Family Relationships

The Purrrr-fect Gift

The dog formerly known as Mojo, 2009

In 2009, around this time of year, we got a dog. The world was white and unbearably cold, and getting a pet seemed like a wonderful idea. We were dogless and surrounded on all sides by barky-barkers. We figured, how hard could it be, if everyone has them? Hubby researched carefully, making sure to find a breed that would be a good fit for our family.

Looking back now, it probably wasn’t the best time to read Marley and Me. I was nervous about lineage and more than a little anxious about making sure to pick the right dog from the litter.

In the back of my mind, I remembered how my friend Cindy had brought home two freaky Wheatland terriers, and she hated them. Hated. Them.

“Do they smell? I feel like they smell,” she kept asking.

I swear she lost 10 pounds in the few days she had those dogs, and they quickly went back to the breeder.

I told my family I was nervous about our decision to get a dog. I told them I’d never had a dog, that I didn’t really want a dog, but my husband and son promised they would help with everything. They would pick up the dog poo every day. They would feed the dog. They would change the water. They would play with the dog. I wouldn’t have to do anything except enjoy the  dog.

I know people love their doggies like family, but I kept thinking of them as eternal babies, and I couldn’t figure out how we would ever be able to take a spontaneous day trip ever again. Everyone kept telling me I was just nervous about the unknown. I don’t think that was it at all. In fact, I think I knew exactly the right amount.

What I knew was that I didn’t want a dog. I just wasn’t great at vocalizing my truth because I didn’t want to upset everyone.

Eventually, I did though. And yes, everyone was upset. But I knew that as mom, ultimately I would be the one who would have to care for the family pet. The truth was I’d wanted a cat for my entire life, but Hubby was allergic, so I figured the whole cat thing was never going to happen.

Fast forward 4 years. Almost to the day. Hubby called to say he’d been to a breeder, someone who specialized in hypoallergenic Siberians.

Oh no, I thought. We’re talking about dogs again.

But we weren’t talking about dogs at all.

Hubby had been looking at cats.

He'd been looking at this guy.
He’d been looking at this guy.

He wanted me to go with him to see the latest litter.

“But you’re allergies…” I stammered.

They say good things come to those who wait.

And in our case, our good thing showed up as a tiny, white, long-haired kitten. He was purr-fectly perfect in every way. He loved to be cuddled and held and hugged — and he always went in his litter box, so none of us had to go outside in the bitter chill of winter. Mo loved to chase wadded up balls of paper and string. He seemed to love us, and we all fell in love with him.

One year later, Mo greets us each morning with emphatic meows; an exquisite snuggler, he pushes his head against our hands to let us know he’s in the mood for attention. He gazes into our eyes, plays tag, and soothes us with his purr. This boy gets lots of love.

Mo hanging out on a favorite chair.
Mo, 1 year old.

We are truly fortunate to have Mo as a member of our family.

If you’ve always wanted a cat, but you’re concerned about allergies, look into Siberians. And check out our breeders’ website HERE. Laurie knows what she’s doing!

How did your pet become a member of the family?

tweet me @rasjacobson

23 thoughts on “The Purrrr-fect Gift

  1. OH! Adorable! How great you were finally able to get a sweet pet in Mo. I was raised with dogs and cats. Most of my life I had either a couple cats or a dog into my 20s. After I met my husband though, babies seemed to take over and we haven’t had a pet since. I really miss the soothing presence of a cat when they jump up on your lap. We might get a dog or a cat once the kids are older, who knows?

    1. Darla, my husband was deathly allergic to cats – and guess who loves Mo more than anyone? My husband. It’s true. Consider adding a little more love to your home, and put the kids in charge of feeding. So easy. (With a cat, that is. Dogs are much more work. Oy.)

  2. We got Ivy in the most unusual way – there was a breeder selling puppies on a parking lot and we were on our way home from our lake home – 350 miles from home. It was the day before Easter and …… We got her. We knew nothing about a dog or the breed – Brittany Spaniel. That was almost five years ago – my wife occasionally complains she sheds and we share feeding and poop collection – but she’s a solid member of our family. In the morning I let her out and when she comes in she wants to curl up beside me on the couch or she’ll sleep in our beds and press right up to my legs so I know she’s there – not my wife, but me. She’s a great dog, and she rarely barks. Great disposition and I can’t imagine life without her.

