I want a kitten, or perhaps a grown cat to be friends with, even though Nick and I both agree that we need a year of marriage without killing each other before we introduce another living creature.  As far as pets go, I’ve grown up with them.  None of them were “mine”, per se, but I loved them all and they all loved me.  Binkie was the first. Binkie the cat was around before my eldest sister was born, and she hung around till long after.  She was a calico-ish mongrel of a wonderful cat.  If a family member was ill, Binkie would sleep with you until you were better.  She would play with the plastic zip things off the tops of milk jugs, and she would climb up to my top bunk almost every night, purring like crazy, to cuddle with me.  She would bite my nostril if I was over-cuddling her.  Next up, after a small series of kittens that wandered off within a month of joining our family, was Tiger Lyle.  He was originally Tiger Lily, because we were in a Peter Pan phase and we thought he was a girl.  His name changed to Lyle once he was determined to be male.  He was skinny, and kind of a pansy.  He lost a lot of neighborhood catfights, but he was wonderful and he loved me.  Even when he used my closet as a bathroom, I loved him, too.  In the middle of these cats we added our first dog, Dappy.  She was so named because of her dappled coloring, but so many of my friends misheard that she was also called Daffy for a good portion of her life.  She was a great family dog, and she loved my mom much more than anyone else.  About 5 or so years into her life, my dad wanted a dog that could be his, and Buddie came along.  He was a chocolate lab crossed with a Black-mouth Cur, which is apparently a variety of Southern hunting dog.  Indeed, the definition of cur is: a bad-tempered dog.  Buddie almost fulfilled that part of his breeding, but he became much more bonded to us during a couple stints in the hospital: a run-in with some bad salmon, and a bad fracture of his back leg.  Somewhere in the middle of this we lost Binkie, and my mom was broken-hearted.  So, we got a half-grown feral kitten from her grandfather, and we named him Bootsie.  Bootsie, it turned out, had FIDS, and Feline Leukemia. Bootsie didn’t make it to 2.  After Bootsie, years later, we got Little sister a cat – Tigger.  Obviously an orange tabby, he had a white chest and a tail he held straight up, like a flag when he ran.  She lost interest in Tigger after he stopped being a small, cute kitten, and shortly after she realized that having a cat meant litter-scooping, so Tigger became a family cat.  He also became incredibly large.   In the middle of that, we lost Dappy.  And we lost Lyle, so we got me a kitten!  I named him Beauregard, Bo for short.  He was black and white and pretty and I loved him so much.  After he got old enough, I let him be an outside cat too, because he deserved the responsibility.  And then the neighbors started feeding him.  And then he stopped coming to me when I’d call.  So I lost my cat.  In the middle of that, Buddie was heartbroken over the loss of Dappy.  He was howling all day when we were gone to work and school, and he was biting great chunks out of the couch.  We knew we had to get him a puppy.  We found our current dog, Murray.  He’s quarter lab, quarter terrier, and half Blue heeler.  He is stripey and adorable and I love him and it’s really hard for me to be married and away from him.  Murray was Buddie’s companion, and it worked out okay.  Buddie was like a surly uncle – young enough to play with but only as long as it was his idea.  Erin wanted a kitten, so we got her Naddi.  Fat, grey, stripey.  Hilarious.  Mom wanted a cat.  She got Dedee.  Dedee disappeared.  We lost Buddie a year ago.  We got mom another kitteh, Pippy.  Not Pippi Longstocking, Pipsqueak.  Dedee reappeared, bringing the cat grand total to 5, technically.  Except the only ones in the house were Tigger, Naddi, and Pippy.  Well, and Dedee.  She disappeared again.  Bo still thinks he belongs to someone else.  I am moved out and many cities away, and I have no pets.  My mom just called me saying they want to get rid of a cat or two, and don’t we totally need a cat or three?  Mom’s new husband and stepson have like three or four cats themselves, and a chinchilla.  That my mom pets.  While naked.  I still don’t know why she told me that particular story.  I guess she decided to be affectionate to Chinchy just out of the shower?  Add their four or five pets to the four living in mom’s house, that’s a damn lot of cats.  And I don’t want any of my babies being given away, but man, I can’t take them and my heart is breaking into tiny, furry pieces.  It’s too early to drink to suppress emotion, right?  Yeah, it’s ten a.m.  That is too early.  I may just bake instead.