One day my sister and her friend Alison were out for a horseback ride. Alison seemed a little more quiet than usual, so my sister asked her what was wrong. She said she had been preoccupied with what to do with her aging cat. Merlin was nearing 12 or 13 at the time. Alison had been plagued by allergies and asthma and her doctor had told in the name of better health, she had better get rid of her cat.
On her next visit, Alison told her doctor she had given Merlin to her mother. What she didn’t tell the doctor was that her mom lived in the basement apartment of her house. So Merlin spent the next year with Alison’s mom. The following year Merlin had to spend it outside because the allergies were still persisting.
As Merlin neared 13, Alison couldn’t bear to have her spend another winter out-of-doors hence her quiet mood on that particular day. The only alternative that kept coming to mind was to put Merlin down.
We grew up in the Yukon. All of our animals spent time outside. The dogs lived outside year round. However, we did line the dog houses with carpet and install a heat lamp to help keep them warm. My sister suggested that Alison build a house for her cat much like what we had for our dogs, complete with carpets and lamps.
Alison was thrilled with the idea. She went home at once and told her mom. Her mom immediately crossed her arms and stamped her foot on the kitchen floor and exclaimed, “There is no way in hell that we are building a brothel in the back yard! What will the neighbours think?!”.
On the next horse back ride, my sister laughed so hard at that response. She laughed even harder when she had to explain to Alison that a cat house and brothel were the same thing. In the end though, Merlin got her carpeted house complete with a 60 watt light bulb and managed to live comfortably and happily for another 2 years.