Boyfriend: "Move to Minneapolis with me. You can get a cat"
October 1997: Trip to the Golden Valley Humane Society. We select a lovable orange cat and Dave names him "Wiggum", after Ralph Wiggum of the Simpons. (Think "teacher, my cat's breath smells like cat food".)
1998: Me: "Wiggum needs a friend-please, pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top". Boyfriend: "alright".
Thanksgiving Weekend, 1998: We find an animal shelter in the middle of rural Minnesota. We pick out a small orange kitten, born to it's feral mother. We name him Flanders (think "Hidely Ho neighbors! How diddly do you do?")
1999: Newly Weds return from honeymoon to find cat pooh all over the carpeted floor of a no-pets allowed apartment complex. Us: opps-time for Science Diet Sensitive Stomach.
December 2002: Our "family" Christmas Cards are homemade-by yours truly, and feature a photograph of Wiggum & Flanders side by side in the living room window. I carefully pasted santa hat stickers on their furry heads.
2002: We pack up our family (Husband, Wife, Wiggum & Flanders) and drive out to our new home in Sunnyside, Denver.
2003: Me: How about a Dog? Husband: Are you totally sure?
2003: We trek to the Dumb Friends League and find a little black lab puppy Bascom. She rides home on my lap.
Upon arriving at home with dog:
Flanders: Howls, runs and hides in the box spring of our bed. We hardly see him again until we have to pack up and move to our new home a year later.
September 2005- The arrival of our first son Zachary. Our pride and joy. Flanders now appears only after midnight, and remains hidden among the boxes and ruins of our attic.
Summer, 2006: We start to notice the strong stench of cat urine coming from the attic. We know who is to blame.
June 2008: The arrival of Evan. Flanders joins me in the moonlit nursery for midnight feedings when Bascom is snoozing downstairs. We bond.
September 2009: We make the decision to pack up the family and head to Berkeley California. We will now be renters in a much smaller home. We know there will be fewer kitty hiding spots, and that we can't take the risk of soiling someone else's home with cat odor. We make the decision that Flanders will not join us for the next phase. Since he will be all but impossible to find adoptive "parents" for (anyone want a scardy cat, don't touch me, I pee on everything orange tabby?), and the no-kill shelters are not accepting new cats, he will need to go to the Table Mountain Animal Shelter, where there are no guarantees. I feel like I am feeding a lamb to the wolves, sending an innocent convict down death row. He doesn't deserve this.
Im a bad cat mommy.