So we went to a brewery and got a one-eyed cat

2013 08 10 12.23.12 2 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

Two weekends ago we took a tour of the Cedar Creek Brewery when we were visiting relatives in east Texas, and we walked out with a souvenir mug and a one-eyed cat. This is an extremely surprising turn of events for a family that already has too many mugs and said they didn’t want a pet.

Joe in particular is not a cat person, and I think he’s still trying to process what happened.

There he was, sipping a Pale Ale, admiring the gleaming boil kettle, when the kids suddenly started clamoring about how he needed to come over to the owner’s office to see the cute four-month-old kitty. He walked back there with complete innocence, honestly thinking that he was going to do nothing more than see the cute kitty. Then, he walked through the door, and his “Reasons We Can’t Own a Cat” Defense Shield was slammed with one blow after another before he even knew what was happening: I’m allergic to cats. But this one has super-short hair! We can’t afford a big vet bill right now. It’s already had a checkup and all its shots! Someone else will adopt it. But the poor thing has a damaged eye that looks icky so nobody else will want it! I think Joe actually felt dizzy when he said, “Cats aren’t friendly,” and then watched the cat jump into my son’s lap and start purring.

2013 08 10 12.14.27 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

About 45 seconds before Joe’s “Never Owned a Cat” status abruptly changed.

The owner said that they named the kitten Arnold, after the Terminator, because of his eye. When Joe realized that St. Arnold is also the patron saint of brewers, he knew that cosmic forces had aligned against him, and resigned himself to his new role as Cat Owner. As a brewery employee helped us load a littler box and scratching post into the back of the car, I saw Joe glance at his empty souvenir mug as if he suspected that this all may be a hallucination and was wondering what on earth they put in that beer.

2013 08 10 21.10.41 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

Arnold

We brought the cat back home to Austin a week and a half ago, and our trip up the feline-having learning curve began.

The second night the cat was here, Joe and I walked into the pantry and simultaneously froze in horror as we saw that litter had been scattered everywhere — and not by the cat.

2013 08 17 22.35.58 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

She might have gotten away with it if it weren’t for the paci.

I felt like I was in an episode of Sherlock when I spotted the telltale pacifier that the culprit left at the scene. And then I almost passed out, vomited and hyperventilated, all at the same time, when I put it together that this meant that my crazy two-year-old was playing in the cat’s box.

Unfortunately, it did not turn out to be the once-in-a-lifetime, utterly isolated event that I hoped it would be, and I’ve encountered the situation a few more times since then. I guess she’s confused since the contents of her sand table are of the same texture as the litter box (and the table even came with a toy that looks exactly like a pooper scooper, which I’m now convinced is a sick practical joke wrought by a villainous Mattel employee who hates cat owners and parents). Either that or she really is a robot programmed to wreak havoc in this house.

Meanwhile, Joe has had some confusion of his own, though mercifully of a different nature.

2013 08 12 21.53.01 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

Any animal that happily lets my children pile it with blankets and toys as they tuck it into bed is welcome in this house.

When he came home from work on Monday, he looked around in anticipation, evidently expecting the cat to come running up to him. “That’s a dog thing,” I informed him. Joe then called Arnold’s name to summon him, and was surprised when he received only silence in response. “Also a dog thing,” I said.

Joe asked how we’re supposed to know where the cat is at all times if it doesn’t come when we call, and I explained that that’s simply not part of the cat-owning experience. Sometimes you don’t know where your cat is. That’s how it goes.

Joe rejected the idea, and announced cheerfully that he’ll solve the problem by putting one of those beeping locator things on the cat’s collar. We have them attached to our car keys and remote controls, and it’s handy to be able to press a button when we’ve misplaced them and follow the beep-beep-beep sound to wherever they are. I told Joe that you can’t use those things for pets, and when he asked why not, I drew a blank. I don’t know. You just…can’t. I looked at him like he was crazy and he looked at me like I was crazy and we dropped the subject, but I have a feeling this is not over. I think Joe envisions that it will shortly become part of his after-work routine to walk in the front door, press the beeper remote, and locate his cat. If he can’t have a real pet like a dog that comes bounding up to him when he comes home, this is second best.

scorpion under table So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

Cats also eat these things! (Scorpions, not table legs.)

