I've had cats my whole life. I really can't imagine life without them...though I don't have to imagine it because I lived through it for four years. Spouse is allergic to the long haired type beast and we thought that meant he couldn't tolerate any type beast in the house. I loved him so I was willing (or so I thought) to do without something that had been a major part of my life since I was five. Bad idea.
Those four years were difficult - two very VERY different people trying to come to grips with marriage and home ownership and careers and all the little landmines those things entail. Then, as if all that wasn't hard enough, we started trying to get pregnant and within three years of "I do" we were on that wonderful roller coaster called infertility treatments. Maybe you've heard of it? Get something done, chug up that long, long rise waiting, waiting, scared but excited, reach the top, have a test, and ... BAM you're whizzing down into tears and misery. Then you get another treatment, start chugging back up the rise...well, you get the idea.
Somewhere in the middle of that, a friend and I were at a garden center. A little black cat trotted out from behind some bushes and my friend said, "There you are! This is the one I've been telling you about. He's SUCH a sweetie!" The little cat came right up on the tip of my shoe, meowing as if I was his long lost cousin from Nebraska, and when I scooped him up in my arms - because he WAS so darned sweet - he rubbed his face against my breast and started to purr...and I was lost. Then, I literally could not put him down, because each time I tried he would start climbing up my leg. I stood there, my heart breaking because I knew, KNEW I could not bring this little stray home. That's when fate intervened in the person of a nasty young worker walking by who said, "You guys want that cat, you better take him. I'm dumping him in the desert tonight. Can't have him hanging around here, we'll get in trouble."
Well, long story short...Pooky came home with me that night, and I held on fiercely. If I couldn't have a child, I was at least going to have a cat, by God, and no stick-in-his-rear-end husband was going to stop me. Spouse didn't talk to me for three days, and it was touch and go for a while after that. Then one day I came home and found Pooky curled up on the bed next to him as he watched t.v. and I knew the battle was over. Not by any stretch of the imagination could you say he enjoys the cats, but he does tolerate them.
Pooky was my child all those years I couldn't have any human ones. God found a way to give me something to hold on to until He could give me the children He had waiting in heaven. .
My most recent beast - one of three - is fidgeting behind the laptop, trying to get a pen to play with her since her human is falling down on the job. This one is also a rescue beast - a friend found her, three siblings, and her mom starving in her woodpile last summer. Mine is the runt of the litter and what she doesn't have in brains (we think the summer sun cooked them out) she makes up for in sheer curiosity. I pray daily that she has her full complement of lives because she is going to need them! And she is a daily reminder to me that God is always taking care of me, in one way or another.