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[Um, not a paid post. ‘Case you were wonderin’.]

Pet owners, and those who perceive an advantage from agreeing with pet owners (veterinarians, pet shop people, cemetery operators, Stephen King, psychologists – and not just the ones that treat the animals), constantly extol the virtues of having an adorably furry ball of unconditional love follow you around the house. Especially when you’re working the can opener.

The challenge, for the discerning human, is how to obtain these advantages while minimizing the side effects.

Like, fur. Everywhere.

Like, competition for favored places. The bed, for example. The whole bed.

Like, the cost of pet food. Including the cost of finding a pet food that the pet will actually eat.

Like, the litter box. Not to mention the missed litter box, or, worse, the ignored litter box.

The solution, once you think of it, is obvious. Why buy when you can rent? It seems to be working for the folks who sell bourbon.

That’s pretty much what we’re doing at the Q & A residence. We’re a pet-free household (Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba has had all the experience of missed litter boxes that he requires, thanks). But pretty much every day, a neighbor cat comes to the door, howling and scratching until somebody pays attention. One or both of us come out, pick up the cat (if we don’t, he’ll try to jump up), and there follows several minutes of purring and rubbing and cooing and scratching. And then the cat goes away. Rent-A-Kitty. It’s perfect.

Of course, we are talking about cats, here. There are serious questions about just how much renting a cat will tolerate. I reckon it’s much more like a free-agent market:

“Yo, Al!”

“Hey, Fred. What you got?”

“There’s a house over there, and they ain’t got a cat!


“They also ain’t got dogs or kids. Unlike my current place. Hsssss.”

That‘ll make your tail happier. Perks?”

Great rubdowns.”

“Meow. Food?”

“Not much. Water. Though I prefer to drink from the plant boxes. Freaks ’em out.”

“Scope out the house?”

“Won’t let me in. Believe me, I’ve tried. What I’ve seen is cool. I could turn their sofa into fluff in seconds. But they keep talkin’ ’bout a lease.”

“A leash?!?

“Not a leash, dummy. What kind of silly kitty do you take me for? A lease.”

“What’s that?”

“Dunno. But it seems to be anti-cat, and the union’d be looking into it if it’d listen to me.”

“Sounds like a lot to put up with for a few strokes.”

“Shows how much you know. Besides, look at me.”

“Hard not to, fatso.”

“Back o’ me paw to you too. So, you think this is the only gig I got going?”


  1. We used to dog sit a lot when the kids were little. It was sort of like Rent-a-dog. We didn’t have to get a dog, and the kids were happy having a part-time dog around.

  2. not rent-a-kitty, you don’t pay for his services.
    Neighbor Cat, he comes around, acts nice, tries to snoop, ends up going home empty handed.

    1. But this one keeps coming back, T. You’d think the spy service would have assigned a more efficient agent by now.

  3. I often wonder if my Freedom is annoying anyone else as much as she annoys us! 🙂 Kitty, on the other hand, stays in the house – and only misses the litter box on occasion. I love my pets… but Dennis and I have decided that when they move on, we’re done!

    1. I find that being a reformed pet owner is almost like being a reformed smoker, Melli. How did I ever tolerate the smell …?

  4. The hair thing made me laugh as Kira the Wonderdog! She also loves to come visit my bedroom, either to keep me company or maybe because she thinks my bed is comfy…no big deal until this morning I woke up with my mouth full of dog hair. Ugh! (needless to say, my sheets went straight into the wash).

    1. But Q keeps complaining to me about hair in various places around the house, Silver. And we don’t own a dog … and no, Quilly, I don’t count!

      1. You don’t count? Then how come you’re always wanting to know how much money I spent. If I’d have known you couldn’t keep track ….

  5. Sounds good to me! Although I rather like my balls of fur (except that they cause me to vacuum constantly) who follow me around and adore me unconditionally. Sounds like your neighbor kitty has a good thing going there!

    1. But, Dawg! Dogs fur, but they don’t purr. ‘Course, they don’t spray, either. Usually.

  6. Sounds a very good compromise. We never intended to have cats but there was a succession of unwanted ones for 25 years. We’re on to the last now bless him. When he’s gone my husband says “no more, they’ll outlive us”. The final kitty cat is 21 now, a kitten would take us well into out 80’s if we survive.

    We always said there was a sign in cat speak at the bottom of the garden saying “suckers live here!”.

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