Should I get a cat?
December 20, 2019 10:18 AM   Subscribe

For the last few months, I've been thinking about getting a furry feline friend, but I'm hesitating and can't decide...

In the last 15+ years I've had jobs where I travelled abroad up to 50% of the time, so I never considered having a pet. Barely kept houseplants alive. But now I'm in a job without much travel, so aside from 3-4 weeks of holidays over the year, it is logistically possible to get a cat. I really love animals and grew up with numerous pets at all times. I own my home, it's a terraced house which I live in alone, so plenty of room. It would likely be an indoor only cat. Money isn't a problem, I can comfortably afford to look after a cat.

I haven't lived with a cat for over 15 years, and haven't ever been solely responsible for one.
I work quite long hours and am out of the house for 12ish hours/day, sometimes more, on weekdays. Otherwise I'm pretty introverted and like being at home.
I really hate my sleep being interrupted and despise housework and so try to make sure that I need to do as little as possible.
I do still like to travel, and like being able to take off at short notice, so would have to get used to arranging cat accommodation etc. I don't know anyone nearby who could help with that.

I don't take the commitment of taking on a pet lightly, so I need to feel sure it's right for me. Although I've really missed having pets I guess I've become accustomed to it. I think it's the effort / potential disruption /memory of a housemate's lovely but demented, destructive, sleep interrupting cat that is making me hesitate. Plus the thought of a bored lonely kitty being alone for 12 hours a day. I did toy with the thought of getting two cats, for that reason.

I'd plan to get a rescue adult cat/s. What do you think? Am I missing out on the joy of cat ownership unnecessarily?

Assuming I do go ahead - any recommendations for rescue organisations? I'm near-ish Brighton, UK.
posted by ElasticParrot to Pets & Animals (33 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think that if you are barely home, value sleep and hate housework, you will not particularly enjoy the experience of having a cat. They require daily housework -- litter maintenance and feeding -- and increase the overall amount of housework because they get hair all over things, need toys that end up scattered around, etc.

If you got an older cat with a known personality, it might work out anyway, but I am in a similar position to you and much as I really want a cat, I don't want the work that comes with having one.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:26 AM on December 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

Yes, get a cat.

When you go to the shelter, talk about your concerns so they can find a chill cat that doesn't mind being alone. I was in grad school when I adopted my cat, and often on campus for 10-12 hours, so they steered me to an adult cat who had only been an only cat and wasn't doing well at the shelter. She was awesome. Even on days when I was home, she'd sleep for most of the day. She slept with me every night, cuddle style, and was not food-motivated so didn't wake me up. The other option would be to adopt an adult bonded pair.

For care, get an automatic litter box and a litter genie to reduce the amount you have to do.

For travel, if just 1-2 nights, make sure you leave kitty with plenty of food and fresh water. Longer than that and you'll want someone to come by. I either had a friend or family member do most of the cat-sitting, but occasionally used a local pet sitter. I found them by Googling and both sitters I used (when I moved) were great. There are a ton of services out there.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:28 AM on December 20, 2019 [15 favorites]

I think I lucked out with one of the nicest cats you could possibly adopt. Oliver (AKA the World's Worst Dog, the World's Best Cat) was 8 years old when he was surrendered to a shelter. I actually met him at his foster home, where I talked about my lifestyle and they described how he was both extremely affectionate (which I wanted) yet still aloof and slept most of the day (which worked great with my being gone during the day). With their input, I decided to go for it, although to be honest, I was very wary of being owned by a cat because I've had had a dog for 14 years.

I'm often gone for 10-12 hours a day. I got an automatic cat feeder that is very useful. I fill it up Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and once over the weekend with dry food. When I come home at at night, I treat him with a little scoop of wet food. Any initial demands for food from me by Oliver when I first brought him home disappeared once he realized the food came from the feeder, not from me. Gone were the 3 AM mewling and cat pouncing on my head. Now he just patiently waits for that whirring noise at 7:00 AM and at 5:45 PM. Every day. The Death Stare at the cat feeder - LOL.

He does love to scratch his claws, so I invested in lots of cat scratching cardboard thingies and put anti-cat scratching sticky tape on the few spots he liked to scratch on the rug and solved that problem pretty quickly.

