HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
March 12, 2007, Herald Journal

Weird animal lady in the making

By JENNIFER GALLUS

If you can’t make fun of yourself, you have no business making fun of others, right?

Well, I have no problem recognizing my quirks and weak areas, such as my attachment to animals that I’ve witnessed entering into the world.

Last spring was the first time we acquired barn cats. We started with two females. A third female strayed into the mix. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I accepted her.

My father-in-law still gives me a hard time about my ignorant comment that we had no tom cats around, so I wasn’t too worried about population growth.

This was thrown in my face last summer when six very cute kittens were born to two of the cats. Each has very distinct markings of some kind. One even looks to have a butterfly on its nose.

People keep asking why I didn’t get rid of some of the kittens. Number one, I like them. Number two, who would take them?

Each week the newspaper runs all sorts of ads from people looking to get rid of their cats. Also, the shelters are overrun by them as well.

My husband, a cat hater, has accepted their existence, but I know he would prefer to have a few less than we currently have.

I also would like to have a few less, but I am not willing to make any efforts towards that goal. They crack me up, and they’re great mousers. I’ve even seen them carrying a weasel around.

However, my car gets assaulted with kitty foot prints on a daily basis. This occurrence needs to end.

I have big plans to keep them out of the garage, I just don’t know how to do it yet!

I would also like to pursue sterilization options for these cats. I’ve heard rumor of a multiple cat discount from certain vets.

I’m a strong believer in that if a person is going to have animals, then take care of them.

It was my fault that I ended up with nine cats and I need to make sure that this number doesn’t increase for many reasons, including disease.

Many farmers struggle with too many barn cats that end up sick because the population is too large.

Many people would argue that there is a very easy and cheap way to solve this problem. I will not go there, and it’s not an option.

My husband likes to give me a hard time about the different pet chores that take up my time. I always respond by telling him this is nothing – if he dies before me, I’m sure to become “weird animal lady.” I’d acquire all kinds of animals to keep me occupied.

To which he laughs and says, “I know!”

Kid-isms

I was telling the boys that something had gotten “damaged.”

My then 5-year-old said, “That’s a bad word, mom!”