Though we both have a long-established history with cats, there were lots of things keeping us from having a pet.
First, we have always lived in apartments. They frequently have no-pet policies, understandably. An untrained or uncared-for cat can do a lot of damage to hardwood floors, walls, and carpet. We would have to train them well to preserve our own stuff as well as our security deposit. In addition, with the lack of space, an apartment an easily take on a very prominent cat smell.
They also love dangly things. Lou and I are both computer scientists. I have four computers on my desk right now with a total of 9 cords plugged in. He has his own equipment. We have a lot of other electronics as well. As I mentioned in the last post, Rocky was quite the wire-chewer, and he destroyed one of his parents’ audio systems that way. If this happened to one of our computers, it could be devastating.
Then there’s the fact I have over 30 inches of straight hair, dangling enticingly around my head, perpetually twitching and available. Yes, cats have played with my hair.
Cats also shed. I used to work for Ann Taylor.com’s corporate office. I have a LOT of clothes. I also work in New York City. I have a lot of BLACK clothes. Whenever we came back from visiting Judy and Rocky, our long-haired friends, I would be noticeably covered in cat hair. “Come on,” you’re saying. “You have to make sacrifices to have a pet. Cat hair is no big deal. Just get a lint roller.” You’re right. I was willing to compromise on this.
Unfortunately, the cat hair is a bigger and less surmountable problem for Lou. He is allergic to cats and dogs. He also has asthma. The asthma is practically non-existent now, and he survived his childhood full of cats, but every time we went to a house with a pet, he’d start sneezing. His nose would start running. Anywhere a cat licked him would turn red and stay red at least until we went home. It was tolerable for him, but the man deserves a life where he’s not sneezing 24/7, and who knows how his asthma might exacerbate things if he was living with a cat full-time.
And so we didn’t get a cat.
(However, we did get a Pleo, which was a robotic dinosaur that was programmed to act intelligently pet-like. It was a lie.)