He's definitely a hairy cat, so that requires maintenance. Daily cat scoops are easy enough too. I consider it a minimal effort on my part for his love and companionship.

I'm lucky that I have devoted family who love him and will take him any time I'm gone for more than one night.

My advice is to go to a kitty rescue or pet shelter and look for an older cat whose personality is known by the staff so they can match you with the right one for you.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:44 AM on December 20, 2019 [10 favorites]

despise housework

If you can't keep a cat box clean, strongly consider not having a cat. I know cat owners who aren't super great about cleaning out the litter box and who have become desensitized to the smell and their places are .. unpleasant to visit. Cat piss is nasty stuff. Not to mention the cat hair and dander that will definitely increase your overall housework burden.

overall, pets are risk and commitment and love and there is absolutely no way to know for certain what combination of those things you're getting. You might get a super chill purr monster who fits your life like a glove and who cuddles like an electric blanket. You might get a high-maintenance hellbeast who pees in the laundry, eats random non-food objects, and wakes you up for its 4AM breakfast by licking your eyelids. You might get a cat that is a mix of both of those things ... mine was!

If you want to be certain about your decision, think about how your lifestyle and budget will accommodate a worst-case cat situation.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

I think you'd be a good fit for an older cat with a known personality. We just adopted a 5 year old cat and she loves to play with us in the evening but during the day she just sleeps. She never wakes us up in the morning. She's a good cat. She was actually a foster fail -- she was in foster care because she hated the other cats at the shelter -- so we had the opportunity to live with her for a month before deciding to adopt her.

Cats do add more housework (they shed and they track litter and you have to feed them and clean the litterbox and so on) but it's not awful. I suspect a healthy cat adds something like an hour to an hour and a half a week of additional housework. A robotic vacuum like a Eufy can help a bit with the shedding and the litter.

Cat care when you travel is something you can throw money at, you just hire a house-sitter if you don't have a neighbor who can help. I also got a Petcube and love it.
posted by phoenixy at 10:52 AM on December 20, 2019

Cats add like 20 minutes of car box cleanup per day and something like $25/day for quality pet care while you travel and something like $2000/yr for vet care on average. And they need fed regularly, and most will wake you up at night.
posted by slidell at 11:07 AM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wait, what? It may have taken 20 minutes when we had six cats and five boxes, but for one cat it's more on the order of a minute or two a day. The vet care amount looks really high to me as well. I think you're painting a particularly bleak picture.
posted by bink at 11:21 AM on December 20, 2019 [29 favorites]

First thing - the 12 hours a day thing. That depends entirely on the cat. I have four. One of them did not mind at all the days I was gone 12+ hours. They were happy to see me when I returned, but I don't think they were suffering from me being gone a big chunk of the day.

But the other three need and want more attention than that. That can maybe be solved by getting two cats. You'll likely find a few bonded pairs that can be adopted.

I'm on the fence, though, as to whether to recommend you get a cat or not. It's entirely likely any cat you get now is going to require more and more care as they age. I have two diabetic cats, which means I have a schedule to keep ensuring that they are fed & insulin'ed twice a day roughly 12 hours apart. If that's something that would not work for you, eventually, then you may not want to get a cat.

Cat care is cheap, until it isn't. I've spent a few thousand dollars this month on emergency vet visits due to a recurring UTI for my senior lady cat. I spent a few thousand this summer for dental work for my senior boy cat. They have potential to become very expensive as time goes on.

If you do get a cat please make sure they are indoor only.
posted by jzb at 11:26 AM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

I just adopted 2 kitties this week after going back and forth for awhile about whether we were ready logistically. The thing in your description that stands out to me is the housework part. Nobody relishes the litter box & the extra work. A few cats ago when I was young & stupid I didn't really think about the litter box that much and kind of "got to it when I got to it" which was an extremely stupid and unkind way to treat them that I regret now. After growing up a little I have the ability to just bite the bullet and get in there every day like it or not. Is that something you already are able to make yourself do?

I would recommend that you hold off until you're very sure that you cannot live without a cat. In general it's not a great idea to make any sort of commitment when you're on the fence about it. I always regret doing that.
posted by bleep at 11:49 AM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Maybe 10-15 minutes? Scooping, vacuuming the litter that they tracked around the room where the litter box is before it gets tracked into the next room, taking the bag of stinky scooped poop out to the trash. We do have two cats, but one does his business outdoors.

