Now don’t get me wrong; what I’m about to say may give the impression I don’t adore my 10 pets, all rescues. Yes, they, like humans, are uniquely flawed beings. But accepting flaws are part of any relationship, right? We take the good with the bad. Besides, I’ve determined I was meant to have each of these critters because certain aspects of their not-so-endearing qualities might not be tolerated by some.
My cat with an amputated tail, Savannah, is determined to put me in traction. When it’s time to eat, she’s like a magnet and my legs are metal. She zig zags between them like a slalom skier. Everyday I warn her she’s going to trip me but she pretends not to hear. No doubt one day I’ll be sporting a cast on a body part. But Savannah is the sweetest, gentlest of souls. Not a mean bone in that body.
Wally, my Dachshund mix, barks incessantly whenever someone walks by the house while he’s positioned on the back of the sofa with a perfect view. He’s still not entirely house-trained, even though I pretend I’ve won the lottery whenever he uses the dog door and returns triumphantly, having just relieved himself. Apparently, however, my enthusiasm doesn’t persuade him to use it on a regular basis. But Wally, like one of those poor circus bears, sits up with arms elevated when he wants my attention. It’s endearing and he knows it.
So last week you learned 5 of my pets have quirky ways. Who doesn’t, right? But that’s only half of it. There’s still 5 more of my crew who are no less quirky than the others. Trust me here. For instance…
Fat Jack is a perfect example of a dichotomy. On the one hand he’s a lover boy and on the other he’s Mr. Hyde from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The boy has a hint of evil just below the surface and it emerges precisely when he’s being Mr. Lover Boy.
You see, Jack enjoys grooming my other cats. He’ll snuggle beside someone and begin licking with his painfully rough sandpaper tongue. But it must feel good because they let him. He licks around the head and face, their eyes closed, basking in his tongue massage and all’s well with the world. For about 3 minutes.
Then out of nowhere Mr. Hyde appears. Jack attempts to mount whichever cat, male or female (he’s not picky). He quickly becomes overstimulated and starts neck biting like a vampire. Next thing I hear are cries of discomfort so I shoo Jack away. Now don’t get me wrong; they still come back for more so I can only surmise the pleasure is worth the pain.
In cat rescue, I never know what I’ll encounter on any given day.
I might get a call about kittens stuck inside the sub-flooring of a basement and find myself crawling over rodent skeletons to reach 3 kittens huddled in the farthest corner (naturally) after mom was hit by a car.
I might have to traipse through poison oak, even though I’m horribly allergic, because it’s the only way to reach an injured feral. And once in a while I have to steal feral cats from a property where I brought them for rodent control.
When one has 5 cats, 4 dogs and an array of rotating foster kittens, one can expect constant activity, except maybe in the wee hours of the night. And sometimes not even then when one particular dog snores like an inebriated sailor cursed with sleep apnea.
Now don’t get me wrong. Skip’s snoring is actually kind of endearing. But how such a small mutt creates so much noise is baffling. Being an insomniac with 2 functioning ears, I can attest he is loud.
That’s when I started thinking of how one of these days it might be nice to sleep 8 hours instead of my usual 5. And I thought, what would life be like without my animals? Well, the dam burst and within mere minutes these 17 thoughts poured out of me.
I just watched the movie Marley and Me with my fat cat, Jack. Yes, Jack watches TV. He’s a very observant guy. But if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m about to ruin it for you so you should probably skip the next paragraph.
Marley and Me is a comedy about a dog but also a tear-jerker because Marley dies, as dogs will do. I’d already seen the movie but I still cried like a baby. I’m talking crocodile tears that spilled from my eyes, missed my cheeks entirely, then landed on Jack, who lounged on my lap. Pathetic? Yeah, I’d say so.
Now that you virgins of Marley and Me are back with us, let’s continue.. Continue reading →