One of our kids came into my life at a later age. He’s my wife’s son and I love him to death. He’s hard-working, built his own successful business, and he’s a great dad. He’s everything you would want in a son. Except…
He had done so well with his business, he bought his family a new home in the neighborhood he grew up in. He wanted his kids to have the same upbringing in the same neighborhood he grew up in. It’s a beautiful house and we’re all proud. Of course, the house came unfurnished…except for the current home dweller…a cat. Apparently, the last people who lived there left their cat.
Now the last thing he wanted was a cat. They already had a dog, so they really weren’t looking for another pet. Reasonable. What he did when he saw the cat outside was not. The exchange with my wife, his mom, went something like this:
SON: So, I guess the previous people had a cat and left it.
MOM: Where is it now?
SON: In the house.
MOM: How did it get in the house?
SON: I saw it and said, “Here kitty kitty.”
SON: Well, I couldn’t just leave it.
MOM: You now own a cat.
He does too, kind of. Nobody really “owns” a cat. It’s more like the cat owns them. They’re already on their second litter of kittens and they kept a couple. Now they have multiple owners.
Here’s the thing about cats. Unlike dogs, you can’t own one. A dog will be chosen by the owner. A cat will let you think you chose them, but in reality, if they don’t choose you, all you have is a creature you have to feed and clean up after…and they expect you to do it on their terms. After all, they think they own you.
If dogs and cats could talk, um, I mean people talk, it would go like this:
DOG: Oh! Oh! You’re awake! Oh, I’m just so happy! I’m so happy I might even tinkle a little, just a little, on the floor in front of the bed! Can we go out now? Huh? Huh?
CAT (looking disdainfully at the dog): Moron.
DOG (turning towards the cat in excitement): He’s up! He’s up! He’s…
CAT: Shut up, you moron. I need to be fed.
DOG: Oh! Oh! Do you think he’ll feed us today? It would be so great if he did! He loves us so much!
CAT (rolling her eyes): Of course he’s going to feed us, you moron. That’s what I hired him for.
DOG (blank stare): What?
CAT: Are you really that stupid? I’m going to wait by my bowl.
DOG: Wait for what?
CAT (rolling her eyes again): For our servant to feed us, you moron.
DOG: Oh! Oh! Do you think he’ll feed us today? It would be so great if he did! He loves…
CAT: SHUT UP! Oh, and by the way, I left him a little something in his slippers.
Of course, it’s built into a cat to be mad at you if you don’t do what they want. They will expressively let you know when they are displeased with your performance as a servant, and it usually smells bad enough to gag a gorilla.
Anyway, they now have not only a house full of kids, they have a dog and an assembly of cats. Oh sure, they’re so cute when they’re little. You can pick them up, cuddle them, play with them, laugh at their little bites and clawing, but eventually, they grow. Then they take ownership. The bites aren’t so little anymore and the claws have found a new purpose…furniture.
Now before you think I have something against cats, please note that I didn’t make the dog too bright in this scenario either. In reality, I love almost all animals…except camel spiders…Ewww, pretty gruesome, but most of the rest of the animal kingdom is good with me. Unlike people, animals are true to their nature. Even a dog can’t lie when you say something like, “Did you do this?” Of course, the cat won’t own up to, “Did you do this?” It’s not that they’re lying…they just don’t care what you think they did.
Possible moral of this story? Be very careful how you use the phrase, “Here kitty kitty.” It might just land you a cat. Oh, and if you’re a softy, like almost every human in this story, you might also want to avoid the words, “Oh, it’s a cat.” That’s how I got my cat…