My cat Oliver is left-handed. Or I guess I should say left-armed. When he reaches lovingly for my face to so rudely wake me at 5:30 a.m. from much needed sleep, it’s always with his left arm. When he’s really being inconsiderate, he extracts his claws ever so slightly to show me he really needs to be petted that exact minute. And naturally, I do it.
Now don’t get me wrong; I guess we all have quirks, even our pets. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some are amusing, others simply annoying. But what can ya do? We are who we are and our pets are no exception.
Take Wally. He’s completely obsessed with the laser toy. Not a night goes by when he doesn’t sit at my feet staring, willing me to grab that mouse-shaped laser and flash it around the room while I lounge in my easy chair, hoping he will have amnesia and forget his nightly routine. But he never does.
Wally stares at me with such intensity it’s almost intrusive. When I don’t accommodate him he sits in front of the glass French doors, his back to me, facing the backyard. At first I thought he wanted to go outside, but no. He’s looking at my reflection in the glass so he can see when I pick up the laser while pretending not to care anymore. It gets old pretty fast. But naturally, I accommodate him.
Then there’s Taffy. Talk about obsessed. This dog won’t even allow me to pee without accompanying me to the bathroom. And wherever I plop down in the house, Taffy pushes her way onto my lap. If it’s already occupied, she then glues herself to my side.
Here’s Taffy’s quirk: If my other pets have taken up every available inch within my vicinity, she groans long and loud. The sound coming from that little body resembles ET the extraterrestrial before he formed words. It’s sort of a guttural vibration. You’d have to hear it. I always need to cover my mouth, as I don’t want Taffy to know I’m about to laugh over her antics.
Skip’s quirk is he unquestionably NEEDS his blankie. It completes him, like Tom Cruise wooing Renee Zellweger in the movie, Jerry Maguire. He’s not himself without it so I try not to mind when he pees on it out in the yard and then drags it through the patio puddles and into the house after the hardwood floor has just been polished. But the sound of him sucking on it is so flippin‘ cute I can’t take it from him. Consequently, I have many blankies on hand since they’re always in the wash.
Callie is super smart with a playful, mischievous streak. She teases Skip every morning by taking his blankie when he invariably drops it off the end of the bed. She quickly grabs it and trots gleefully around the bedroom with his prized blankie hanging from her clenched teeth, taking delight in Skips cries of anguish. I believe she gets a perverse thrill out of driving him nuts.
Once I determine Skip can’t take it anymore, I say to Callie, “Give me the blankie.” She comes to me and as I reach over from a prone position in bed, Callie drops it just out of my reach. This goes on 2-3 more times until she finally bores of frustrating me and hands it over.
So that makes 5 quirks from 5 of my pets. And that’s just the half of it. There’s still 5 more to go: Jack, Savannah, Mango, Dash and Skye…whew! That particular crew are also pieces of work with their own entertaining idiosyncrasies, or as I like to say, quirks…