Thursday, February 21, 2008

nicky & me: signs i'm turning into my mother

It has been nearly 4 weeks since we adopted baby kitty Dominick from the shelter. It's been a crazy nearly-4 weeks. Really crazy. I don't think I was prepared for this.

Yes, ever since the very first post on this blog (I'm not linking to it, it's awful), I had been wanting a pet. But since it the condo truly belongs to Jesse, it was really his choice. And for the last almost 2 years that we've been living together, I had let him know that I was only waiting on him to adopt a pet.

Finally, a few weeks ago, Jesse gave us the green light. We had decided that a cat would be easiest, as we are usually not home for at least 10 hours of the day from M-F and cats tend to be rather independent. From my experience, dogs are needy little things, and while I love dogs, I wouldn't have the time to spend and care for one.

Except Dominick is quite time consuming. Also, I've turned into my mother since he arrived.

My mother was very overprotective of me growing up. This isn't an accusation, but a fact. My father died when I was two and I was basically the only one of her three kids who grew up without a father. And for this reason, my mom protected me from everything. I wasn't allowed to play with the kids in the neighborhood because they went to public school and would be a bad influence on me. I'd come home from school and listen to the kids play outside while I did my homework and read Babysitter's Club books once I was done. Now, my mom might've had a point. Two of the girls in our block got preggers as teens (and one of them went to my private school). But I would've liked to have made decisions like those myself. But in my mom's eyes, as long as she could keep an eye on me and keep me from taking chances, then she wouldn't have to worry about me.

I've noticed that I feel the same way about Dominick and that scares me. Every day we leave for work, I lock him up in our bedroom. Yeah, he's been around the kitchen and living room before (and even likes spending time in the bathroom for some reason), but I can't trust him out there all by himself. What if he chews on some random cord that happens to be plugged into a socket? What if he gets into the kitchen trash and consumes something he eventually throws up? What if he gets stuck in some hole while doing his usual rounds of curious exploring and then we can't find him later? The possibilities for harm are endless and I don't want Nicky in that death trap of a living room while we're not around.

And then last night, I realized that the bedroom is a death trap too! While Jesse and I were reading in bed, Nicky decided to be adventurous and climb up my tower of storage cubes. He climbed as high as the 5th of 6 six cubes before I noticed him. He turned around and had no way of getting down by himself. Before mommy could come and rescue him, Dominick slipped and tumbled to the floor, landing on his feet like all cats do. When his paws hit the floor, Jesse and I heard a thud. I looked down at him and asked him if he was ok. He looked at me with his large green eyes and plaintively cried, "Meooooooooooooow." I cradled him into my arms and Jesse and I consoled him.

I am fearful for Dominick. I don't want him to get hurt while we're not around. But how could I prevent that? Jesse said, "You know he's just going to climb that thing when we're not around, right?" Yes, I know that. But I really wish he wouldn't. "He's totally going to hurt himself," I replied. Jesse said, "He's a lot stronger than you think. He's not a baby any more." Those words shot through my heart. Of course he's still a baby. He's my baby! And he'll be my baby forever.

So clearly, Nicky is not safe anywhere in our home. And outside the condo is worse. He's become increasingly more curious of what is outside the condo and has escaped many times, much to my dismay. The minute he shoots out that door, my heart starts to race and I pray that one of our neighbors with the big dogs doesn't decide to give one of them a walk. Otherwise, Dominick will have the scare of his life. Yeah, and me too.

Jesse keeps saying, "You're going to have to let go some time. Nicky's stronger than you think." But I can't let go.

I'm looking into how much padded walls cost. That should keep him safe.

A video of Nicky having fun with mommy and daddy in a nice, controlled environment.


Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Kittens are fun, but you are doing the right thing by keeping him in a smaller room during the day. Have you invested in a cat condo yet? they love those things........

anyway, new to your blog - good reading :-)

Anonymous said...

Can you get another kitty? I always had two because they keep each other company when you are gone~erika

lizzie said...

capitol hill 20210--thanks for visiting and commenting. actually, i haven't invested in a cat condo yet. my friend is going to sell me hers and i'll be checking it out this weekend. gotta keep the little fur ball entertained. :)

erika--actually, we tried, but didn't get approval from our HOA. we wanted to adopt his shelter roommate and i haven't tried to find a companion since. the shelter was insistent on seeing our condo bylaws so we had to tell them about how we needed approval to get another kitty. so sad, b/c i didn't really want to separate nicky from his friend.