On vet bills, we have a young cat that gets thorns in his eye and an older cat that gets diarrhea to the point of needing hospitalized. As the other poster said, it's cheap until it isn't. It seems like there's one Thing a year, and how much that costs varies by luck. Keeping the cat indoors will help.
posted by slidell at 11:50 AM on December 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I, too, am on the fence about whether you should get a cat. There is really no way that you can guarantee that you'd end up with a cat that matches your needs and finding reliable and available pet sitting care can be challenging.

I adopted my cat a year ago and despite the fact that they had an actual cat behaviorist on site to help assess personality and fit, my cat is not really much like the profile they presented to me. Plus acclimating to a new home/surroundings/routine can mean behavioral changes and some of them may not be pleasant to work through. On top of that, I have spent a... lot... of money trying to figure out the magical combination of toys, treats, food, litter and feeding setups to keep my cat happy and healthy.

All of this is fine for me, actually, because I really love having a cat and having a cat brings so much joy to my life. (That doesn't mean that I'm never frustrated...)

I'd keep thinking about it, if I were you. Maybe visit some friends who have a cat and spend some time observing and performing some of the routine (particularly the housekeeping aspects) and see if it's something you can live with? It wouldn't necessarily be the same but maybe it would give you a better sense of what you could be in for should you decide to get a cat.
posted by sm1tten at 11:57 AM on December 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have gotten two cats in the last year and a half, and it's been great (I've lived with cats before, but these were the first that were mine, and I made the decision to get them; I'm more of a dog person). When I got the first one, a few folks asked why I didn't get two. Well, I got one because one of my kids really wanted the cat to be his pet. A year later, it became clear that she could benefit from some more company and attention, so we got another kitten. But it's easier and better to get a bonded pair (either kittens or adults), and then I think that would alleviate some of your concerns about being gone all day. It took a while for my kitties to bond (we kept them separate for a while), but now they are good pals. So I'd say get none or get two.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:59 AM on December 20, 2019

I think you should volunteer with a shelter first or foster cats to try it out.

I'd estimate I spend a half hour a day caring for my cat - around ten minutes of brushing/attention in the morning and fifteen minutes of litter-cleaning and playtime before bed so she doesn't wake me up, plus incidental dish-washing and extra cleaning. I pay ~$35 USD monthly for a wellness plan that covers routine care and vaccines, and around another $80 for care when she got a bad cold. I tried boarding her because she does fine with new people/environments, but she came back very vocal because the environment reinforced meowing to be fed and to get attention, will not do that again.

I got an unusually friendly, people-oriented cat, and while she is mostly a joy, she's also a hellion when she wants attention and she gets confined to quarters (with water, litter box, and somewhere soft to sleep and for about an hour max) pretty often because of it. Even with an automatic feeder and never responding to her meows for months, she still wakes me up once or twice a week with general "I am celebrating a good poop" and "Human, I am bored" meowing, plus twenty minutes of yelling at me when I'm doing something besides being warm furniture happens near-daily. I've had her about six months and we've finally reached a detente and I'm really sure I'm not going to wind up taking her back to the shelter, things were pretty rough for a while. I wish I had considered her personality more carefully before adopting her, especially since I don't want to get a second cat.
posted by momus_window at 12:03 PM on December 20, 2019 [13 favorites]

Plus the thought of a bored lonely kitty being alone for 12 hours a day. I did toy with the thought of getting two cats, for that reason.

Go for it, and get will gnaw at you less, and you'll enjoy them. You'll feel a little bit freer. Try to get a bonded pair, or a male/female duo of the same age.

Kittens require more equanimity for their first year, adults less so. Kittens are a pain, but they are adorable and hilarious so it depends on where your balancing point is.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:11 PM on December 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Do you have a basement? My cat-owning life improved dramatically when I moved from a small apartment where the cat box had to be kept in the bathroom to a house where it can be banished to the basement (cat doors are easy to install if you don't mind cutting a hole in your basement door). I still clean the litter box with the same frequency, but it's soooo much nicer not having the smell and the rogue litter bits all up in my actual living space.

