The landlord hung that golden ring out and told me to grab it. But there was a catch. We talked about rent and we settled on a number. And then I made a casual mention about my cat. And then the world stopped.
“Oh, yeah. I have a no pet policy so you can’t have a cat” Ummm…what? Really? Why? I was stunned. And I thought I could negotiate this. He had reasons. Pet’s make a mess and cause damage. Cats, if not cared for properly, can be nasty. I knew what he meant. And I also knew I was not that pet owner. I kept my cat and his things clean, obsessively. I had been in homes that had not been kept as clean and I always wanted to make sure that if anyone walked into my home, they could not tell a cat lived there. But there was no negotiating this matter. He was clear and firm. And I did not know what to do.
Faron was just two years old. He was my “Bubba”. I did everything for him to make sure he was the most loved and well cared for animal in the history of animals. He loved me back…when it was convenient for him. A typical cat. How could I give him up? Who would want him? More importantly, who would be worthy of being his person? What was I going to do? I told the landlord I needed to think about this. Could I have a few days? I knew it was dangerous to ask this because he had many other people who wanted his place. But he agreed and I told him I would be in touch in the next two days, one way or the other. And I went home and cried…really hard…for a really long time. Here was the chance of a lifetime but with a cost MUCH higher than I had ever imagined.
I talked to my sister and to my best friends. But I knew in my head what I had to do. I just needed to convince my heart. I knew that this opportunity would never come again. I knew that this apartment was everything and more. It was beautiful, it was safe and secure, it was clean and bright and new, it came with a price tag that would not change every year, it came with a responsible landlord with a history and reputation of always taking care of his properties. But it’s biggest gift to me was the knowledge that I would be able to be here for many years to come and that I would never have to worry again or look over my shoulder. It was long term security and I needed that. So I made the impossibly difficult decision to accept the apartment and find a new home for Faron.
It would be my mission to make sure that Faron had what he deserved. I would not settle for anything less. He deserved nothing less than the absolute best.