There's a reason why we never got another cat. For almost as long as my husband and I have lived together, we've mused about picking up a new furry beasr. We've visited the Humane Society, even picked one out — twice. The requirements weren't strict: likes other cats, preferable a fat cat breed (hubby wants a big fat lap cat), poops in the box, and is declawed. It hasn't been hard to find a cat that fit the bill.
But we always back out.
Romeo, our current cat whom I've had for 10 years, is awesome. He doesn't gorge on food, deals well with what is all too often a dirty litterbox, is playful and affectionate even to strangers, and was likely reincarnated from a flamboyant old queen who trolled around San Fancisco in the eighties. While he's not without his annoying habits, he's about as perfect as any can be for me. Another Romeo would be beyond awesome. The question that plagues us is this: what if the new cat weren't like Romeo?
The topic came up as I was reading a post a friend made about her teenaged daughter. Robin is the total package kid. Bookish, pretty but not in a slutty way, into, for the most part, the same things mom is into but not in a creepy way, straight A's, literally top of her class. She's a good kid. Whenever I hear stories about Robin, I'm tempted to say "wow, if I could be guaranteed a kid like that, the prospect of parenting isn't quite so scary." Which is true, on some level, but it's also completely nonsensical. Of course there are no guarantees.
Another friend's 16-year-old daughter Devyn reminds me of Robin, at least from the stories. But then there's her son. 17, rebellious, a poor student (and not always for lack of trying; she's devastated that he just doesn't seem to have the smarts for college) with anger management and depression issues. At 17, he's already announced his plans to marry his girlfriend, and my friend's fear that he will knock up said girlfriend is CONSTANT. But these 2 kids, a year apart, raised in the same house, are totally different. One a deam, one a handful on a good day.
It's the same with my brother and me. You just never kno what you're going to get, even if you do everything the same. There are stories everywhere.
There's the friend with the precocious young girl and the older child with Asperger's; my sister-in-law with the good kid who is only a terror when the middle brother (learning- and sensory-disabled) starts acting up. Then there's the woman in my grandma-in-law's building who is still living with her 40-year-old who acts like a poorly behaved boy of 8.
I have doubts that I have the capacity to love such a child. And do I have the heart not to resent them? Does anyone, really? Life is enough of a struggle without the added stress of an ill or troubled child. Unless I'm willing to take a risk of having such a child, that's not even an option.
No thank you.