On Dogs and Cats, and Unfortunately, Death

“‘It’s dreadful, isn’t it?'” “‘What? Death?'” “Yes. It makes everything else seem so horribly trivial. He doesn’t look human. When you look at him you can hardly persuade yourself that he’s ever been alive. It’s hard to think that not so very many years ago he was just a little boy tearing down the hill and flying a kite.'” (Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil.) I just walked over to open my window as it was getting hot in my living room. I was all ready to start working; I had my coffee ready, a handful of stolen mini eggs from my kids’ Easter baskets had just been eaten, and all that was left was to let in some fresh air to counteract the effects of blind-less south-facing windows. And then I stopped. My dogs were sitting, or lying, in the sun, right outside the window. It was strange because they never sit outside that particular window. And so I looked again, closer this time. There was something else lying at their feet. Something black and fuzzy and – Oh My God!! It was a cat. Asleep….no, no, no, no. Shit. Not a sleeping cat. There was a ratty looking, but formerly fuzzy-looking, dead cat lying at my dog’s feet. It was black, just like them. Well, it still is black. It’s weird. I want to speak of it in the past tense because it is in the past tense, now. […]

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Hate is Such a Strong Word

My cat hates me. Well, she’s not my cat, she’s my son’s, but I’m the one home with her all day; the one who feeds her, who saves her from the dogs, who talk to her, who suggested getting her in the first place. And do I get any thanks? Hell no. Not only that, but she likes/tolerates (she is a cat, after all) everyone in the family…EXCEPT ME! I walk into a room where she’s been sitting quietly and she jumps down from her perch and leaves. I pick her up and she instantly stops purring and clamors to get away. I talk to her and she gives me the stink eye. So fine, if she wants to be like that, I’ll just hate her right back. Isn’t that the way it goes? And yet, I can’t. I often chalk it up to her being a cat, they’re supposed to be like that, aren’t they? And I take solace in the fact that my dogs trail after me all day and look pathetic when I leave and then ridiculously happy when I return. They love me, so it’s not that I’m unlovable. It’s obviously the cat’s problem. But that doesn’t mean I have to like her. Or be nice to her, right? I’m not talking about the cat. Well, I am, but I’m not. The cat is so reflective of the rest of my life. Over the past couple […]

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