I felt inspired to blog about my two monsters after sitting down to the computer tonight to finish my taxes and instead getting a mouthful of fur. Finny, our 1-year-old spunkmeister, felt it necessary to parade back and forth across my desk rubbing his back under my jaw and swipeing his tail across my mouth. The same mouth that just had a coat of chapstick applied to it. Awesome. After throwing him on the floor he proceeded to climb my back instead – this time digging his four-inch claws (that he won’t allow me to clip) into my flesh. When he decides he can’t make it to my head, he SLIDEEESSSSS down my back leaving a trail of bloody welts.
The constant interruptions made me think about how having animals in my life, especially cats, has changed my everyday behavior. Since Finny likes to jump on my back whenever I’m in the bathroom (and inevitably scaring the daylights out of me), I’ve learned to hunch over the sink when brushing my teeth or getting ready to get in the shower. For some reason when my height is diminished he’s not as interested in climbing me like Mt. Everest. But to anyone who doesn’t know this about him, I’m sure I look like a hobbit, a nana, or just plain moronic.
What other weird things do I automatically do to accommodate my animals?
Because this is so helpful to me while I’m trying to work. I can’t even get to my mouse!
Five Ways Pets (ok, mostly cats) Have Changed My Life
5. I put my unfinished meals on the floor.
I can’t tell you how many cereal bowls I’ve set down on the floor next to my computer chair only to step in them an hour later when I go to get up. While vacationing in the Caribbean, J and I had lunch on the patio of a little island eatery and I, being the pied piper of cats, managed to make a mangy friend of the feline variety. I immediately planted my plate on the floor for my friend to enjoy – causing much commotion from the locals and nearly getting us kicked out (an I’m sure I narrowly avoided rabies as well).
4. I sleep like a Cirque du Soleil contortionist.
I am used to have a mound of animal flesh in some of the most awkward places on my bed. Snickers used to like sleeping on my face. Finny enjoys sleeping right between my legs – which makes for some entertaining problem-solving as I try to shift positions in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, not having pets until he met me, J doesn’t understand where the cat is in the bed. I can move myself around Finny in my sleep. He rolls over on top of him 9 out of 10 nights and nearly suffocates him to death.
3. I check the closets, dryer, and oven obsessively.
I don’t even know I’m doing it – it’s second nature to double-check the dryer before closing the door and turning it on. I even wait and listen for an extra loud THUD, just in case. I also open the oven door about 20 times after I turn it on, which is probably why it takes my oven twice as long to pre-heat as it does others. And I’m guilty of shutting Buffy in the hall closet at least a dozen times…mostly because she’s so damn quiet and doesn’t really notice (being blind she sits in there silently until we retrieve her – poor thing). I do not leave the house before checking that both animals are accounted for. Just in case!
2. I can’t have “nice” things.
I actually used to smile and nod at families with young children who would tell me this. Because I was way ahead of them – even before Silas was born I used this phrase all the time. I don’t buy expensive furniture, or bedding, or curtains. I don’t spend a lot of money on new carpets or flooring. Why? We can’t have nice things with cats. It’s going to have puncture marks in it. It’s going to get shredded, covered in hair, thrown up on, peed on, and just plain worn out. And I honestly could care less – because they’re cheap things that can easily be replaced! Now you know why 90% of our home is furnished by IKEA and Big Lots. Note: I’ll never forget the time I watched Snickers walk over to one of our in-floor heating vents and proceed to throw up down it. Seriously. She had the whole house, but she knew this would be the only place I couldn’t clean. Never underestimate a cat – they know how to push your buttons.
1. I repeat myself over, and over, and over, and over, and over…
To me the cats are human and are capable of understanding what I say. But for some reason I still can’t get past repeating every question I ask them a dozen times. It’s like I’m expecting an answer. Spend an hour at my house and you’ll inevitably hear me say, “Whatcha doing Finn? Huh????? Whatcha doin? What????………….Huh? Whatcha doing Finnycakes? Whatcha doing?” I recently took a video of Silas in his pack n play and all you can hear in the background is me saying, “Hey baby whatcha doing?! Huhhh?!?! What do you see? What is it? Whatcha doing? Huh?!?”. It was a real eye opener at how unbelievably annoying I must be to my loved ones.
After being blessed with many an animal in my life over the years I know there won’t be a day that goes by that I won’t have one around. So Silas, when you’re 50 and reading this and you know it’s time to put mom in a nursing home – let me take my cat!