I loved my Sammy. He was my feline companion for fifteen years. The smartest cat I've ever owned. Sammy proved he understood sentences by following instructions without requiring gestures or hand signals. Yes, he did bite me on occasion and I've a few scars to show for it. But he loved me. I knew that by the way he would sit beside me as I wrote at my computer, liked to sleep on my bed, and always jumped on my lap when I sat in the recliner in my office. It was a sad day last June when I brought him to the vet for bloodwork and she told me he was seriously bloated, a sign that he had either cancer or heart disease, and it would be kindest to put him to sleep. Which I did.
Lately I've been thinking of adopting a cat. I would love having a feline companion in my life once again. Hearing a friendly purr as he or she settles close to me as I write or watch TV. But then I wonder—am I really up for it? People say that having a cat is so much easier than having a dog. I'm not so sure about that. A kitten requires as much attention as a puppy minus housebreaking training. Kittens have sharp nails that claw everything in sight. Of course there are ways of teaching them to use scratching posts. But there's no getting around the fact that they need lots of playtime to burn up their energy.
I could adopt an older cat, I suppose, but then I worry about how much closer that cat is to reaching the end of his or her life. And while a cat doesn't need to be walked in the rain and the snow like a dog, he/she requires a clean kitty box. That means a lot of bending, which brings pain to my back. And I know the little creature is bound to wake up early every morning and demand breakfast way before I'm ready to have mine.
Which brings me back to my quandary: should I or shouldn't I get another cat? Having one will bring joy to my life as well as more work. Not getting one means less responsibilities, and these days I'm appreciating the simpler life. I hope I come to a decision very soon.