Saturday, October 4, 2014

You Can't Trust a Cat

I saw a posting for a cat in need of adoption. It was a beautiful tiger with gray fur and green eyes. And I thought to myself: 3 dogs AND a cat? We’ve flirted with the idea of adding a feline a few times. Maybe this was the one to move on. Then I read the info and the provider wanted the adopter to pay a $250.00 fee. This wasn’t an agency or humane society. It was a private individual. Instead of paying $250.00 I could walk into any Petco and have a cat for free and/or drive to the dumpster behind Hannaford and have a whole family. It was a frustrating ignorance of the supply-demand cycle in the cat world. I walked away.

You can't trust a cat. I’d pay $250.00, put the cat through the battery of vet fees and fixing procedures, then bring him home, where he’d promptly climb the fence and take off into the neighborhood, never to be seen again. Cats are different than dogs. I’m not sure a cat is even meant to be domesticated. They don’t seem loving. They claw furniture and crap in a box and go "rrreeeerrr" in a scary way. Here’s what you know with a cat going in: The animal’s going to give you nothing super stimulating but will no doubt cost you cash and heartache. The cat is such a selfish animal. It’s like living with a Kardashian.

What does one do with a cat? Do you walk the cat? Do you take the cat on hikes into the mountains around Lake George? How could you? The cat would take off in two seconds. I don’t understand why people get cats. What’s the point? Cat People strike me as people who want responsibility but not that much responsibility. Sorry, Jack Byrnes from MEET THE PARENTS, it's true. A cat doesn’t need human beings. At my mother-in-law’s last month I watched through the window as her cat captured and ate a mouse in two bone-crunching bites. I didn’t even know they owned cats. Yeah, they have several, they live in the basement. You’d know if several dogs lived in the basement.

Nothing rips my insides harder than a news story about dog abuse and/or those ASPCA Sarah Mclachlan commercials. Mclachlan herself has admitted to changing the channel when that spot airs. I refuse to read MARLEY & ME (But argue THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN is the best book ever written, except LEGS of course) and bawled at the end of WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS. But cat stories don’t move me. If someone has too many cats and can’t feed them, just open the back door and wave goodbye. Those cats will be fine.

My favorite thing in the world is sleeping late on Saturdays. I did it today. I love rolling over in the wee hours of 11AM and seeing my little Sophie Dog’s face on the pillow next to mine. I saw it today. If I rolled over and saw a cat so close, I’d scream in horror. That cat was about to claw my face to a thousand strips of confetti. You can’t trust a cat.

The first dog we bought was Lola James, in 2007. Eight months later we added Sophie Cinnamon. Back then we lived in an apartment complex that went from young yuppie to the recruiting ground for Al-Qaeda in the two years we stayed there. The couple who lived a few doors down bought a baby beagle named Pepper. That dog was all the rave. Lola and Sophie loved playing with her. But something wasn’t right. There was a fear in Pepper.

We started having Pepper over to our apartment in the evenings. I’d come home from work, go get Pepper, and we’d keep her till dinnertime. When I brought her back, the woman who owned her would deliver Pepper to a blanket-covered cage, then lock her inside. It was eating me alive knowing Pepper was living like that. Then one day, that woman came to our apartment and asked if we wanted Pepper. She told me she’d charge us $250.00.

Check or cash?

Now Pepper (Pepper Jackson AKA "PJ") is part of our family and will be forever. She lives the good life. We don’t speak about her first family. I would’ve spent twice that much to have her freed from that woman. And I wouldn’t give any of my dogs up for all the money in the world. Money means nothing to me. But $250.00 for a cat: Are you crazy?

You may ask: How can a guy called the Cat's Pajamas write something called "You Can't Trust a Cat?" hmmm, ummm, ugghhh ... shut up!

Brian Huba

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