Our Empty Nest – An Unexpected Consequence

Like many families, when our children were young, they wanted a pet.  For a long time, I resisted the whining, the begging, the pleading, the swearing that they would take care of a pet and I would NEVER have to do anything to take care of it.

In a weak moment; however, I gave in, and we adopted a cat from our local humane society.

We adopted a fully grown cat that was declawed and knew how to use a litter box.  It was my thinking that since the average life expectancy of a house cat is from 15 to 20 years, that we would have a pet until just about the time the kids went off to college.  Yes, it is true that I planned the pet adoption so that the pet would presumably die right around the kids left home.

Well, our youngest two children are off to college and our 17-year-old cat is still kickin’.

Angel the Cat sits on the registers when the furnace is on to keep warm.

Our cat’s name is Angel, and she is a long-haired white cat.  She is good at two things.  Sleeping and vomiting.

She has never been overly friendly and has never been a cat interested in being held or cuddled.  When she has made her rare daytime appearances, she would prefer that you ignore her and will run off if you attempt to pay any attention to her.

She is starting to show her age.  Her belly is sagging, and she is very thin – not that she was ever a very large cat.  Her fur is starting to look old and scraggly.  She drags herself around like an old lady.  And she yowls.  This cat does not purr or meow, she yowls.  Loudly.  The way she acts, you would think she was on death’s door.  Well, you would be wrong.

In the middle of the night, this cat comes alive.  I can hear her racing around the house like a maniac.  For a little 6-pound ball of fur, it’s amazing that you can hear every paw hit the ground.  Nothing is chasing her, and she is chasing nothing.  Psycho cat.

So, unfortunately, I think she has a lot of life left in her.

What is interesting is that she seems to have come out of her shell since the kids have left home.

We never used to see this cat, but she must have been getting a fair amount of human attention from the girls when we didn’t realize it.  We know that she used to sleep with them – they say she’s a bed hog.

Now that the house is empty, except for DSH and me, the cat is seeking attention from us.  She comes out in the morning to rub on DSH’s dress slacks.  He has to use a lint brush on the way out the door in the morning.

Angel the Cat is looking for love in all the wrong places.

In the middle of the night and before dawn each day, she comes to our bedroom door and paws at it and yowls.  Seriously.  So, one of us will get up and take her downstairs and put her in the laundry room where we keep her litter box, food and water, and close the door.  So we can get some sleep.

An unexpected consequence of our empty nest – a lonely cat.  A sad, pathetic, lonely cat that yowls for attention and only rubs on humans who are wearing dark colored dress slacks.  A cat that yowls and paws at our bedroom door in the middle of the night.

Clearly, Angel the Cat misses her girls, and she is on a different time schedule than I had planned.  This is why I call her “the cat that won’t die.”

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