A Poem

A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem.  ~Jean Burden

Okay, I admit it: I am a cat person.

Truthfully, I’ve always liked cats but have been incredibly allergic to them. My sister had a giant long-haired furball of a feline named Bebe and I swear he was put on this earth to try to kill me. I vividly recall lying in my sister’s bed with swollen eyes, a throat that I thought was going to close at any minute, sneezing like I had just inhaled pepper. After that my visits incorporated various prophylactic allergy medications but none really did the trick- I mean, I love napping, but taking Benadryl meant spending the entire time asleep. Then some wonderful company invented Zyrtec, Allergy Medicine of the Gods. I take it every day and it alleviates my seasonal allergies as well as the cat issue. Which leads us to where we are today.

I would love to get a dog, but I just don’t have the energy. The training, the walking, the need for exercise and stimulation: I need to do all those things for two girls under 4 and adding a dog to the mix wasn’t going to happen. But my husband and I thought a pet would be good for us, as well as our daughters, and after discussing and dismissing a variety of small, rodent-like creatures we decided a cat might be ideal. I started looking at rescue websites but had done nothing solid about kitty procurement, until one day kitty kismet came calling.

A coworker sent out an email- his sister was moving overseas and had recently adopted a kitten that she couldn’t take with her. Would someone be interested in adopting her? Well, um, sure! I mean, look at the picture they sent of her. How could I say no?:

I sent my husband an email announcing that we would have a cat within a few days. He seemed a little confounded. After 10 years of knowing me, 5 of those as married; you would think he would know by now that you don’t decide to just humor me by saying yes, because I will actually execute on the deal.

Anyway, I brought her home and we named her Pippa. Her full name is Duchess Philippa Esmerelda Thibault of Silver Springshireton but she isn’t fancy like that. She is the sweetest little thing, with a tail that looks like a raccoon’s and a purr that can be heard from miles away.

Cats have a reputation of being standoffish and independent, with no use for their owners. I don’t know if it is because she is still a kitten, but she is extremely affectionate and remarkably tolerant of the two small people we live with. My husband and I both work from home, and Pippa enjoys plopping herself down on our laptop keyboards and demanding to be petted. She sleeps on us, sometimes on my chest and other times in right above my hip if I am sleeping on my side. She particularly enjoys the spot right between Marc’s feet.

Pippa is great with Maeve and Bridget. From Pippa’s point of view, I am pretty sure that this is exactly what both girls look like, so her patience is that much more remarkable:

So yes, I am officially a cat person. I got Pippa her own stocking for Christmas and an ornament for our tree. She got lots of kitty toys from Santa but like my children enjoyed the wrapping paper best. We will be taking the Christmas tree down tonight and I think Pippa will miss it most of all, primarily because running underneath it was relief from being chased by the hysterically giggling manic four year old.

The other night, Maeve said “Mommy, I really very love Pippa”. I do too, baby girl.

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