I love my cat, but she definitely required some adjusting at first. She's the cuddliest, sweetest cat I've ever met, but she's also a screamer. Hungry? TIME TO SCREAM. Not getting enough attention? SCREAM. Caught and "killed" one of the dog's squeaky toys? SCREAM A LOT, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S 4 AM. Also, she recently developed hyperthyroidism (super common in aging cats), which is not a huge expense but does require me to trick/force her into taking a pill twice a day for the rest of her life. We both hate this.

Anyway, I guess my point is that it's definitely a trade-off and you have to decide if it's worth the necessary changes to your lifestyle, as well as the potential disruptions and problems (that are not necessarily going to be predictable up front). It always has been for me, 1000% -- I'd commit murder for the weird little asshole. But you do kinda have to be all in (within reason; obviously returning a pet that you aren't able to care for properly for whatever reason does not make you a bad person).

I do think that two cats, if you can swing it, could be a good idea, particularly if the shelter or rescue can vouch for them getting along. Mine was an only pet for years before I bought my own place and could finally get a dog, and even though my cat is both incredibly people-focused and sleeps for like 90% of the day, she is obviously SO much happier with another animal around. They play and cuddle, which is stupidly cute, and it definitely makes me feel better about being at work all day during the week.
posted by catoclock at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

despise housework

Make sure your garbage bags are larger than the litter boxex (2, if you have 2). If they are smaller, the act of pouring the used cat litter into the garbage bag will fling kitty litter all over, every single time.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 12:14 PM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Re: litter and garbage bags: I JUST discovered that you can line the whole dang cat box with one of those giant heavy-duty contractor bags. They're thick enough that they won't tear when you scoop, and when you're ready to dump the whole thing, you just tie up the bag and take it out. No actual dumping required! AND you don't have to periodically drag the box outside to hose off all the crusted-on pee particles (which is good because I live in New England where it is currently Winter Forever).

This one weird trick has changed my life, no joke.
posted by catoclock at 12:19 PM on December 20, 2019 [9 favorites]

Also, she recently developed hyperthyroidism (super common in aging cats), which is not a huge expense but does require me to trick/force her into taking a pill twice a day for the rest of her life.
Not a direct reply to the question, but I wanted to mention that our older cat recently started getting treatment for this and we have a cream that has to be rubbed inside her ear twice a day. Waaaay easier than pilling a cat.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 12:32 PM on December 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

It's totally going to depend on the cat.

Our cat is pretty chill. She sleeps during the day, and can be left for 3 days unattended (we have an automatic feeder, a water fountain, and 2 litter boxes). Our neighbor looks in on her if we're gone any longer, and up to 2 weeks hasn't been an issue—we wouldn't do it longer than that.

She has a comfortable place to be, sunny spots to lie in, windows to look out of, and toys aplenty. She strongly dislikes other cats so she's fine by herself.

I'd agree with the others that say 15-20 minutes per day of cat maintenance: feed her wet food in the mornings and evenings, scoop the box, check her water and dry food supply every so often. She's not a "needy" cat that constantly wants attention. In fact, she's often happier without too much attention.

She fulfills my need for furry companionship but she's just so damned easy. Find one of those and you're golden.

I would recommend you get a cat that's been at the shelter or rescue for a long time and is a cat known to be independent and chill. Those cats are usually older (read: not kittens) and as such are harder to adopt out, so you'd be doing that cat a major favor.
posted by vitout at 12:35 PM on December 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I will not weigh in on whether you should get a cat, but I’d like to share an activity a therapist gave me that helped me make the decision. You’ve done a pretty good job listing all your fears and worries here. It’s only fair to spend some time listing a) what you could give a cat and b) what a cat could give you.

Best of luck, whatever you decide!
posted by ceramicspaniel at 12:52 PM on December 20, 2019 [11 favorites]

You should get one to two adult cats (an already-bonded pair if you get two), and you should talk openly to the rescue about your needs.
posted by waffleriot at 3:15 PM on December 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Don’t get a cat. Definitely don’t get two cats. Don’t get any cats. You hate housework and you’re gone all the time. Yeah, you might get a cat that hates attention and doesn’t give a crap about companionship, or you might get a cat who loves being on your lap and constantly begs for attention and feels really lonely when left alone.

