In want of a kitten

A weekly column by Tara Sprickerhoff

I have always dreamed of owning a kitten. Always.

I blame my father.

Growing up, we always had a dog. While I delighted in the waggily tail, the little girl in me (knowing it was unrealistic to get a pony) always asked for a kitten.

My father’s response has always been a rather firm “no.”

His reasoning? “Kittens are cool, but they all grow up to become cats.”

It’s a sentiment he is not alone in, but the result in my case was to turn small Tara’s request into a burning desire.

This trend has continued into my adult years. A kitten is always written on my Christmas list in hope.

My hilarious family instead would purchase me cat-themed items. My grandmother (in all earnestness) knitted me a cat sweater. My cousin (less innocently) bought me a cat figurine, complete with fur. My best friends straight up bought me cat toys, topped up with a bottle of cat-themed wine.

They are not as funny as they think they are.

One winter, home from college, I visited a friend who had recently purchased a maine coon cat.

Within 15 minutes I was sneezing and my eyes were watering.

My dreams were shattered.

A subsequent trip to the SPCA to play with the kittens confirmed my self-diagnosis.

There were more than a few tears.

Thankfully, soon after I started dating a cat-lover himself, a love-affair sparked by me cat-sitting his black, short-haired, cat Jax. I proved not allergic to him.

Still, I pushed for a kitten.

When I evacuated to join my boyfriend in Kamloops (he self-evacuated with the cat) I was disappointed to learn he had taken a kitten he had found in his parent’s yard to the SPCA without me so much as getting a pet.

When he returned from a “trip to the mall” three days later with a small bundle of fur attached to two ears named Archibald, there may have been more tears.

It proved the perfect evacuation distraction.

Now, Archibald is no longer as small, having finally started to grow into his ears. While he is a teenager, and no longer a kitten, I am completely content with the furball.

Still, I’m not sure my boyfriend was expecting the response when he mentioned without thought that the SPCA uses foster families to look after kittens too small to adopt.

“So we can constantly have kittens? All of the time?

“When are we going to pick them up?”


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