bobcat-filled forest. The perils Pumba-Bear, a.k.a. “Fluffy,” encountered were not for the faint of heart. We feared the worst. Unless a better mom than me took in Pumba-Bear, things did not look good.
Which is basically what my kids were saying that Friday morning as we drove out of our neighborhood. But then we passed the “Lost Cat” flyer posted by the entrance. There, under Fluffy’s color photo, was written FOUND in pink marker! Cheering erupted!
Truthfully, I was relived too. I did not want to be complicit, even accidentally, in Fluffy’s death. She was sweet and pretty, as cats go.
Enforcing this ”no pet” rule gets harder everyday!