Definitely don’t get an older cat. Older cats need more care, not less. They develop health problems that require daily maintenance. They might be a pain in the ass about their daily pill or prescription food and be even more work for you, in addition to the barfing or the peeing or whatever the symptoms are of the health issue.

You hate your sleep being interrupted, you like being able to travel on short notice, and in general you have a lifestyle built around not having to do something every day that involves cleaning or taking care of a living thing, and you don’t want that to change. So don’t get a cat.

If you want living things around the place that you can enjoy at your personal convenience without the care and maintenance that comes with a pet, get a bird feeder.
posted by Autumnheart at 4:06 PM on December 20, 2019 [9 favorites]

Don't get a cat. If you haven't had one since childhood you may have had an outdoor cat: those aren't annoying but you can't have one anymore because they eat songbirds and snakes and get baylisascaris and get run over by cars. That means you have to deal with a detainment-maddened wild animal ripping up all your belongings and creating vast quantities of hair and stank and getting urinesoakedclaycrumbles in your sheets for as long as the cat lives which will be a long time if you feed it right (and you must because feeding it crap food will give it kidney problems and that's evil). When the cat finally does succumb, it will take forever to die and it will cost a planet in vet bills and you will be heartbroken because of course the cat by then will have shown all of its very awesome qualities and you will love it. Cats are a multifaceted nightmare of pain and suffering. Don't get a cat.
posted by Don Pepino at 4:33 PM on December 20, 2019 [5 favorites]

Get an adult cat. Find a chill short haired one whose fur matches your outfits that won't mind that you're out of the house -- your local shelter can help personality match you.

And, then, get a Litter Robot to reduce some of the litter chores (also buy the metal handled scoop, not the plastic one). And, then, get a food dispenser that opens at a specific time of day -- these are god send for kitty breakfasts so they're not badgering you in the morning. Get your litter, food regularly delivered to you. Buy a pet-fur strong! vacuum cleaner. These will reduce chore time.

You will need to take time out for vet care etc. And, when you are away for holidays, you can get a cat sitter.

It sounds like you have an empty space in your heart for a furry friend. Yes, I don't like to do chores at all (really who does), but when you love/care for a creature and want him/her to be healthy and happy, you won't mind these chores as much and the act of caring for them can also be nourishing/meaningful to you.
posted by ellerhodes at 5:07 PM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

You should get a cat and you should work less hours so you have more time to hang out with your cat.

(Really, though I agree with getting two cats, who are littermates or otherwise like each other).

I also recommend getting a roomba or something to help stay on top of all the cat hair.

Also, if you want them to not disrupt your sleep, you can lock them out of your bedroom at night. Easiest to do this right up front so that they don't get used to how the world could be.

Also your should name any cat after food items.
posted by aubilenon at 5:13 PM on December 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Gonna disagree with many of the answers. Cats are remarkably easy, especially if you get them as adults and don't let them outside. They don't actually require much housework, though you'll find you have to wash anything that fur adheres to; you can scrape the litter every couple of days with a single cat. They put up with you being away quite well if you leave a mechanized feeder and plenty of water and if you don't make them anxious. And the thing is, if you adopt a cat that would otherwise be trying to live outside or that would otherwise be euthanized, you are giving a sentient creature a chance for a good life.

Thing is, though, if you adopt a cat you're really not going to want to be away from home all that much and may have to change jobs.
posted by Peach at 6:54 PM on December 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

Thing is, though, if you adopt a cat you're really not going to want to be away from home all that much and may have to change jobs.

This - honestly it sounds like you want a cat but your lifestyle might not be compatable. Maybe you could get a job that doesn't require 12 hour days or traveling 50%? Tbh I can't imagine getting anything done outside of work AT ALL on that kind of schedule, let alone owning a pet.

Also FWIW I'll add that cats don't have to be high-maintenance (although that may depend on the cat). I spend maybe 30 mins/day at most on cat-related maintenance - and that's total (litter, feeding, playing if she's in the mood).
posted by photo guy at 8:18 PM on December 20, 2019

Don Pepino is right.
posted by slidell at 9:07 PM on December 20, 2019

If you have real doubt, DON'T get any sort of pet. One needs a lot of attention.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:56 AM on December 21, 2019

Don't get a cat unless you like having cat hair all over your furniture and person. Vacuuming after my roommate's cat added and additional hour or so to my chores every week just to make it bearable (not clean, mind you, just bearable) and I still had to lint roll myself the second I stepped out the front door, lint roll my pillows so I wasn't inhaling the shit, etc.

