Archive for Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Ten-year-old cat, part of marital package, befriends blogger

August 8, 2006


Suddenly, I'm a cat person.

Believe me, this is quite a shock. With some exceptions, every red-blooded American male is educated to have contempt for cats. It's why everybody gets a laugh from the yowling cat scene in Monty Python's "Holy Grail." I was no exception.

Marriage, as you know, changes things.

I now serve as furniture for a 10-year-old orange-striped feline named Annie. If I'm sitting in a chair, the odds are good that she is sitting on my lap. And if I'm sleeping in bed, chances are better that she's resting on top of me.

Even if Annie is nowhere in sight, I'm still probably covered in the 100 or so pounds of hair she sheds every day. Not long ago - this is a true story - I was working out at the Community Building, coughed, and saw a tuft of orange fly out from my mouth.

That's right. I'm the one spitting up hairballs now.

Somehow, all of this is OK, but unexpected.

Until I met my wife, I didn't even know I was a pet person. My family never had pets when I was a kid, except for one brief failed experiment involving a cocker spaniel in a too-small house. I had recently given thought to buying a dog but avoided pulling the trigger because I wasn't sure I wanted the hassle - dog food bills, veterinarian bills, kenneling bills.

Yes, I'm cheap.

There was never a question, though, about whether my wife would bring Annie with her into our home. Even if I'd been inclined to protest, I understood I was getting a package deal: If I wanted the woman, I was going to take the cat.

For the most part, it's been a good deal. In fact, I have found that sitting in the chair and scratching Annie's belly is good at alleviating the day's tensions - kind of like having a warm-blooded, 7-pound stress ball that sometimes leaves claw scars on your legs.

Still, there's all the hair.

One of the fun gifts we got for the wedding was a fancy vacuum cleaner, the kind with a transparent canister instead of a filter. You can watch all the household debris accumulate as you clean.

After a recent run-through, we had what appeared to be a whole cat trapped in the canister. Closer examination revealed that it was merely all the fur Annie had been shedding in the summer heat.

So I'm still learning. There is good news, though: That Monty Python scene. I still think it's funny. There's hope, yet.


Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 11 years, 8 months ago

I had to take the cat, too. I have grown to like her, but then there's all that hair. I told my wife if I had to put up with all the cat hair, I was going to get the black lab I have wanted for 40 years. I went to the shelter in Topeka, and found the most beautiful four year old pure bred female black lab that had been brought in the day before by her owner. Seems he had bought her to hunt with, but he didn't learn how to correctly train her, so she is gun shy. Reason he brought her in, however, was they had their first baby. When they brought the baby home from the hospital, the dog ran around in circles barking. Anyone that knows labs knows they are very good watchdogs, but they aren't aggressive unless their families are threatened. In fact the lady had a day care in her home and the lab laid down and let the kids crawl on her, pull her hair and do whatever kids do to dogs, without any problem. I was incredibly lucky that they panicked when the dog was just jealous, or reacting to a new family member. I have had this awesome dog for 4 years, and I don't care much about hair anymore, cat or dog. I love her like a child and I'm enjoying growing old with her. So, getting the cat at home was the beginning of an incredible journey with my dog. Thank you, Lynn

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