Sometimes, the things we do just don't make any sense. We may be fully aware that our logistical security blanket is full of holes, but it doesn't always matter. We do what we do and we believe what we believe even if it flies in the face of all available data.
A question has been asked of me with random frequency lately. It is this crazy mind set that has partially influenced my answer.
In my addled brain, cats are girls and dogs are boys. This is a long-standing belief and one that I've held since time immemorial. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever given that the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty who shares my space is most decidedly male. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he is a dude who is very much in touch with his feminine side...that could confuse things for me. Whatever the reason, I still tend to think of cats as being girls unless I am clearly told otherwise.
The other influence is probably a bit more sobering. The loss of my Big, Fluffy Kitty last May was devastating. It was painful. Gut-wrenchingly so. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't even really talk about. Heck, even if I was capable of discourse on the subject, I wouldn't have done so because it was the kind of pain that hurts more when you try to share it. The BFK was special. A gift. The kind of cat that comes along once in a lifetime. She was my baby.
So when people began gently asking if I might ever consider getting another cat, I thought about it for a while. I really did. But, in the end, the answer was no. You don't just replace your baby. You can't. It is wrong to even think you can. Worse, that very thought made me almost physically sick. Another baby girl? Not even an option. There is no other baby girl...not for me. I'm done.
Of course, The Cat Whisperer didn't know about this firm decision. She was just making an observation during the AGK's yearly exam, nothing more. "You know," she said, "if you ever decide to get a companion for him, I would strongly urge you to get another male. They tend to bond better. You might also want to consider one in the same color range." Then she went about her business, poking and fiddling about with her patient. I don't even think she noticed me and the reaction her words had wrought.
I was frozen in place. A boy kitty? But...cats are girls. Right? They are. And I can't...
But, you know what? Thinking of boy kitties didn't hurt nearly as much. I guess, somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, I must have considered that at some point. But the old belief system just overrode everything and the defenses against the pain didn't let me follow that train of thought any further. Yet, when I let go of the baggage for a minute, I had an epiphany A boy? That might work.
So now I'm thinking that maybe...just maybe...I could have another cat someday. A boy kitty. A buddy for the AGK who is lonely. I know he is. He has been sleeping an awful lot lately and not playing as much as he used to. He might like a brother someday. It could be good for all of us. I might even name him Androcles because that seems like a kind of cool name for a boy kitty.
Yeah...Androcles. I kind of like the sound of that.
Of course, circumstances would need to be pretty much perfect for me to get beyond the Thinking Stage. There would have to be a reason, perhaps a few indications that the time was right and I don't think the whole thing would work at all if there wasn't a really, really good story to go along with an adoption. But if all that ever fell into place, I could see myself taking the plunge again someday.
Happy Independence Day, Fellow Citizens!