Don't get a cat if you won't be home to feed it on schedule. My roommate would be gone days at a time, thinking the cat would be fine with a few extra bowls of food and water left out. The cat was Not Fine with this, eating all the food at once, vomiting on the carpet, and then loudly starving for the additional days (had I not intervened and fed the poor neglected thing).

People think cats are "fine" to be left a few days or hours, but think for a moment how you feel when you miss a meal. Now think about missing a meal, but you know where the food is, but you can't get it yourself because you don't have thumbs, and you have no way to reach the person who is supposed to take care of you except crying.
They know their feeding schedule and if it is missed they are not fine, they are hungry. Automatic feeders are a possibility- but what if it breaks?

Don't get a cat if you don't like randomly finding cat vom or hairballs on your floor. Possibly by stepping in it!

Don't get a cat if you won't be around to pay attention to it or if its need for attention will be an annoyance when you are home, especially if this creature is not allowed out of the house and has no stimulation aside from what is inside those four walls. You and what are inside your house are this creature's only source of socialisation and entertainment and he or she will get used to what's in your house pretty fast. Getting two cats is a possibility, but there is always the chance that they will hate each other. Plus that doubles your cleaning, food, vet bills etc.

Don't get a cat if you don't like the possibility of your furniture being destroyed.

Don't get a cat if you aren't ok with the possibility of cat pee ending up somewhere other than the litter box.

Basically, don't get a cat if you are hoping for a cuddly accessory rather than a living creature. You and/or the cat will be unsatisfied.
posted by windykites at 7:21 AM on December 21, 2019 [5 favorites]

It sounds like you really want a cat. My experience: I really wanted a cat. I had all sorts of realistic and well-considered reservations about the extra work, the expense, the mess, the heartbreak, the risk of getting a jerk cat, my long days at the office, etc. I dithered for about, oh, 7 years? One day, none of those seemed to matter. Or actually, they mattered still—but my need for a cat friend mattered much more. So I got one.

I find it incredibly easy to work her care into my life because I love her so much; she’s a little rescue thing who depends on me, and honestly, I don’t find it to be a ton of extra work (and I’m very lazy.) It’s all routine now—I wash my coffee mug every night so it’s not difficult or time-consuming to also wash her dishes. I shut off the lights and clear out trash and mail before bed, so it’s really not hard to scoop her box into the litter genie. Maybe I’m doing it wrong but that takes like 40 seconds? And I clean on the weekends anyway so my usual cleaning routine gets her fur. I use pine litter that smells like sawdust and a litter mat catches any bits.

Adult cats sleep like 18 hours a day. I can’t say I give her a perfect life but she and I both seem to understand it’s better than her previous life as a stray or in the overcrowded shelter.

Anyway, my actual advice is to get one if you really want one! Fostering is a wonderful way to help a cat and to understand how you’d do as an owner.
posted by kapers at 9:51 AM on December 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Don't get a cat unless you like having cat hair all over your furniture and person

Oh yeah I totally forgot about this in my housekeeping estimate. Lint rolling things is a whole other effort.
posted by slidell at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2019

I’m kind of on the fence because your lifestyle does sound not super compatible with having a pet but some of the arguments against, above, strike me as nuts. Reread some of them and imagine they’re being given to someone deciding whether to have kids. Not the same thing, but I think still enlightening.

I have had cats for the last 20 years of my life. This was because I couldn’t live happily without them. They have been expensive sometimes and a pain sometimes and losing the last one was agony, but if you’re not willing to go through any of that, you’re gonna need to stick to houseplants, so I think it may be worth it if you think you have any capacity for growth that will allow you to say “I’m going to do some housework even though I hate it and stay home a bit more because it’s the price of having this odd, sustaining little friendship in my life.”

Only you know whether that’s a worthwhile and workable compromise.
posted by less of course at 3:44 PM on December 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

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