Why Not Rental Cats?

Me with freelance cats, Istanbul.

Me with freelance cats, Istanbul.

I am not overly fond of my house, which saves me the trouble of being homesick when I travel. But I surely do miss my cat.

It can be argued, indeed it has been argued by my husband, that my cat has as many deficiencies as the house. This may be true, but the cat has some fine qualities to balance things out, most notably a sweet disposition and an excellent purr.

Anyway, I find feline company quite soothing, and I would like, when I travel, the opportunity to rent a cat.

Just as most hotels are more lavishly appointed than our home and rental cars are newer and flashier than our cars, the rental cat might as well constitute a temporary upgrade. A cat with enough brains to distinguish its tail from a rodent, for example, or one with a neck, might be a nice change of pace. 

This idea is not so far-fetched. Mark Twain rented cats, as he explained in his autobiography:

Many persons would like to have the society of cats during the summer vacation in the country, but they deny themselves this pleasure because they think they must either take the cats along when they return to the city, where they would be a trouble and an encumbrance, or leave them in the country, houseless and homeless. These people have no ingenuity, no invention, no wisdom; or it would occur to them to do as I do: rent cats by the month for the summer and return them to their good homes at the end of it. Early last May I rented a kitten of a farmer`s wife, by the month; then I got a discount by taking three.

The days of long summer vacations in the country are long gone, at least for most of us. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to order up a cat for your weekend in Montreal or the visit to Disney World?

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