The Puppet Masters

It's insidious, really. One day you're sitting at home and your little girl comes in with her big puppy-dog eyes and says, "He NEEDS me!" and life as you know it completely changes. Yup, you're a cat owner. You are the puppet. They are the Puppet Masters!

The next thing you know, you're spending hours researching on the Internet for cat behavioral problems. Or driving 1 1/2 hours to find a store that carries a certain brand of cat health food that you've heard is better for the little monsters. Or you spend $50 on a deluxe cat bed from Pier 1, and buy baby blankets for each of your darlings. Or waking up the vet at 1:30 a.m. because your elderly, diabetic cat just had a seizure. Yup, you're whupped.

I don't know how it happened, really. We decided to get one cat, and the rest of them followed. Most came from the neighborhood. Word gets around, among cats, that there is a place to get food, and it's all over from there. First, they show up around dinner time, then twice a day, then they hang out in the afternoon, then they want to be petted. After that, they show up with a hurt paw, or a scratched eye and they've got you!

We try to be responsible. When we see a new cat in the neighborhood, we try to befriend it and then get it to the vet to be spayed or neutered. If one is seriously injured, it goes to the vet, too. The Hubster and I have spent many nights nursing a sick or injured feline in our makeshift Cat ER. We have a special area in the basement for this purpose.

I take lots of photos of the Fuzzy Butts and buy them toys at Christmas, Easter and on their birthdays. They have their own Christmas stockings. I also spoil the "Grandcats." Both my daughters have cats. I'm in no rush for grandkids, so they're a nice substitute. The Hubster is in charge of cat boxes, a job he tackles with great gusto. Or...he gets it over as quickly as possible!

We used to travel more often. We don't so much any more, because we have "special needs" cats. Yes, Murray has diabetes and has to have a daily blood sugar test and insulin shot. Another has behavioral and psychological problems. Nico can't be left alone or she will tear something up, or just pee on it. Yuck! Try finding a cat sitter for that.

Our vet and his staff say our cats are the most spoiled in Ark City. Maybe so. They are very entertaining. They are very loving. They are incredibly aggravating. And we wouldn't want it any other way!
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