I was amazed when I was looking to adopt two cats twenty years ago at how much time one shelter spent asking me – “what happens to your cat if you get married?”
I thought it was a really stupid question. After all, if you get married, the cat comes with you. Right?
After all, who’d date a guy who didn’t like your cats (or dogs) in the first place? When I started volunteering at a shelter many years later I found out why they even ask the question. One of the reasons cats are returned to shelters is because a person gets married. Seriously?
I’m from one of those families that always treated their pet as a member of the family. So, before any dating experiment went very far, I always got a good feel for how any guy felt about the cats.
During my dating days, I was amazed at the number of dates to be that claimed to have “no use for cats.” I found that it was common for guys to say they had “no use for cats” because most of them had never really spent time with cats. I’d asked them if they’d ever had a cat, lived with a cat or had a bad experience with a cat. Usually, they’d respond no to all of the above.
In one case in particular, this guy made it to the second date. After making a total idiot out of himself on our date, he informed me that he was allergic to cats and I’d need to get rid of my cats immediately. That was our last date.
A few weeks later I started to talk to a potential suitor on the phone. He started off with the “no use for cats” line. I found out that he grew up in a house with dogs and never really spent anytime with any cats. What I also found out was that the dogs he grew up with were so much a part of the family, his family traveled with the family dog in a motor home long before there was such a thing as “dog-friendly” travel. The pet as part of the family…
When we finally started to date and he met the cats for the first time, he was greeted by Rhett the Wonder Cat jumping on his lap and going nose to nose with him. The two spent the rest of the evening hanging out and playing. So much for “no use for cats!”
During our dating years, one of his best customers got a divorce and lost his cats to the then ex-wife in the proceedings. Tom snagged his customer’s two cat condo and promptly delivered them to my place in the city. Rhett also dutifully stood by my front door the second he saw the jeep pull up. After all, Tom wasn’t my date, he was Rhett’s.
Eventually, Tom and I got married and we moved out to the suburbs. We have a berm in our backyard and lots of wildlife. As the house was being built, my husband to be was the one that was excited about all the wildlife the cats would be able to stalk (from inside). Our house included tons of windows for wildlife theater.
Although the cats and I had been a team for 10 years before we got married, someone had bonded with someone else (Darth Cat). I was out of the equation except for food. Both Rhett and Scarlett have since gone on to the rainbow bridge. And, even though we have two really great cats in the house, we still miss them.
And, I always have to smile when my husbands tells stories about “his” cat. Too bad he had no use for cats.