I almost bought a kitten last weekend, I was not planning on buying a kitten when I left the house. Of course, many people who buy or find or adopt kittens were not planning on buying, finding, or adopting a kitten when they left the house either, but kittens have a way of sneaking up on a body.
The kitten I almost bought was a Himalayan, a longhair with Siamese markings and a Persian face and body. The kitten and three of its litter-mates were sitting in a cage in the picture-framing shop where I had gone to pick up a Wyeth print every house in southeastern Pennsylvania has to have at least one Wyeth print and the official American Kennel Club certificate of the championship that had been won by one of our pug dogs.
I walked into the frame shop, minding my own business, and there were the kittens, cuter than all get out, eyes the palest blue, faces as rasa as any tabula could be. Before I could stop myself, I was thinking of how much fun it would be to have a kitten around again and of how surprised and happy my wife would be when she arrived home later that day and found me watching football with a kitten on my lap.
I even began rehearsing my speech “What kitten? Oh, this one. I found her in the yard by the garage. She must have escaped from the cat show that was in town a few weeks ago.” Finally, my resolve beginning to wither, I asked the frame shop guy how much the kittens cost.
He informed me that the prices ranged from $175 to $250. Because the kittens did not look very old, I inquired after their ages. “They’re seven weeks old,” the framer replied. The price was certainly good. The kittens’ age was not. Perhaps that was why I decided I was not going to buy one. If people have any say about it kittens should be at least 12 weeks old before they leave their mothers.
I had just made that point in this very manuscript, so I did not think I should be an accomplice in the sale of an underage kitten. Besides, we have eight cats already, and if we add to that number, soon we are going to reach the point of diminishing attention and the cats quality of life when first time cat at home is going to suffer.
Therefore, the side of my brain that is supposed to be responsible said to the side of my brain that lives for temptation, “Thou shalt not buy that kitten.” While I am parading my virtue, common sense, and restraint, I should mention that I have not always been able to resist the impulse to buy, find, or adopt a kitten.
I would not have eight cats otherwise, but cute is not among the best reasons for buying a kitten or adopting one for that matter and if you are considering buying, finding, or adopting a kitten, I hope you stop for a second before you do and ask yourself why you want that kitten.
The motivation for acquiring a kitten is far more important than the means by which a kitten is acquired unless the kitten you acquire is already owned by someone else. What’s more acquiring a kitten is not a political assertion, a fashion statement or a declaration of moral superiority. It is a personal decision for which you need not have to answer to anyone but yourself and those with whom you live.