NO! I am not contemplating getting a cat! Nothing that requires any ongoing care (like pets, house plants, etc.) will ever be part of the semi-retired, transitioned state while we are committed to extensive traveling.
What I AM talking about is my personal future...What I aspire to when physically I can't do the semi-retired, transitioned state as currently defined. This is important. I am a goal oriented person and while I am incredibly content with the way things are now, you have to be realistic and know that physically something comes up that will impede the ability to continue in this state.
But I think I have come up with an idea that would really fit who I am and what I like and would work in a state where I had much less energy and mobility than I have now.
I plan to become a cat.
Not a kitten. Yuck all that running around and playing would never do. Not a mature cat prowling the neighborhood looking to mate, fight, eat, get into trouble. That would not be appropriate. I envision an old, overweight, cantankerous cat that does just enough to be kept around and loved in spite of its cantankerous nature.
The realization that this was a perfect role for the future came about by accident. It started with sleeping. Over the last few years my sleep patterns changed and I now can only sleep 4-5 hours at one shot in the evening. I offset this by getting an afternoon nap. But often if I was up at 4 AM (not unusual if you're going to sleep between 11 and Midnight and only sleeping 4-5 hours), I would meditate or do yoga and it would still be 5:30 to 6:00 AM and I would be drowsy. So I added a morning nap.
Then came my discovery of massages. I found that I really liked just laying there and having some one touch me.
As I imagined a future where my ambition and drive was much less, I tried to find a role that would encompass a lower level of activity that would still be enjoyable. That's when it came to me. I should become a cat. Older cats spend much of the time sleeping or napping. I'm totally good with that. When they want it, they will seek attention particularly to be petted. I'm totally good with that too. I wouldn't have a problem playing around with small rodents until they died. They'd have to be pretty slow rodents though.
I see some challenges however. Purring. I can't purr. I'm pretty sure if I want the stroking I'm going to need to purr. I don't know if anyone wants you to spit up fur balls but it seems to be an intrinsic part of the role. And then there is the whole grooming with ones tongue. That seems to require a degree of flexibility that has totally escaped my aged body.
But anything worth having is worth working for. I have actually bounced this concept by a number of women that I know and have gotten nothing but positive feedback. Clearly I'm tapping into a virgin marketplace here.