He has been enjoying having Arnold around, though — so much so that he enthusiastically suggested that we should start a campaign to help the ASPCA build breweries at their shelters. Since the fact that Joe had recently sampled a wide variety of brews was such a key factor in his own decision to adopt a cat, he estimates that animal shelters could increase their adoption rate by at least 60 percent if there were fresh beer made on the premises. He described it as a “win-win situation” where people would get to enjoy craft brews and would walk out with armfuls of animals in need of homes. I tried to explain that these facilities want qualified families who have put serious thought into their decisions to bring pets into their lives, but he dismissed me and any naysaying shelter owners as not being solution-oriented.

As for me, I am also enjoying my new life as a cat person. In fact, I’m enjoying it to a surprising extent. When we first drove away from the brewery with the meowing cardboard box in the back seat, I was a little worried about our decision. The kids have wanted a dog or a cat forever, and I’d been firmly resisting their pleas on the grounds that the carpet is peed on enough already without adding an animal into the mix. My resolve weakened after the time my daughters spent an entire evening chasing a mosquito around the house that they’d named Buzzy, but I still felt like we should hold off on getting a real pet.

We’re in a survival season. I am extremely maxed out. So when the kids jumped up and down in the owner’s office at the brewery and shouted at me about how fun it would be to have a cat, I thought about the piles of unfolded laundry and bottomless pits of clutter that awaited me back at the house and almost declared that “THERE IS NO FUN IN THIS FAMILY. ONLY TOIL.” (I get melodramatic when I’m tired). But then I looked down at the kitty pawing at my four-year-old’s hair as he purred in her lap, and I had a brief moment of clarity in which I realized that these tough years of having so many little ones really will pass, probably sooner than I expect. And it occurred to me that it might not be so bad to have a sweet one-eyed cat join the crazy crew that is our family, and be part of our memories of this wild and wonderful season of life.

2013 08 10 19.14.39 So we went to a brewery and got a one eyed cat

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73 Responses to “So we went to a brewery and got a one-eyed cat”
  1. Lucy says:

    Ok, this is my first time commenting – I’m really glad I found your blog.

    TOO FUNNY! I have had cats my whole life. Our first cat lasted a day when my then 13 yr old brother picked it up by the tail, swung it around, and it promptly took the closest exit and ran as fast as possible to Scotland. Welcome to life with a cat – she is priceless.
    Lucy recently posted..Crystalloid Pool

  2. We’ve had a cat 2 years now. Nathan hates all cats, but somehow really likes our sweet Licorice. Licorice, for her part, loves him best because he nearly ignores her. (She thinks he’s a cat for that, I’m convinced.)

    Things have a way if surprising you. And I’m glad your free kitten had his first vet visit for shots, &c. That bill was a shocker for us!

  3. christine says:

    I’ve heard of people leaving a brewery with lots of things, but a one-eyed cat is a new one.
    The photo of the litter box and paci cracked me up until 2 seconds later the reality dawned on me and I gagged. The thought of a toddler playing in the litter box…I just can’t.
    christine recently posted..A Redneck, Fake Farmer’s Guide to Fence Building

  4. Renee says:

    We have two cats. One 13 years and the other 10, both indoors. One allows the the children to pile blankets/toys around them, the other stays upstairs until the children go to bed. We had one cat before having a baby and another in between.

    A healthy cat that stays indoors has a much longer lifespan. I love my cats, but when the vet told us that out ‘senior cats’ have another ten years of life on we were a little surprised.

    Yes, vet bills. But they are preventative costs, consider cat insurance. But I don’t with the one eye.
    Renee recently posted..Well, I’ve been trying to say this for several years now. I just cry when I read these articles.

