Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pets: Part 2

We did have cats, which were more or less my sister’s animals. They were all outdoor cats, as my mother patently refused to let them anywhere near her furniture. We left food and water out for them and petted them whenever they came round.

In return, they occasionally disemboweled some small, hapless furry thing and left bits in front of the door. I am told that shows that they love you. That may be, but late one night I walked into the garage and stepped on what might have been the remains of a mouse. I was barefoot. It went squish.

Let’s just say I had to wash the affection off in the sink.

My current cat is my first indoor cat. She’s a runt that was found by a friend on my old college campus and eventually made her way into my care. She is, quite frankly, nuts.

She doesn’t like anyone but me, poops on the bed when she’s mad (under the covers, actually), and is startled by any sudden movement, with ‘sudden’ being defined as ‘any.’ Some of the worst injuries I’ve ever sustained were incurred when I sneezed when she was on my lap. I once sneezed when she was on my desk. She decided that jumping onto my shoulder and leaping off was the best possible course of action. Let’s just say blood was drawn.

She was also my introduction to litter boxes. I assumed that you cleaned a litter box like you emptied your trash. When it got full, you emptied it. Some of my cat-people friends pointed out that this was incorrect and now I clean the box every evening. Frankly, the only things that get cleaned more often are my teeth.

Still, as much as I complain about my cat, there are those moments when she sits on my chest at night and purrs for no particular reason. That makes all the cleaning, trips to the vet, and hairballs worth it. Of course, inevitably, while she’s sitting on my chest and purring, a car door gets slammed, she gets startled and I end up lacerated.

Tomorrow: Part 3. Random critters I grew up with (horses and sheep).

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