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In honor of International Hug Your Cat Day, I’d like to wax poetic a bit about the fur kids with whom I share my life.
Mini Biggles is a 13-year-old red tabby who I met as a one-month-old little kitten. He fit in the palm of my hand and, upon first holding him, he crawled up under my hair and nestled in at the nape of my neck. I’ve been smitten with that kitten ever since.
Through the years, we’ve moved a couple times and we had to say goodbye to Mini’s big brother, Biggles. Mini was so lonely. I’d hear him meowing from behind the door as soon as I got home from work and he would proceed to follow me around like a puppy.
That’s when I found Teddy. Another red boy, he was already a year old when I saw him sitting ever-so-quietly in a cage at a shelter. I pulled him out and held him and he seemed right at home in my arms.
Mini and Teddy became fast friends…once Mini established his alpha male status, which took about 10 minutes.
The three of us have now lived together for six years. The amount of fur they shed is astronomical. I’ve got weapons such as a vacuum, lint roller, brush, packing tape, and Static Guard in my arsenal, but I just can’t keep up. I’ve accepted the omnipresence of cat hair. There’s just no escaping it.
I’ve accepted the fact that the second I finish cleaning their litter box, one of them will immediately go in there and stake their claim by taking a huge, stinky cat dump.
I’ve accepted that at least one of them will puke on a daily basis. I just do my best to keep it off my bed and my shoes. Everywhere else is fair game. Although it does amaze me that if they’re on the line of the floor and the carpet, they’ll always hit the carpet.
I’ve accepted that it’s my job to pick out eye boogies. It’s my job to clean dirty butt holes. It’s my job to wipe Mini’s nose when he sneezes and great amounts of chartreuse snot shoots out of his tiny, little nostrils.
I refrain from throwing Teddy off the bed when he meows in my face at 6 a.m., which, by the way, is a solid 90 minutes before I actually have to wake up. I try not to yell at either of them when they knead me with their sharp claws or climb on my laptop while I’m trying to use it. I spray water at Mini when he scratches at my closet door in the middle of the night, but I always follow it with an apology.
I don’t mind any of these things because…well, I DO mind them, but the bottom line is…they love me unconditionally. They’re always happy to see me when I get home. They greet me with meows and head rubs against my leg. They jump into my lap and settle down for a night of purring and petting when I’m lonely. They’re excited to see my eyes open when I finally wake up in the morning. We have routines. They’re predictable. They're also unpredictable. They make me laugh. They make my smile. They make me happy.
I love them and they love me and I can’t think of anything better than that. They might struggle against it, but I’m going to hug the heck out of them today.
Whenever I visit my mom, I drive through the rural Amish countryside of Lancaster and I’ve always been completely flummoxed by this sign: End Brake Retarder Prohibition.
Um, what? I’ve tried to work out this quadruple negative in my head and it goes something like this.
First of all, what is a brake retarder? I understand that brakes stop a vehicle and a retarder would slow something down, but if a retarder is slowing down my brakes, doesn’t that mean I’m speeding up? And if a brake retarder is prohibited, that means I shouldn’t allow this mystery retarder to slow down my brakes, right? But then I’m told to end…what, exactly? The prohibition of the brake retarder? Well, doesn’t that mean we’re just back to regular brakes working the way brakes do? And if that’s the case, shouldn’t the sign just say, “Use your regular brakes”?
I was walking down the street in Philly Saturday and I noticed two guys across the street. They were both dressed in workout gear and they appeared to be at the end of a first date. The taller blonde guy was standing in a doorway, facing the shorter dark-haired guy in a too-bright peach shirt. Blondie looked like he couldn’t wait for Peachy to leave. I remember thinking, No chemistry. It’s not gonna work.
Peachy finally took off just as I crossed the street to the point where they had just been awkwardly speaking. I watched Peachy’s back as he walked away, looking down at his phone. I felt bad for the little guy, knowing he wouldn't be getting a call back.
Then the best thing in the world happened. Blondie opened the door, peeked outside, and looked for Peachy to make sure he was far enough away, and then he walked out the door! He walked a few steps ahead of me so I was able to watch him watching Peachy. It was so exciting! What if Peachy turned around and saw Blondie walking down the street? Busted! I was secretly hoping it would happen, but I also wanted Blondie to get away with it.
Blondie and I took a left at the corner and we made eye contact and I swear I must have had a conspiratorial smirk on my face that I’m pretty sure he noticed. I almost said, “You got away with it,” but I suddenly thought he might not react well. He was a little too attractive and looked like he might be a jerk. I’m not going to say I got an evil vibe from him, but the look in his eye wasn't a particularly warm one. A real snollygoster, I bet, I thought to myself, quite judgmentally.
He walked in through a new door, one Peachy would never see, and I continued on my way. I took a right after two more blocks and then the second best thing in the world happened. I was suddenly right behind Peachy! I couldn't believe it. I SOOOO wanted to say something like, “You’re better than him,” or “He wasn't Mr. Right,” or some sort of weird, mysterious thing that a stranger would say that would send a chill up your spine. But then I decided not to interject myself into their story, unlike the way they unknowingly interjected themselves into mine.