  5. Erin says:

    Yeah, that’s kind of how we ended up with our 3rd cat a couple weeks ago, including feelings of confusion and dread and what-the-hell-am-I-doing even though we had to drive across town TWICE to obtain said kitty. We were ensnared by an ad on the radio saying the local humane society takes in over 50 cats per week and only adopts out 20 so for the week any cat over 6 months was free. And she’s just awesome.
    Erin recently posted..The Wednesday Word: Nuclear Coffee/Tea

  6. Sharon says:

    My husband is not a cat person no matter how much beer I give him. My sister has a litter box with a top and a swinging door. She had a daughter who was enamored of the scooper, too. That was a few years ago but maybe they still make them.

    • Lindsey says:

      Yes, Jen, you definitely want to get a litter box with a lid and a door. they run about $15 at Target.

      I’m jealous of your nice cat! Ours is a spoiled brat that we adopted from the SPCA, who was in a foster home since before she was born, so she’s never been outside and never had to hunt for a meal in her life. Our previous cat, who was a stray who showed up at our house, was extremely loving and VERY GRATEFUL that we took her in.

      I loved your post, and I think your final conclusion is right. I resist having pets for the reasons you mention, but if they bring delight and happiness to the kids and the household, it’s a good thing.

  7. When I read the title, I wondered what is a one-eyed cat? Is it some type of Texas beer mug (i.e. “pour me another into my one-eyed cat”)? Oh, it’s an actual pet! I am with Joe on not understanding cats though, having always had dogs (we currently have two 13 year old Shih Tzus, Pebbles and Bam Bam). Arnold will be a long remembered addition to family life.
    George @ Convert Journal recently posted..Elsewhere: backing into heaven

  8. Marcie says:

    I loved this piece! It’s one of my favorites by you!

  9. Sylvester says:

    You look really beautiful in that last photo with the cat.

  10. Jen G says:

    What a cute kitty! I have had two cats in my lifetime. I got them both from the same litter. The female ran off after ten years, which was devastating. The second lived 18 years and I still miss him. If you’re on the lookout, you can get vaccinations from clinics that set up for the weekend and give low-cost shots for dogs and cats. There’s one that occasionally sets up in our neighborhood church. Also, when it comes time to get him fixed (about six months old), see if there are any programs with the state that offer low-cost spay/neuter. In my state, I can buy a certificate for the operation and take it to participating vets. I recommend getting them microchipped too! Have fun! I hope he keeps your scorpion population in check!

  11. Casey says:

    I have had both cats and dogs throughout my life, and let me tell you, as one introvert to another, cats are the way to go! Dogs are loud, needy, and always wanting to be in, near, around, or on you. Cats, on the other hand, are natural introverts. They need a little interaction every now and then, and the rest of the time they want you to leave them the heck alone! Perfect, as I also want to be left alone!

    Enjoy your new kitty. He’s really cute. And I would suggest getting a litter box with a lid. It might help remove the temptation for your 2 year old.
    Casey recently posted..Learning to Love Myself (Vol. 4)

  12. Rachel says:

    I don’t have as much of a scorpion problem as you do, but let me tell you, EVERY scorpion found in my house was spotted by the cat first. It’s like an advance warning system!

  13. Oh, I forgot to mention: Licorice started as an indoor cat, but I could NOT stand the little box. We have lots of varmints outside that try to eat our garden, but now have our Mighty Panther to contend with. For our anniversary, she hunted the day before and brought us a mouse and a rabbit. And she still comes in and snuggles with the girls at night time. (She was also never really happy as an indoor cat; all she wanted was to go outside and hunt.)

    I think the reason behind me thinking this was good to mention (says my brain that has not had enough coffee yet) was to say that it’s possible to transition to an outdoor kitty who still comes inside for scorpion snacks. (Oh, and Licorice eats spiders sometimes. Not often enough, but when you compare spider eats with a nice, fat mousey from the garden, you can’t really blame her for picking the better snack.)
    Christine Johnson recently posted..Lawn Chair Catechism: Great Expectations!

