Saturday, October 16, 2010
Trudy's world has been rocked. About a week ago she began struggling with the truth about dogs. She feels like her whole life has been a fraud. A sham. Everything she knows may be one big conspiracy.
It all began when this tiny little fuzzball came to live with us. That day, Trudy was robbed of her joy. It was the day she discovered that as a dog, she is not really required to chase every cat up a tree. Now she's unsure of what to do about the cat from down the road, the one she chases up a tree every single day. This has lead her down the path of questioning everything she's ever known to be dependable in her life. What will happen if she lets one of those buzzards land in the yard instead of chasing them around and around the pasture, barking her fierce warning? Is it possible to identify another being without sniffing their crotch? Is chicken poop really a delicacy? So many unanswered questions. All because of this little creature that weighs 1 pound, 1 ounce.
And I'm right there with her. When the last of the two cats we inherited lost the battle for his 9th life years ago, I vowed no feline would ever (and I meant EVER) be allowed to live with us again. EVER. This caused several moments of turmoil between Shawn and me. His plans for the future include a barn and he says you can't have a barn without a cat. It's the whole rodent-control argument. And since I dislike mice even more than I dislike cats, I compromised and said fine. We can have a barn cat. But no feline will ever (and I meant EVER be allowed to set a paw inside our house again. EVER. It's the whole poop-in-a-box-in-the-house-walk-in-it-and-dig-in-it-and-then-climb-on-the-kitchen-counter-and-table thing. I must be fair and admit the repeated experience with the cat from hell urinating on my kitchen counter might have influenced my strong belief that cats are Satan's demons in furry form.
But then something happened. Will's fish died. And it was all my fault. I hadn't researched the needs of Betta fish. I relied on my past experience with them which always granted our fish the joy of long lives swimming around and around in a 1 gallon fish bowl set on the counter. I'd never considered they are tropical fish and, therefore, have a water temperature requirement. Will cried his little heart out. And he planned a "funerol." He requested to be left alone while he buried his fish. He said he hoped Neon Leon was in God's Golden Pond. He asked me to buy Goldfish crackers, dye one blue, and set it in a bowl of the gold ones as a memorial.
2 days later, Shawn called from work to tell me a woman had brought in a litter of kittens she was getting ready to take to the Humane society. Will begs, for a cat every time he sees one. I no longer wanted to feel like one of Satan's demons in curly-haired form. I caved. I told Shawn to bring one home. He'll begin building his barn in the next couple of weeks so I said that it could live in the basement until the barn was habitable.
By the end of the first day, the cat was upstairs. By the end of the second day, it was in my lap. Or in my arms. On my shoulders. When not in one of those places, it's at my feet, mewing to be picked up. I can't figure out how it can be one of Satan's demons in furry form.
Even though it's destroyed all my defenses, I'm in better shape than Trudy. I can still cling to one last thread of my resolve.
Even if it never leaves our house, I can still say it's a barn cat.