So I said, “Honey, before we jump right in and buy a kitten, maybe we should consult The Sims”
“A cat’s a pretty big responsibility,” I told my wife, steering our car into the garage. “They’re not as demanding as a dog, but they don’t just take care of themselves.”
However, the kittens in the pet store window had been awfully persuasive. “I get that,” she replied, opening the door and taking up an armful of groceries. “But what’s there to worry about? Feed and water him every morning, play with him. Change the litter -- uh, how often do you change litter?”
“Depends on the cat,” I explained, grabbing the last bag and shutting the trunk with a free arm. “Once a day, usually. But see, we couldn’t just run off for the weekend without making sure he’ll be taken care of. And you want to spend time with you cat so that he doesn’t go all crazy cooped up in the house all the time...” I nudged open the door and then held it for her. “Do we really have enough time in our lives for that daily commitment? Hey, you know what? Let’s get a cat in The Sims. You know, then we can practice.”
She set the groceries on the kitchen counter with a thump. “You can’t be serious.”
“No, really. We’ll buy that new pet expansion pack and try it out. See, in The Sims you’ll have to remember to feed the cat and change the box and you’ll have to put a scratching post in the house and give him toys and ... well, if we can keep that cat from running away, we’ll get a real one.”
That about settled it. A couple of days later we installed the expansion and our little simulated family got a simulated pet. We took turns playing the game. At first, the new cat was tearing our tiny digital house up, but once we got him settled in it was cool. Over the next couple of days we lived out a few weeks in the game, and the cat was just fine. We even got him a cat-tree to climb on. Life was good.
Satisfied that we had the right stuff, together we went to the local animal shelter and adopted one of the abandoned kittens. After he tore down one of the curtains and wrapped it around himself we decided to name him “Caligula.” He’s a cool kitten. Likes to spring out from under the couch and grab your ankles, though. But at least he’s already litter-trained.
I was pretty proud of my judgment call, and was busy congratulating myself and playing with Caligula on the floor of the family room. Then I heard the sounds of a baby crying from the bedroom. I rushed inside to find my wife playing The Sims.
“That cat thing worked out so well, I’m gonna see if we can handle a baby,” my wife explained.
“No no! Turn that thing off!” I exclaimed, waving my hands. “It’s uh, just a game! It’s not accurate at all. It’s just, uh, silly. It’s crazy stuff!” Then, I howled as Caligula tore out from underneath the bed and latched onto my ankle.
I think I’ve started something bad.
My wife and I decided to dro it because we didn't want the kitten to see us fighting.
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