  14. Oh, gosh, Jen you’re so going to ban me for spamming you. (good gracious, the coffee is kicking in)

    Joe might enjoy (and relate to) this video:

    (In case that’s gibberish, here’s the link:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1bo98838hs

    And…since I’m already spamming you with this comment, I’ll add that my kids just listened to me read this over breakfast and (A) they love you lots more now, and (2) my 14 year old is happy you, too, love Sherlock. She deems this to be another example of your excellent taste.
    Christine Johnson recently posted..Lawn Chair Catechism: Great Expectations!

  15. Anne says:

    I love that you adopted an animal that might not otherwise have gotten a home!

  16. el-e-e says:

    Laughed out loud at THERE IS NO FUN IN THIS FAMILY, ONLY TOIL.

    What a great photo of you and your sweet Arnold. I wish I wasn’t allergic. :( Enjoy your new friend!!
    el-e-e recently posted..Mornings and afternoons and evenings

  17. My kids have been begging for a cat for years but it’s a no-go at our house, we have 3 dogs. My friend’s cat had kittens recently and we went to visit last week so my kids could get their “kitten fix”. Five week old kittens are very cute. And I’m surprised nobody mentioned getting a cat to fix your scorpion issues. Since I live in scorpion free land, I had no idea they would kill them, but it makes perfect sense. Maybe this cat will become your scorpion savior!
    Amy @ Consecrated Housewife recently posted..Zoo Day

  18. Christina says:

    I have a cat named Puck after the mischievous imp in A Midsummer’s Night Dream – it was quite fitting when he was young. He comes when he’s called and will sit on command — especially if you say “want a cookie” and offer him a yummy cat vitamin treat. The only problem I have with him is that he wakes up at 0′dark 30 (prob due to my housemates waking up), decides he simply must go outside/eat and jumps on my head.

    Here is a video on how to train a cat to sit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_UD2ZMNGR8&list=TLV2A7GLVncc4

  19. Phyllis says:

    Four months is the perfect time to get her spayed. There are good, affordable options everywhere. Just search for low-cost spaying. So glad you rescued her. You can put the litterbox up higher where the cat can get to it but the 2 year old can’t (or am I delusional??) Enjoy your new furry addition.

  20. We became first time cat owners in June. Both my husband and I have never had or wanted a cat. We’ve been dog owners most of our lives separately and together. But a year ago, our beloved beagle passed away, and our remaining dog is lonely. We thought he didn’t like cats. Our son has asked for a cat since he has learned to talk. And so, I saw a cat, a year old, already litter box trained, who met my son’s specifications of being “orange” (he’s an orange tabby) on our local shelter’s facebook page and two days later, we owned a cat. Oliver does come when called, ironically, and snuggles and sits on the top of the couch as our late beagle did to wait for us to come home.

    So, I did laugh when you were telling Joe they don’t greet you or come when called, because that is exactly what we thought and expected and, of course, Oliver is more like a dog than a cat. I have to say the Holy Spirit has guided us on this one, sappy as it may sound, I never, ever, in a million years, could see my husband consenting to a cat. Yet, here we are. With the perfect cat for our family.
    Kristen @ St Monica’s Bridge recently posted..Five Favorites

  21. Anna says:

    When I was about seven, we went to a home school “display day” (kind of like a science fair except that you could exhibit anything) at which my paper model of the human body, with organs, was exhibited. One family was exhibiting their latest litter of kittens– free to a good home. I was allowed to adopt one, and boy was that amazing! I couldn’t believe my mom said yes, but I sure thought she was awesome! :-)
    Anna recently posted..The People’s Republic of Happy Endings

  22. Susan says:

    Our latest cat literally turned up on our doorstep. When I let her in the house, she promptly dived into the closet and came out with a mouse, so she was here to stay.
    I hate litter boxes, and recommend putting in a cat door and training the cat to go outside. He’ll still expect you to open the door for him anyway, but that’s just part of being owned by a cat.

  23. Tammy says:

    LHM! That’s short for Lord have mercy! Here I was slowly reading your post and using my mouse to scroll down as I read. The moment I went from the picture of your husband to the one eyed cat I laughed out loud. This is a hoot!! I really enjoy your blog Jen, you are one terrific writer!

