I will preface this by letting you know that I hardly ever say no. If it’s a tough assignment I honestly believe I can do it, and I will often strain myself trying to do it despite evidence to the contrary. If it’s an invitation to karaoke night I will get out there and sing “I’m Every Woman” with the best of them. If it’s my best friend telling me I need to buy something I will buy it even if I know I don’t need it. Because I hardly ever say no.
So, yeah, this one took a while in order to figure out an answer. When was the last time I said no? Oh yes, when my wife said we should take in another cat. She said it would just be fostering, for a specific period of time, but I knew what that meant. And we had already said we were not getting any more pets. I just didn’t want to get attached, because I so easily get attached, and I just can’t handle it right now. It’s bad enough we had to have our older cat put to sleep last year. I just had to say no.
And it hurt saying no. It tore me apart bit by bit with the mere breathing out of that smallest of phrases. No. And with that no came a sense of loss, a sense of everything having built itself up just to get torn down again. It was physically painful, but I knew it was the right thing to say, the only thing to say. I hope that cat finds a loving home, though, that in some way my saying no was the catalyst for something amazing happening in that cat’s life. I hope so. Because if I find out it wasn’t I don’t think I’ll ever say no again.