I don't know what to do.
I've considered getting a cat or two for a while now - it's been about 5 years since I've had a pet. We used to have rabbits, in fact as many as 5 at a time (mostly rescued strays) and I got myself into a situation where one was dying on me every 2 years for a decade (rabbits are medically fragile) and I just couldn't deal with it anymore - I handled their illness and death very badly. Plus, I had two very young children when the last bunny was put down and since then I've struggled with depression and anxiety. Well, now my girls are 5 and 8 and my mental illness is largely under control. Nevertheless, my husband and I both work full time (and he travels a fair bit for work) so we still lead pretty busy lives. My house is pretty squalorous at times - I'm a clutterbug and I just don't have a lot of time for tidying.
But, kitty fur. Cuddles and purrs. Warm kitty in my lap. Maybe I'm ready. I know the girls really want a pet, and we've prepared them that if it is to happen, it will be a cat. My parents just got a new kitten and the girls absolutely love her.
I sort of figured at one point we'd just go to a shelter and pick up a cat that's 2 or 3 years old, probably a second one too for the company. That we'd be ready sometime. I frequently visit shelter cats at pet stores. Hmm, that one's super-cute, very friendly. Nah, not yet.
But then. On Tuesday I was having my weekly psychiatrist appointment and his office is located above a mall that has a pet store with rescue cats. Only this time, they were kittens. A pair of females (this organization has a policy of adopting out kittens in pairs). Usually when I visit kittens they are sleeping and barely pay attention to me. This one spotted me immediately, perked right up, and came up to the cage bars like I was her best friend. She pawed at me, and when I offered her a finger she grabbed at it, licked it, snuggled up to me on the other side of the bars and purred. Her sister slept through most of this, only paying attention when I picked up some sort of feathery wand toy that was standing next to the cage. I scritched and petted the first one until she passed out with her paws in midair. Then when she woke up, it started all over again. When I bent closer to the cage to hear her purring, she started grabbing my hair and playing with it.
Look, I'm not naive. She probably does this for everyone who walks in the store. But she got to me a little. I've been thinking about her and her sister. But I hadn't really planned on kittens. They're kind of jerks, aren't they? I figured an adult cat would be more mellowed out and less apt to be annoying. My husband has said it's ultimately up to me to choose because I'd likely be doing a lot of the care. Part of me says "GET KITTEHS NOW" but I've never had cats by myself before. My parents had cats and dogs growing up but I didn't have to take care of them much. In fact the crusty Tom my parents had didn't even have a litterbox - they let him roam outside (no I don't approve of this and any cat I have would stay indoors). I'm worried they'll mess up my house even worse - I'm worried they'll wake me up even more than my kids do. Where do I put the litterbox? We have a big house but I don't know where it should or can go. And what happens when they get old and die? I mean, I've been through tons of therapy and such to help me not be so afraid of negative emotions, but good lord did the bunnies tear a strip off me. And what of my kids? I'd hate to put them through it. But still, that's likely 15 years in the future, right? Aaah. I don't know.
I also feel guilty that I'd be passing up some awesome adult kitty. I mean, rescues are rescues (the kittens' mother was a stray, still a kitten herself), but I feel bad.
And yes, I'm aware that dithering makes it more likely they'll get snapped up before I decide. And I'm okay with that.