  24. Erin says:

    By the way, you may or may not want to make one of these in the future:
    http://therocketscientistsguidetoraisingkids.blogspot.com/2012/01/big-red-turns-6.html
    Best wait until the sandbox lover is old enough to know better, though.

  25. Jeni says:

    I am not a cat person by any standard but I loved this post. It was heartwarming and you had me laughing all throughout. Your kitty is adorable; the St Arnold / Terminator thing is soo cool.

    At this point we probably won’t get a pet for the pet’s sake. I feel bad enough for the 8 month old with his older siblings “loving” on him. Definitely can’t deal with a litterbox baby combo right now! lol
    Jeni recently posted..WWRW: One Year to an Organized Life

  26. Tia S. says:

    if Joe is interested in a dog-like cat who comes when called, read Cat Training in 10 Minutes or an equivalent.
    Our cat Mila has been such a blessing for us, and a great comfort during hard times. Adopting her was one of the best decisions we ever made.
    Also, she comes when called, sits on command, plays fetch and can do other tricks. Cats are very trainable. I second (third? fourth?) the recommendation for a covered litter box with a door. We have a 15-month-old who LOVES sand, and the cover keeps him disinterested enough that we have time to avert disaster if he seems curious.

  27. Kris says:

    Any animal that helps out with scorpion control has got to be a welcome addition. And we used to have a dog AND a cat. At least your two-year old only PLAYS in the litter box. Our dog used to go digging for “treats”, if you catch my drift. There is nothing more gross to contemplate than that. And they do make litter boxes with special lids so that only cats and not two-year olds can get in and out of there…!

  28. elizabethe says:

    I loved this. I laughed out loud. I hope the Joe-bells-the-cat issue is the theme of your next reality TV show.

    Now, at least, you have a go-to action when you see a scorpion instead of just shouting in terror and debating whether or not this scorpion might die if you throw a book on it, you can sic the cat on it.

  29. Oh my goodness, this brought back such fond memories of when we adopted our first cat Diego from a Christmas Tree farm. My husband had never had a live tree and my family ALWAYS got live Christmas trees so I convinced him for our 1st Christmas as a married couple to go to one of those places where you cut down your own Christmas tree. Well, we came home with a real Christmas tree AND a black and white cat. We named him Diego because it was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe the day we set out to get our Christmas tree.

    We ended up getting Diego a playmate named Lady from a shelter awhile later. (Yeah, she was adopted on the feast of Our Lady’s birthday…we have this thing about naming our pets and kid after Saints…) :)

    And no, my husband was most definitely NOT a cat person, but even now I think he will admit that they have been a good addition to our family. I wrote a post about how they helped me get through some of the darkest days of our infertility struggles and recurrent miscarriages.

    http://joybeyondthecross.blogspot.com/2011/02/healing-in-black-and-white.html

    Oh, and I also have been known to make a Green Bay Packer Cheesehead hat for them to wear. :)
    http://joybeyondthecross.blogspot.com/2012/10/day-4-st-francis-of-assisi-humility.html

    St. Francis, pray for all our pets!
    Marie @ Joy Beyond the Cross recently posted..7 Quick Takes – All Over the Place

  30. Kathy B. says:

    I read this earlier this morning, laughed my head off, and then the end was SO SWEET, I found myself yelling, “I LOVE YOU, JEN FULWILER!”, while cleaning the snort-laugh coffee spray off my keyboard. This made me laugh.out.LOUD. I have been reading and enjoying your posts, serious and funny for a while…but, just quietly here in the back of the room. You are just a trip – thanks for being so darn engaging, honest, HEARTWARMING, helpful, and entertaining. Enjoy the kitty and have a GREAT day!

  31. Anthony says:

    The next time your clan is in Houston, this might merit a visit (with Arnold in tow of course)!

    http://www.saintarnold.com/brewery/saintarnold.html

  32. Great story! Arnold will be the perfect addition to a survival season! Seriously! He’ll provide entertainment for the kids, sweet memories and a excellent protection against scorpions! Just hope they don’t get his other eye… Then you’d have to change him name and it could get messy.

