Pre-Feline Anxiety

Ferret bandannas. I saw a site selling ferret bandannas yesterday and found myself too-long pondering the deep need we humans have to take a creature that is mostly neck and accessorize it.

I feel like ferret bandannas are only one step from snake ponchos and giraffe mufflers. Sure, it's a niche market. But it's also not like without one, your animal bud will feel insecure and unloved while reading her subscription of Ferretista Monthly.

But I didn't actually come to talk about ferret bandannas today. I came to talk about the reason I was even on a site with the odd and assorted ferret bandanna.

See, I'm planning to get my first non-finned pet.

And what I've learned about myself is this. It is just as well that I have no children. Because if I were planning this, I would be researching parenting skills so long, the battery on my biological clock would have completely corroded.

While I love both cats and dogs, I've opted for a cat due to time and maintenance issues. But with the amount of "For Dummies" books I've attained on the matter, and the amount of questions I've asked my cat-owning friends, you would think I was prepping to manage the Lion's Den at the Pittsburgh Zoo or something.

I'm not sure what it is that I'm so worried about. That if I don't train the cat properly, it'll start slipping out behind my back, with a gang of graffiti-spraying tomcats?

That she'll fail all her classes in Scratching, Shedding, and Turning Up Her Nose at Off-Brand Catfoods, and then never get into a good college?

That she'll grab the keys, steal the car, head to L.A. and try to make it big in Fancy Feast ads?

Hard to say. It's possible that I am drawing too much on the sad demise of the only pet I had growing up-- Copper, the psychologically-damaged carnival fish.

Copper had a rough life at the carnie, as part of a game where ping pong balls were thrown into his bowl. It was post-traumatic stress, I think. Weeks after he came home with me to a ping-pong-free environment, he still flinched every time someone would enter the room.

I'm still not convinced he didn't die of a coronary. He was very high strung. But it also might have been my fault. Too many fish flakes perhaps. I might have killed him with foody flakey love.

Now I do recognize I'm not likely to come home to find my cat doing the backstroke like Copper. But you never know. I don't have a lot of previous pet experience. An unsupervised catnip addiction, she goes like Heath Ledger. A slip of the wrong kibble and she could be doing a Mama Cass. I don't think I could handle the guilt. That's why I want to make sure I have all the info I need.

I will promise you this, though. I won't be blogging regularly about my cat. There are enough cat pictures on the internet to satiate a million happy hoarders.

And I won't be buying the cat a bandanna, either. See, I hear they already come complete with a fur coat.

And really, when you're wearing fur, too many accessories just make you look cheap.

19 comments:

Claire said...

I KNEW you would post about the cat!

Gosh all that talk about Copper, brought memories of the recently departed Frank :(

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- Heh, I didn't blog about the cat. I blogged BEFORE the cat. :) There are no cat-specifics here, and the graphics are completely cat-free.

JD at I Do Things said...

CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT!

YAY! Cats rule!

I know you don't intend to be a pet blogger as soon as your new cat becomes part of your home, but you might be surprised at how hard it is to resist the lure of the OH LOOK HOW CUTE post.

And I'm sure you'll make a fine cat parent. Just don't throw ping-pong balls at it.

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- Heh- I appreciate your enthusiasm! I do try really hard to write on topics the bulk of Cabbages readers can possibly identify with, so that's really why I don't want to get too catly on things.

I'll leave that to Daisy.

Sweet Violet said...

My Yorkie wears clothes...with matching panties...and she actually likes them! OK, she's not too keen on the little Mary Janes and the hair bows, but she gets very excited when she sees me take a nappy out of the cupboard because she knows it means she is going out with us. (She always wears nappies out in public so we don't leave unwanted deposits behind.)

Yorkies don't get an undercoat in the winter months (which is why they don't shed) so her sweaters and velour track suits and flannel jammies and nighties are actually practical...we've had night temps below freezing lately and there is little more pathetic than a shivering Yorkie standing in front of the cupboard that she knows contain things to make her warm.

Ferrets, on the other hand, are kissing cousins to ermine...no help in the warm department needed there...and cats grow a lovely sheddable undercoat in cold weather. They don't care much for hair bows, either.

Jenn Thorson said...

