A metamorphosis of sorts

by Kristi Van Dyk in ,

When I met my husband, during our sophomore year of college, we spent plenty of time, "comparing notes." We were mostly just friends that talked about everything ... so we chatted about our ideal futures, our concepts about what married life could look like for us (as separate people not necessarily together), etc. It was during these conversations that we discovered how many times our answers were similar. (I don't know if he was skewing his responses so they'd match mine, but ... nevertheless, we agreed). One giant area in which we diverged was the issue of pets. I'd spent a large portion of my childhood owning one pet or another (mostly pure bred Collies, although there was a minor stint with a guinea pig when Mom re-decorated the house). I thought that having a pet would be a definite thing in my adult life. Steve had never had a pet; therefore, pets weren't a piece of his ideal future. For neither of us, was this issue of pets a deal breaker ... so we continued in our relationship and ended up married just a few short years later. Fast forward 2 years into our marriage and there is a lonely white cat, rubbing up against my husband's leg at the firepit at the cottage. This emaciated, but VERY friendly little guy, shows up repeatedly on weekends at the cottage. My heart begins to break for this little guy as we realize he has no home. Dan and Rhonda have dogs, so they aren't taking him in; his future is the shelter. I couldn't bear the thought of that sweet, friendly, lonely little guy (he was CLEARLY a guy kitty) losing his life because of someone else's irresponsibility. So I cried (yup ... several nights) and cried over him, and finally, my husband gave in. He said, "Go pick him up." That was the beginning of Andre ... and the start of my husband breaking out of his cocoon of animal dislike :). Since then there are images of Steve and 'Dre playing together, "wrestling" and, when I'm not home, chillin together on the couch. Steve's put up with a lot with Andre by way of learning how to love an animal. Although he'd never admit it aloud, I think he really does love our baby kitty.

Our friendship with the Ipemas led us, a few years further into our marriage to puppy sit. The family added a lonely kitty to their family soon afterwards and the dog sitting became dog/cat/gecko sitting -stretching Steve even further. Steve tolerates the dogs, but I think he has a special place for cats now in his heart. He spent quite a bit of time trying to get "Smokey" to trust him - something not easy for this shy, adopted, pet. Over the course of several house sitting ventures, Smokey learned that we were okay. He let us hold him, snuggle him, and even now comes down to visit us when we're in the living room (or main floor bedroom). Currently, the dogs are gone and he's purring at my feet in the kitchen! He's breaking out of his shy shell ... but last night was the breakthrough for my husband as an emerging "cat whisperer." Smokey chose to jump up and snuggle, not with me, as he usually does, but with Steve. I think Steve was proud, very proud ... but again, he'd never let you know :) So, that's my job because I'm proud of him! Change is tough, and he's been a real trooper about it all ...

He might kill me for my blog post (though he'd have to read it to know) :) :) But here's the evidence, caught with my iPhone. Here's to him, never owning a pet. (PS if his daughter has anything to say about it, a "k k" will be part of his life for a long time coming).

[caption id="attachment_122" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Smokey's chosen "resting spot" for the night "][/caption]