  33. Ruth says:

    To keep your 2yr old out of the litter, you might want to invest in a litter box that has a lid (it looks a little like an old-style pizza hut). They even make ones that have latches on the side so that she can’t just lift the lid off. Then, I would turn the box so that the open side is facing the wall–the cat will still be able to get in, but it will make the 2 yr old have to work to play in it. Another option would be to put the litter box on top of your dryer–the cat can jump up, but the litter is protected from the 2 yr old. I had to do that for a while when my dog was a puppy, since she really liked eating the cat’s poop.

    That being said, you might want to show your husband these videos to help him understand the differences between dogs and cats (the last one is my all time favorite explanation of cats!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbycvPwr1Wg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fsSAPyHxJI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHXBL6bzAR4

    Ruth
    Ruth recently posted..13 days!!!

  34. Monica says:

    Jen,

    Nice post. I myself do not care for cats. Your cat looks so cute and fits right in with the family as you described. Love the pics of the evidence and of you and the cat.

  35. Susan says:

    I have a one-eyed cat too – her name is Chloe.

    Have fun with your new family member! There is one, and only one, way to get a cat to come to you; buy a can of cat treats and give him a treat when he does something good, like scratches a scratching post instead of your furniture, or eats a scorpion. Shake the treat can before you give him the treat so he’ll know what the sound means, and within a few days whenever you shake the can he’ll come running.

  36. Andrea says:

    Yeah! Just make sure when you get him spayed/neutered that the vet tells you what is wrong with the eye. There can be eye tumors that are fast-spreading if not taken care of (we also now have a 1 eyed cat).

    Boy cats are social like dogs, IMHO.

    Trader Joe’s has cat treats that are cat crack and healthy. Use those to train the cat to sit, come, etc. Shaking the treat jar is the best training tool. My cats can be dead asleep somewhere and will always come when we shake the treat jar.

    My husband also started off as “not a cat person.” That’s just a name for people who have not owned a cat!

  37. Sarah says:

    Congratulations on getting a cat! I hope he’s a joy.

    If you want to train it to come to the door when your husband comes home, you could have him give the cat a snack every day after work. That’s what we do with our kitty, and she sits in the window waiting for us every afternoon, then runs to the entryway and rolls around on her back in greeting (this only works if you don’t keep a huge container of food out all the time).

    Also, you might want to try silica crystal litter (we get ours at Petco). You have to scoop less since it just absorbs the pee without clumping, which could be useful until life calms down, and it doesn’t look like toddler-friendly sand. I also have to second the suggestion for a lid with a swinging door. In addition to keeping the kids out, it also cuts down on kicked litter ending up on the floor and reduces the “yuck” factor of looking at the cat box when you walk by.

    Good luck!

  38. Valerie says:

    That mosquito part got me laughing. Thanks!

    My husband and I have always had the deal that we wont get a pet until our youngest is potty trained. I deal with enough poop as it is.
    Valerie recently posted..35 and 6

  39. Steeled says:

    This is my first time commenting – but you made me laugh aloud! I love your writing, and your perspective on life.

  40. My husband was a cat LOVER. He had three when I married him. I like dogs. We got one our first year of marriage. The thing about cats that I really can’t stand is the litter box and the cats jumping up on the kitchen counter after they have used the litter box. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I also prefer a pet that is devoted to me like our dog was unlike cats who can either take you or leave you depending on their mood. I do applaud you though for getting a pet for your children. They say kids with pets have fewer allergies and get sick less often. Right? Seriously, it’s a sweet story how you decided to take in what looks to be a sweet kitty.
    TheReluctantWidow recently posted..How to Treat Young Widows

  41. Dolce says:

    I’m babysitting a kitten and he definitely knows his name and comes when I call him :) I just kept saying his name when he was around until he figured out that I was talking about him. Your kitty is so cute!

  42. Amanda says:

    Haha, be careful, cats are addictive….we have four! In fact I am desperately trying to ignore my completely impractical desire to adopt the brother of my SIL’s new kitten. Because, as my husband said, “we don’t have a gray tabby yet!” lol! It was a real revelation in my life when I realized that I could be both happily married and a crazy cat lady. Who said women can’t have it all, right?

