There’s one particular question on OKCupid that’s a cause of contention between me and most of my matches. I mark them red (often), they mark me red (sometimes), and I rate it important. There is no room for compromise on this one.
“Would you continue to date someone who you felt would always put their pet(s) before you?”
If you’re interested in dating me, you’d better have answered yes to this question. Otherwise, please move on. There’s nothing to see here.
My dogs and cats come first. Always.
They come before me. They come before my partner. They come before my human family. Anyone who wants to be close to me understands this, and understands why.
You want to know why?
If you don’t already know, then I suspect we are not compatible. (And it has nothing to do with them being here first because I will put future pets before you too.)
I put them first because I have no alternative. They are totally dependent on me for everything. If their needs – for food, water, care and love – conflict with yours, then I have to put their needs first.
My last relationship (of 11 years) ended when I took in a cat who is FIV positive. My partner wouldn’t accept the tiny (about 1 in 100) risk that her cat would develop FIV, which is a very minor thing, in any case, and left. I wouldn’t fail an animal in need.
Of course, it was more complicated than that. Our relationship had been disintegrating for years, and my refusal to give up on helping Luna was the final straw, but the fact is, I could have saved our relationship, at least temporarily, by putting Luna back on the street where I had found her. I put a stray cat before my partner, and before our relationship.
You may ask: “Why didn’t I find Luna another home?”
And that’s a fair question.
Until you’ve tried to find a home for an adult, black cat with FIV in a country where pretty, fluffy, healthy kittens can’t find homes, you will probably not understand the answer.
I know that one answer makes my chances of finding love very slim, but I can’t change it. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship where I had to pretend to be someone I’m not. Would you want to be in a relationship with a person who was pretending to be someone they’re not?
I just hope there’s someone out there who feels the same way as I do.
(Photo: Cats sleep wherever they like … whether it’s convenient or not.)