  3. And your cat sounds adorable – my step mom has always had cats and though I am allergic, I loved how they felt in your lap a limp of warm acceptance and gratitude all wrapped in love. It’s amazing how the life of a pet can change your life. Have a wonderful day!

  4. So happy Renee that you own a purrrrfect cat. The best part is I understand that Mo the dog is not far away so you can srr Mo when you want. A happy ending for everyone.

  5. Growing up my family had no pets allowed of the feline or cannine type as decreed by the Almighty Father of the House. It wasn’t until I was married with my two kids that I truly understood WHY Dad did not allow us to have anything other than an aquarium of goldfish. LOL

    For my daughter’s 5th birthday we got her a “mix/Jack Russell Terrier” puppy. Kady, as Tori named her, was full of excitement and energy that never seemed to stop. NEVER! Kady was not yet house-trained or people-trained either because my daughter’s mother wanted Tori and her little brother to grow-up with Kady. Bonding was the motivation to adopt puppy-Kady. As the saying goes, “the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray.” And boy did they! Four years later Kady was given away, the house/home sold, the divorce finalized 8-months later. LOL

    Hats off to my Dad and his forward-thinking wisdom! That mistake I will not repeat! And I’m referring to the dog, not my divorce. HAH!

    Renee, wonderful story. I’m a cat-lover as well, for a variety of reasons. *chuckles with big grin* 😛

  6. Hi Renee….. For years I had at least one dog. But, when my last dog died over 11 years ago, Lanier Watson, talked me into getting a cat. A CAT. Wait I am a dog lover not a cat lover. She had a Siberian and talked nonstop about how wonderful it was. So, in 2005, I added Max to my family. He too is a Siberian. He has all of the wonderful attributes of a dog except I don’t have to walk him. Over the years, Max, has gotten more loving and attentive. He is a great energy saver….always in my lap or bed keeping me warm. Enjoy your Mo….

    1. Ann! I’m so happy you found me here today! And I’m so glad that you concur that Siberian cats are worth every penny. I have to force myself to get up or else i’d sit on the couch all day. It’s definitely hard to leave him at the door. Hope you are well. 🙂

  7. Which story do you want 🙂

    OK, let’s take Mr. Orange. The kids told me there was a cat in the car port, so I went out to look, leaving two jealous puppies inside to mope because I didn’t take them. There was this orange tabby, with ribs showing. I sat down, and he came over to be petted. The kids went back inside (October where I live is often below freezing), while I stayed and talked to the cat.

    Then I got up to go in, and I stopped an thought. Winter isn’t kind to cats where we live. Two or three weeks of steady -40C weather tends to kill them. Also this guy was starved, those ribs were to, to, prominent. Our car port has a wide porch, covered in astro-turf, with a couple of places a cat could hide behind to get out of the wind, so I figured he’d been living there. Except when I took the dogs out. The dogs had been going crazy on the porch for two or three weeks. The reason why was orange, and staring at me.

    So I held the door open, and asked him if he wanted in.

    I nearly got ran over. Luckily he went to the downstairs apartment, which our sons have, and not upstairs where he’d have run into two curious dogs (who like cats, but he wouldn’t know that).

    That was over two years ago. He has now moved upstairs full time (and even lets the dogs sniff his but), mostly because he seems to be really attached to me (I think), and we sometimes find him sleeping curled up with the dogs.


      1. Not always beautifully, but we often find our bed buried under a mix of cats and dogs.

  8. I grew up on a farm in New Zealand and there were cats, dogs, horses, I had a lamb, a calf, a goat, a parrot that fell out of a tree, we had it all, but I never had a desire or obsession for an animal, they were just there.

    As a result now living in an apartment in a small town in France with a son who is obsessed with animals, I feel guilty about saying no, because I had so much and he loves hearing about it all the time and always wants an animal.

    So we have the fish and eventually did succumb to a cat, though that was for therapeutic reasons as my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 9 and often experienced these fragile moments that would plunge her into a despair we could do nothing to stem. So we got a cat and that was the end of those fragile moments, that cat is so loved and has been such a Godsend for being the absorber of sadness that threatens to overwhelm.

    I’m not surprised they opened a Cat cafe in Paris last year that proved so popular a second one opened later in the year; having a cat is more than a pleasure, it’s purrfect therapy!

    1. You don’t have to have ALL the pets to show your son the joy of being a pet owner. Sounds like he loves hearing your stories (which make you sound like Pippi Longstocking! LOL!) And I’m with you about cats being therapeutic! Thanks for sharing, Claire.

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