    Oh, and my cats do actually greet us at the door, but they are strange creatures. They also come when called except they don’t seem to know their names so all 4 come running when you call one of them :)

    Our solution to the toddler + litter box issue has been to keep the litter box in the basement or a closet and put a cat door in the door to it.
    Amanda recently posted..How We Met: In which I admit to being a geek and a stalker

  43. Kathy Allen says:

    Oh, Jen! You are certainly in survival mode just now. My gang is all grown up, but my lifesavers were a Born Organized high school student who came in the afternoons to help and organize us, and a Written In Stone Routine about snacks (one at 10:30 am, and one at 3:30 pm.) then I had an uber organized sister with 5 kids who told me about the Toy Library. All the kids could have 3 toys that didn’t have pieces, like a stuffed critter or doll or car, but the other ones with pieces were up high and had to be checked out by her or an older kid. As to your two year old, I had one, too. Read The Explosive Child in your copious spare time. And no, I won’t tell you how it all goes so fast. Sometimes a day with friends seems like A Very Long Time. Blessings!

  44. The other Becky says:

    Thank you.

  45. Katherine says:

    You and Simcha get read out loud to my children. They loved this writing.

  46. sara McD says:

    Such a sweet story. But I think I’m looking at the last picture wrong. You look cute, the cat looks cute, but is that an arm growing out of your neck?
    sara McD recently posted..A Blessing

  47. Raina says:

    You can put up a baby gate that is just elevated enough for the kitten to get under it, but not the toddler. As he gets older, Arnold will also be able to jump over a baby gate to get to his box. There are also boxes that automatically scoop after the cat leaves so there’s nothing for the toddler to play with (although they may find the scooping action fascinating).

  48. Patty says:

    We have three cats and they all greet me at the door! So there is hope for Joe.

    What was the cause of the cat’s bad eye, and is it “fixable”?

  49. Laura says:

    Congratulations! He is so cute and looks so happy at your home. Please, do explain the arm growing from your neck…

  50. Monica Benninghoff says:

    News flash! One cat tends to multiply to two cats… for company. Maybe you won’t have this problem with your kids, but we haven’t been able to JUST have one cat for at least 25 years. (Each child had to have their own cat when they were young.) Later, my daughter’s cat needed a playmate while she was at school. The older cats die of old-age, but there’s always a younger cat. We managed to be cat-less for almost a year before our daughter married. A cat literally walked into our house and adopted us a week after the wedding. Then, yes, he needed a playmate because we were at work all day. Then he died tragically (traumatic family event) and we were down to one cat again (YES!!!), then my daughter determined the surviving cat was in a depression so we got her a kitten. I want my life back. I want to walk out of my house without cat fur on my clothes. I want to NOT smell cat urine if the litter doesn’t get scooped daily. Alas, this will not happen soon. They never die at the same time. And who wants a cat who already has a good home? No one. But they’re good pets and eventually become members of the family. For better or worse. Congratulations on acquiring Arnold. Kids do need pets, and what a bonus that you have a scorpion alert and control system to boot!

  51. Jenny says:

    Oh Jen. May God give you oodles and oodles or patience and peace as you enter the realm of pet ownership with small children. You’re a brave woman!
    Jenny recently posted..Five Favorites for the grump

  52. Denise says:

    I love it! Cats eat scorpions? You might have to get more than one.

    Personally, while I like all animals, I’m deep-down a cat person. He looks like a real sweet boy, and I firmly believe having pets is good for the kids.

    Saw this link this morning, and thought of you. I apologize if you’ve already seen it! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/blackberry/p.html?id=3209305

    Blessings to you and your newly-expanded family! :)

  53. Beth says:

    I am a cat lover. Can’t imagine life without one. I detest litter boxes and last year bought a Litter Robot. It was pricey but well worth not having to scoop or have the dog get into it. I have a friend who had one, it’s lasted years for her. My husband, an engineer, is sold on it…just a suggestion. Btw, I think God has made us stewards of all living creatures so when the opportunity comes along for us to care for one of God’s creatures, it is our responsibility to do so. Unless that creature is a spider or scorpion! LOL

  54. Karen LH says:

    Cat treats might work to get Arnold to come when you call him. We get Feline Greenies.

