Tuesday, October 28, 2008
You might remember that some months back, our family included two deranged cats by the names of Bandit and Smokey. When we found out about our move to Perth and the quarantine situation here, we opted to find them a new home if a good home could be found. As luck had it, we found them a GREAT home with a loving family whose three kids adore them so much that they play with the kitties all day and sleep with the kitties at night. When I heard from the adopting mom about a month after the kitty transfer, she raved so much that it seemed the cats were even better off with their new family than they had been with us as we were bogged down with the move and a newborn and a busy toddler.
Ellie loved having pets, but she accepted their absence as a matter of course. We simply told her it was time for the cats to live with a new family, and she accepted that at face value. She didn't cry. She didn't even bring them up. If someone mentioned the cats to her, she would matter-of-factly tell them that the cats had gone to live with their new family, no emotions or visible regrets. Ellie has had so many transitions and changes over her 3 years that she seemed to accept them as inevitable and not be bothered.
Except she is bothered.
Since we've gotten our things here, she has been waiting for the cats to come too. Over the past few weeks as we unpack and settle in, she has asked repeatedly for the cats. Apparently, it was fine for them to live with their new family for a little while. Now, it's time for them to come back to live with us. In the past few days, she has actually gotten quite upset about it when we try to explain that the new family is permanent. Her memory has always been amazing, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised about this. Still, it has hit us out of left field. We won't be getting any more pets during this nomadic life, because it's just too hard to say good-bye and often impractical (or impossible) to bring them along. Even if that weren't such an issue, it's hard to find someone to care for pets when you go "on vacation" to go home for 3 weeks or more at a time. We have recently adopted a Beta fish (a request entirely separate from the cat issue), but we're even waffling about acquiring a tank full of guppies or goldfish (as we'd really like) because it will be harder to find someone to care for them over long holidays. It's a not-so-obvious downside to this nomadic lifestyle, and one that makes us very sad when we see Ellie longing so desperately for pets.