Meet Boris. Though I never imagined these words coming out of my mouth (or from my fingertips), Boris is my grand-cat.
While our nest is not quite empty yet, it is pet-less. Our family cat, Ashes died over a year ago. I still miss her, but I don't miss the cat hair, clawed furniture and door jams, or being awoken at an ungodly hour by meowing and whiskers up the nose. Ashes, too, officially belonged to my eldest daughter, and was always a bit standoffish to the rest of us. She only sought our attention at the most inconvenient times. Our son's dog, Fudge was less trouble, though more needy in the affection department - alas, she is no longer with us either. Both had long, comfortable lives, but missed their best friends horribly when they went off to college.
I had no intention of ever hosting another animal in our home given that at least one of my other children is mildly allergic, but it seems I am more indulgent than expected when it comes to my offspring's' "offspring" - even when they are non-human. (Also, my allergic child still loves cats, so this temporary fix fills the gap.) Boris is a little derpy, whereas both Ashes and Fudge exhibited above average intelligence. But, just as those of you with actual grandchildren often find, the grands are even more precious because you get all of the pleasure without the burden of responsibility:
No cleaning up after
Yep, it's pretty much the best having a grand-cat! Boris comes for a visit, and then he leaves. Granted, he has woken me up in the middle of the night with his shenanigans throughout this holiday vacation, but I didn't feel the least bit guilty about giving him a treat and a snuggle, and then passing him off to his mom. There are advantages to being Queen Cat-Grandmother.
(Lest you think I'm spoiling Boris as some kind of payback, here's a picture of his predecessor, Ashes. Why do wreaths make such inviting cat beds?)