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My wife and I have been married almost 12 and a half years. During all that time, we have never owned a single pet, not even a goldfish.

This, despite somewhat strong pleas from my wife and children (stronger from my children) that we get one. I have held out. Our home is busy enough. I don’t want to do clean up. What about when we go on vacation?

But last Thursday I was out jogging and saw a sign – ‘Free Kittens.’  And on Friday I mentioned this to my wife while we were driving by and she went in to ask. Two months old, already using the litter box, cute.

So on Saturday we went to Petsmart and got food and toys and such and went to pick up not one, but two kittens. I still am not sure why I gave in, by I think I’m glad I did. They bring joy into our home.

What I have found interesting is the grim words that people have had when I have mentioned this to them.

I remember Jay Leno, very early in his carreer talking about how mentioning that he owned a motorcycle often inexplicably elicited from people stories about the dangers of owning one:

My cousin had a motorcycle once. Drove it straight into a Threshing Machine!

My wife has more than once said that this is why she has never skied. Because any conversation about skiing always yeilds to conversation about skiing injuries. Bone breaking, blood inducing, death causing injuries.

But getting a kitten or two?

– Sure their cute and cuddly now, but when they get older they get cranky and start punishing you.

– You’re keeping kittens in your laundry room, with all those clean clothes?

– I knew a couple who once broke up because they were always arguing about who was going to clean the box.

(Okay that last one is an exageration of what someone said)

You might ask, why kittens and not a dog. I have always been partial to Cats. Here is my list why:

The clean up is better.

Cats are smarter.

Cats don’t bark.

I feel like love from a dog (while more plentiful than a cats) is less real, more instinctive than that of a cat’s. This is one area where I go for quality more than quantity.

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February 2007