Confessions of a Pet Owner












Before I get started, I want you to know that I’m a dog person. I love the look they get on their faces when you come home, the energy they inject into a room, and the way they just seem to know when something is wrong. To me, dogs are just plain wonderful.

So when Bandit, the Russian Blue cat, came into my life, I was sure it was going to be a disaster. But this isn’t the story of how she came into my life (a friend’s sudden move to Thailand) or even how she’s made my life better (hello, heartstrings). This is a story of how Bandit the Cat made me come clean.

Before Bandit, I was a bit of a mess. Literally. My husband and I were knee-deep in busy careers and dirty dishes. While I consider myself fortunate to be in an “equal-opportunity” relationship, one where my husband doesn’t expect me to handle all the housework on top of my full-time job, it basically means that we ignore the bulk of the housework equally. Coming home was never the delightful repose I was hoping it would be; I’d leave mountains of paperwork at the office to be confronted with dishes, dirty floors and countertops stamped with coffee rings.

Bandit’s arrival changed all that. Since we didn’t want her eating things she shouldn’t, we had to make sure the dishes were kept out of the sink and the floors were swept. And since cats are exceptionally great at leaving hair wherever they lay, walk or rub, leaving clean laundry on the floor or on the bed became less of an option.

It was more work, of course, and we joined the ranks of pet owners who center their days around the feeding and care of their animals. I read article after article, from the best ways to remove pet stains to how to travel with pets to pet-friendly cleaning tips. One look at that gray-eyed, whiskered face and I was determined to make it work.

It turned out that we functioned better in a clean house, but making the time to maintain the level of clean we wanted—and Bandit needed—was still difficult. I added “find pet-friendly cleaning service” to my list of things to do, and researched cleaning companies who could fit our specific cleaning needs and our budget.

(FYI: If you are a pet owner trying to come to terms with the messy business of sharing your home with an animal, it’s worth getting a free estimate. Did you know you have control over the frequency of the clean and can break down what rooms you’d like focus placed on? Genius.)

The rest, as they say, is history. Bandit has turned out to be exactly what we needed as a family and as humans; from the aloof love she winds around our ankles to the professionally cleaned house we love coming home to. I may still be a mess, and a dog-person, but I wouldn’t trade my crazy life, or our crazy cat, for the world. Instead, I may just have to adopt one more.


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