Violet- I didn't realize Yorkies had some of the same chill issues as, say, chihuahuas. I do recall seeing pictures of your Yorkie all snuggled in the blankets lately due to the cold weather.

ReformingGeek said...

Perhaps you could get two or more cats so they can keep each other company?

Collars with bells.

Hee Hee.

You will become a Catlady.

Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- Ack! No! No!! We already have a Catlady in the neighborhood. I don't want to steal her thunder.

madtexter (corey james) said...

Oh please, Jenn. You know you are SO going to post cat pix all over the place. Once you're hooked on your pet, it's all downhill from there.

And get the cat bandanna - just because. And maybe bedazzle it with some bling!

Jenn Thorson said...

Corey- Or should I call you "oh ye of little faith" :) I do not bedazzle. Bedazzling is the first step toward being one of those crazy Cat Ladies who wear Pooh sweatshirts out to dinner and carry photos of their pets in their wallet. :)

Jaffer said...

W00T a new cat in the neighbourhood !

Rawrr !

Congratulations I must say !

Do post a picture when he/she arrives.

And I am sure Daisy the Curly Cat would be delighted to share tips and tricks for new moms like yourself.

And like Reforming Geek says - it may be a good idea to have another one in the future - a cat that is.

Babs-beetle said...

Wise choice ;)

I bet you'd be surprised at how many of your blog readers actually do like, or in fact, have cats. I'm sure a photo of your kitty would not be frowned upon - at least when he/she first arrives. Pretty please?

Daisy said...

Cat, cat, cat, cat, cat! I am so excited for you!

If you change your mind about cat outfits, I can give you some good fashion advice.

ps: On a more serious note, the very best thing you can do for your new kitty is to feed him/her a high-quality, grain-free canned cat food. My Mommeh wishes she knew more about feline nutrition when I was younger.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- I must not count my cats before they hatch... er... wait, that's not right. Um. I mean, I will feel better dealing with one cat before I consider adding any buddies for it. If I had pre-cat experience, I would be less reluctant. :)

Babs- I'll post pics on Facebook or something so folks can see. I'm thinking I'll probably get the cat in August. I want to take a long weekend to get it adjusted and acclimated, etc.

Daisy- Ah, thank you! :) You do know you're the exception for me on the cat outfits-- because you seem to have such an affinity for it, and not only have flair, but are one of the few cats I know who type well with paws. That's mad skillz.

Thanks for the advice on the grain-free cat-food, too. I have read a little bit about that, so it's good to have the info confirmed!

Robert Crane said...

My niece took home a gold fish from such a pingpong ball adoption agency too. It's name was "fish". They took in a stray cat around the same time. they made an odd couple of sorts. And not to upset you but Fish outlived Cat by a long shot.

And when Fish finally died two years ago, I inquired if they thought Fish was ... well ... sushi grade. I didn't think much of it at the time, but apparently the inquiry didn't sit well with my niece, because when my dog died soon after Fish died, she inquired if Comet (the dog) was Korean grade.

I'm not sure what my point is but ferret's would look better donning small derbies.

Deray said...

I have been tempted to get a cat for a while now. But, my phone is dying and between spending on a cat or a new phone, I'll take the phone =P

renalfailure said...

You have it all wrong. You can't fail your cat because you've already failed it by not being a cat yourself. You are a pathetic human, good for scratches under the chin, fresh kibble, and waving the shiny stick around to chase. And performing these tasks properly will only guarantee you a quick death when the revolution comes with a quiet meow in the night.

Jenn Thorson said...

Bob- I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Fish. And perhaps you should consider innovating the Ferret Derby market. I would hate for you to miss out on such a cash cow. Er, rodent. Er whatever.

Deray- I think you've probably made a good decision about the phone. The cat only rings when you step on its tail.

Renal Failure- I'm not entirely sure why, but I feel consoled from this. It really takes the pressure off. It also means I need to prepare for the eventual revolution. Which isn't in any of the Dummies books. But still. (Note to self, buy shiny stick.)

BigGiantHat said...

I love this: An unsupervised catnip addiction, she goes like Heath Ledger.

Cats are for folks who have a stronger self-image than I do. Dogs are much more emphatic in their affection.

I revel in their adoration.

:)