What I love about Facebook is the cat memes. I skip over rants, what you had for dinner, and posts that demand I click “Like” right now or the world will end at 6 p.m. tomorrow and I will be damned for eternity.
But I love cats. They are aloof, mysterious, loving, obnoxious, playful, or sleeping in positions a contortionist couldn’t copy. They beg for milk and then walk away without taking one sip. They eat the leaves off my plants and toss the pillows off my bed. They tear up the paper coming out of my printer and lay on my keyboard when I am trying to write.
And when I am feeling lonely and blue, they snuggle up to me and purr as if to say, “It’s all okay.”
I can’t remember not having a cat. My sister and I would dress our cat up in doll clothes and wheel her around in the doll carriage. She never seemed to mind.
When I married Jim, he had a dog and I had…a cat. The two got along warily, but they got along. Jim, however, was allergic. He sneezed and his eyes turned red, but he never suggested I get rid of the cat.
As time went on, we acquired one cat after another. Then, in the natural order of events, we became a cat-less home. I decided in view of his patience over the past decades, that it would remain that way and his sinuses would get the break they needed.
He got the next cat. She appeared in our back yard, starving. We had no cat food, so he opened a can of tuna, which she got rid of in about thirty seconds. We continued to feed her and inevitably she came inside.
Then, after Jim passed away, I started volunteering at the animal shelter. Of course I had to adopt one of the cats. I didn’t so much choose him as he chose me. So Jack came to live with Spooky and me. At first they got along, but when he got older he decided his job was to keep Spooky under the bed. Every time she ventures out, he chases her back. He knows he’s not supposed to to it. If ever a cat can look guilty, he does when I scold him. But he won’t stop.
So someone suggested I get another cat so Jack could have the playmate Spooky refuses to be. I said I’d try it for a week and see how it worked out. Frenchie and Jack became best friends and play together, eat, together, and sleep together. And together, they chase Spooky under the bed.
I tell Spooky it’s her problem. She weighs more than the two of them put together. I think it’s become a game to her, too.
Last week I took Frenchie to the vet to be spayed as she is now six months old. When she got home, Jack would have nothing to do with her. It broke her little heart that her best friend was hissing at her. I could tell she didn’t understand.
Thankfully, two days later he decided she was his pal after all and things are back to normal.
A worker at the shelter told me this week I needed another cat. No, I don’t. I raised three boys and believe me, they weren’t the trouble and hassle of caring for three cats with distinctly different personalities.
But as I said, when the blues come–and they do–a snuggle and a purr chases them away.
End of story.