The Cat: Sequel
Well, it turns out that the cat belongs to a neighbor. How it managed to wander two miles up the road I don't know. The neighbor says he thinks maybe the cat hitched a ride on his pickup and got off here. At any rate, the cat is now back home with two little girls who were missing their kitty.
I dunno, for the most part I'm relieved to be relieved of the cat. I mean, I love animals. I love dogs and cats— actually I'm more of a dog person than a cat person. But I realized long ago that, living alone and with a schedule like mine, I just wouldn't be able to take proper care of an animal.
Still, if an animal were dropped in my lap, I'd probably feel a lifelong responsibility to take care of it and look after it, no matter what. By temperament I'm just not a person who can take that kind of a responsibility lightly, or lay the responsibility aside once I've assumed it. That's part of what was so disconcerting about this cat, I could see the situation was rapidly burgeoning in the direction of lifelong responsibility no matter what. After all these years that I've been telling myself, you can't take proper care of a pet, you're not in a situation to take proper care of a pet, you wouldn't be able to do it right, don't even think of it...
Nonetheless, it was a very nice cat. And tempting. Yesterday I was sitting with the cat out in the sun, and the cat would climb up in my lap and settle down in the crook of my elbow. Then after a while the cat would climb up on my shoulders, and settle down and take a nap in the sun while draped across the back of my neck. A very nice cat.
However... the bottom line is, living alone and with a schedule like mine, I just wouldn't be able to take proper care of an animal. One of my ongoing minor nightmares is the prospect of someone "surprising" me by giving me a dog or a cat. I don't know what I would do, and I hope nobody ever puts me on the spot by giving me an animal. Like I say, given my situation I just couldn't take proper care of a pet. Nonetheless, if the responsibility were dumped on me, I doubt I could in good conscience lay it aside. Though I'd be kicking myself all the way, for years to come. Or I'd have to give the animal away immediately, and then I'd be kicking myself for years to come over that...
I don't take these matters lightly. Not when it comes to the likes of a dog or a cat. Best the matter be resolved by serendipity and circumstance, as happened this time around. And here's hoping there ain't no next time. I don't know if I could deal with it.