Sunday, November 30, 2008

How it all began

I always had pets growing up so I guess you could say it was my dad's fault that I ended up as the "animal person" amongst my friends. It was only a matter of time once I was out on my own that I would bring home something that sheds and requires constant attention. I was 20 when temptation finally got the best of me.

My roommate and I had plans to go out to the bars in Pacific Beach, and decided that nothing we had in our closets was wearable. No doubt about it, we needed to go out to Grossmont Center to find the perfect "boob shirts" to go bar hop in. After snatching up our must-have shirts, we happened to pass by the mall pet store. This was naturally LONG before I knew of puppy mills, and all the other unsavory practices supported by pet stores. Back then, it was just a store that happened to carry animals. And damn, were they ever cute. It was impossible for me to pass by and not oo and aw over the little fluffballs. But today, my window shopping was about to end up with an impulse buy that is currently curled up on the bed almost 8 years later.

Ok, so all kittens are cute. But Gidget was the cutest kitten I have ever seen. In the cage were about 5-6 kittens, all black and white mewing sweetly at onlookers. As my roommate and I cooed at the little buggers, my gaze found the queen b, sprawled on her back at the bottom of the cage with one arm dramatically draped over her face as if to say " these accommodations are far too meager for someone so beautiful." I knew right then that this drama queen was coming home with me, no matter what the cost, which was $129.99 for the kitten and another $100 or so on the litter box ,kitty litter and other accessories. She weighed a whopping 1.7lbs. As we walked out the car with our new buddy, reality set in. Our other roommate was very clear on something which we chose to ignore 15 minutes earlier: she HATES cats. As we drove home, we started brainstorming ideas as to how to get away with this without our roommate murdering us in our sleep. The solution? Hide the cat until she left to go out of town for the weekend. It wasn't hard to convince our neighbors to be accomplices in our plan to sneak Gidget into their house and let her hide out there while our roommate packed up and left. We had the whole weekend to come up with a good excuse for this grey purrball's presence in our house, but came up empty. We had to just decided to hope against all odds that her overwhelming cuteness would win our roommate over and her lifelong hatred of cats would be erased in one fell swoop of those velvety paws.

The fateful night came fast. We had anticipated her coming home a day or two later, but we were wrong. Instead, we were out on the town and our roommate came home to a dark house and something furry rubbing against her legs. It wasn't how we planned on their first meeting. As I braced for her telling us that either we got rid of the cat or moved out, she surprised us both. She told us that while she was definitely pissed off that we went behind her back knowing that she hated cats, she also couldn't deny that Gidget was entirely too cute for words, and that as long as we kept the litter box clean, and picked up the slack and vacuumed more often, we could keep the little gray diva. Within weeks, Gidget and the cat hater, were best buddies and I was beginning to learn all about the responsibilities of pet ownership.

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