At the end of October, we made the challenging decision to put down our beloved cat, Snuggie. Making that choice was very difficult, but we knew it was best after watching her health and quality of life slowly decline. Saying our goodbyes was tough, and we all miss our cat; she was the best! But if I’m honest, I wasn’t looking to welcome a new pet into our home so quickly.
I credit this apprehension to my lack of childhood experiences with animals. Growing up, there were only two pets in our house, and neither lasted very long. I had a turtle, and my sister had a guinea pig. Both were spur-of-the-moment purchases we convinced my dad to make. I was also afraid of cats and dogs. Now that I’m an adult, the fear has diminished, but with so few interactions with animals, I have found it hard to consider myself a pet person, even after living with a cat for ten years. My husband, on the other hand, grew up having cats and our children had Snuggie their entire lives.
Once the initial sting of losing Snuggie began to fade, it was clear that our family wouldn’t last long without an animal to love and care for. My husband became very curious about getting a puppy, and my kids started asking about another cat. Through more conversations about the type of pet we would welcome into our home, my husband and I realized we needed to see how our kids respond to each kind of animal. Historically, our kids have been very hesitant around dogs, but we weren’t sure how they would respond to a younger cat. Snuggie was older, spent most of the day sleeping, and rarely interacted with the kids. A kitten would be a completely different experience.
My husband and I knew we needed to expose our kids to each scenario. Although we weren’t planning on purchasing from a pet store, this was the easiest way to expose our kids to puppies. One evening, we visited a store and played with two puppies, but both kids sat on the bench with their feet up the entire time! Our next stop was the Hamilton County Humane Society to check out the cats. It was a night and day experience! The kids instantly found a kitten they loved and were so excited to play with it. Unfortunately, mom and dad weren’t ready to bring a new cat home that day, but we had all the information we needed. After further consideration and preparation, we finally returned to the animal shelter. We played with several kittens before finding our newest family member, Twinkle! She loves to play and snuggle and is the perfect fit for our family.
Welcoming a new pet into our home was a great decision for us. My husband is the best cat dad, my kids are super excited to have a pet again, and I’m slowly becoming more comfortable calling myself a cat mom.