C and I don’t have pets.  Unless you count the spiders building cobweb castles around our architraves, that is.  The reason is not that we don’t like animals, or that we can’t be bothered with the burden of pet care.  Unfortunately, C is allergic to just about anything organic.  His allergies start with the usual suspects – dogs, cats, birds – and range through to the microscopic (dust mites, cockroach poo (?!)) and on to the inanimate (dust, various grasses and pollens, etc etc).  When he initially was assessed, about four years ago now, he had a grid of 24 squares drawn up on his arm, with each square representing a different potential allergen.  All 24 squares showed a reaction.  His specialist asked us if we had pets, and we said no.  He then said, well, don’t get any; the misery won’t be worth it.

So yes, we are pet-free.  This is incredibly sad, as I grew up with animals, and C also loves them.  If I were single, I would happily reinforce the crazy single cat lady stereotype.  But we have been very restrained and have held off from getting pets thus far.

However, we recently realised that one of our neighbours has acquired a kitten.  The same people already have another full-grown cat, two dogs, and who knows how many birds.  (If C’s specialist knew all this, he would probably tell us to move house.)  But the latest addition to the family is a small female tabby who is enquiring, affectionate, loving, and generally just completely adorable. 

We first met her a couple of months ago now, when she was very young and full of beans.  While she is still playful, she’s gotten physically bigger and temperamentally calmer in the intervening time.  The three of us have spent a lot of quality time together, particularly in the last few weeks, and it’s got to the point where we get home from work of an evening, put our gear inside, and head out to the backyard.  As soon as she hears us, she scales the fence and comes running up for pats and attention.  She is the sweetest-natured cat I’ve ever met, and so affectionate she’s almost doglike.  I’ll garden for a couple of hours at a time, and she’ll just hang out with me, alternately relaxing and running like a maniac around after leaves, bugs, and birds who are stupid enough to tease her.  She just loves company.

It’s clear I’m in love.  And so is C, for that matter.  He spends hours patting her, teasing her, and generally ending up covered in hives from his cat allergy.  But he says it’s worth it.