For a long time growing up my sister and I were not allowed pets. Sure, we had some goldfish that came and went as goldfish do, and my dad may or may not have gotten a little too into the whole aquarium-upkeep-as-a-hobby thing, but fish don’t count. No kid could ever really be convinced that having goldfish is like having a dog. Don’t even try to make that argument.
Eventually, we got our way. Apparently my sister and I begged and pleaded enough that my parents gave in so that we’d finally Just.Be.Quiet. Or, my parents stopped caring about what pets would do to the house, or in some bizarre twist of fate and reverse psychology they decided they, too, really wanted a pet. Or, our cunning ability to debate and persuade our parents to see our (clearly correct and rational) side of the argument led them to ultimately acquiesce. You don’t have to choose one of these options. I think all four apply.
It began with a guinea pig named Rusty (who was great until I discovered him dead in his cage one afternoon). A mouse named Scurry (who gave us ringworm) and a cat named Basic (don’t ask) who we had to put to sleep upon discovering she was F.I.V. positive (the feline version of H.I.V). There may have been a couple other small animals/rodents in there, but you get the idea. It was an awkward, tragic time.
Apparently my dad thought the best way to get over the sadness of your cat being euthanized was to just go out and buy a new cat. So, the weekend after our F.I.V. positive cat died, we went to the Buddy Dog animal shelter in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
It was the spring of 1998 and of all the other cats in the large stainless steel cages in the cat sanctuary room, Myles stood out. He was cute (very important), didn’t meow or hiss when we opened his cage (even more important), and was immediately cuddly (most important of all). Nine-month-old Myles had been abandoned in a cardboard box near the shelter’s front door the night before. As he curled up and sat in my lap, I was more than sold. I was in love.
(As an aside, the shelter had originally named him “Oscar,” but I renamed him Myles as an homage to the late great jazz legend, Miles Davis. I was that cool in seventh grade. Re: not cool by seventh grade standards).
Originally published on the blog Convert Confidential and reposted with the permission of the author, Kate Gorman.
About the Author: Kate lives in New York City with her fiancé and handsome black tom. She is the author of the blog Convert Confidential chronicling the experiences of a gentile converting to her sweetheart's faith. When not writing thoughtful posts about Judaism, Kate enjoys running, visiting museums, cooking and watching movies.
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