  55. Bonnie says:

    Congrats on getting Arnold! You won’t be sorry. You really won’t. Once he gets acclimated to your family, he will be as loyal as a dog. But don’t let Joe do the beeper thing. I know, it would be mildly amusing to watch the cat jump 20 feet into the air when the beeper goes off next to his ear, but resist the temptation. There’s better things to do on a Friday night. Oh, by the way, I am thinking the scorpions should be on notice. Cats love to hunt and kill creepy, crawly things. Arnold may indeed be the Terminator you have been praying for.

  56. Becky D says:

    The litter box with lid and swinging door will not deter toddlers. They fit in the opening quite easily. My toddler boy grosses me out almost daily with digging with his hands in ours. He likes to sneak into the litter more than toilet water. Since all our closets have sliding doors and we have no basement or utility room I invoke many saints as a scrub his hands and try to keep him behind baby gates. I guess I can’t blame it on being a boy. Happy to hear the scorpions are in trouble, our fat lazy indoor cats got a few mice several years ago and we have never seen any more. .

  57. Kyle says:

    Congrats on your Arnold. We recently had an unplanned feline addition to our family, too, and we couldn’t be happier.
    Kyle recently posted..The Waiting

  58. LFK says:

    Dogs look at their owners and think, “He is a god.” Cats look at their owners and think, “I am a god.” But a god that eats scorpions can’t be all bad!

  59. Big LOLs on this: “I explained that that’s simply not part of the cat-owning experience. Sometimes you don’t know where your cat is. That’s how it goes.”
    Jenna@CallHerHappy recently posted..7QT: Picture Light

  60. Julia says:

    Thank you! This made me laugh!

  61. Linda says:

    What a gorgeous kitty! I had an orange tabby, Tucker, who came when he was called, opened cabinets to get to boxes of crackers, instigated games of hide and seek with me, and taught himself to pee in the toilet. He had more personality than some people I know, and I miss him every day.

  62. Sonya says:

    I’ve had cats all my life and you can train them to come. Get a container of kitty treats (bag or tin) that makes noise when you shake it. Sitting next to the cat, shake the bag then give the cat a treat. If you do this consistently over a week or so (couple of times a day), the cat will come from any and all distractions at any time to get their treat. Never underestimate the power of greed and a cat’s desire to eat all the time, even when stuffed! Just make sure that every time you shake the tin, the cat gets a treat. They can become cynical and jaded very quickly if the expected treat doesn’t arrive when they are called. :>

    Enjoy your cat!
    Sonya

  63. Mike Brooker says:

    Toddlers will eat anything, to have allowed repeat access to the litter box is negligent.

  64. Brenda says:

    This cracked me up! Congrats on your new family member. :)
    Brenda recently posted..Life Lately 8/26

  65. Catherine says:

    This is so sweet! We have two cats and a dog, and they sure do add to the craziness and the love. Boy cats are very friendly, so we were told, and ours definitely is–more like a dog than our last dog! Congratulations!
    Catherine recently posted..Beach Week Recap

  66. Ginny says:

    Jen, you need one of these: http://www.petco.com/product/14467/Clevercat-Top-Entry-Litterbox.aspx
    It isn’t childproof, but it does cut down on the mess. :)

  67. Sneaky trick by those kids! I pulled that myself in the 4th grade when my dad mentioned he had a colleague whose dog had just had puppies. “Can we just go look? Please?” Needless to say, we had a puppy for the next 14 years. The Hubs had two cats that came as part of the marital deal, and I am very lucky that we keep our kids in a cage so they can’t play with the food or litter. Wait. I mean they aren’t allowed in the basement yet which is where those things reside. We don’t really keep our kids in a cage… :)
    Rakhi @ The Pitter Patter Diaries recently posted..Setting Beauty Free