So here it is. I am not what I appear to be. No, I'm not two midgets standing on top of each other in a raincoat. I'm actually a crazy cat lady disguised as a young (ish) dude. See, ever since the tender age of 10, my parents and I have had a habit of taking in stray and unwanted cats that were dumped off in our neighborhood. And during all those years I lived with my parents, we took in a grand total of 11, one of which is still alive and well in my parents' backyard.
I thought I escaped the cat lady life, but just like the thug life, it follows me wherever I go. Once I moved out and got married, the wife and I adopted a cat of our own, one that had been burned in a fire (she looks fine now) and took years of patience to get her to trust people again.
Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment.
And yet, it seems that still wasn't enough, because I've added one more to my number of ridiculously adopted creatures, and further cemented myself as this century's Doctor Dolittle. I've befriended hawks, I've taken in baby snails, and as of last week, I've taken in a bengal. The housecat, not the tiger or the football team, but don't tell her that. She's convinced that she's a linebacker of a tiger trapped in a 2.8 lb body.
This wee one was originally a (very stupid) Christmas present for a small child. See, apparently the family bought this cat - which was the result of crossbreeding a housecat with an Asian leopard, mind you - thinking it was just going to sit there like a cute little doll and never do anything.
So, no kidding, they gave her up... just three days after Christmas. Three damn days, and she was already kicked to the curb and listed on Craiglist. So like the closeted cat lady that I am, I took her in. She's feisty, she's clumsy, and she's very affectionate, and I genuinely can't understand why anyone would give her up. Then again, I can't understand why anyone would give up any animal like that.
Which brings us to the topic of today's post (sorry, it's not endless pictures of the new cat being goofy... this is a comedy blog, after all, and not the entire rest of the Internet). There are some people who have to give up their pets for genuine reasons - health, moving, aggressive behavior, what have you - and then there are the assholes who abandon their animals because of stupid, selfish reasons. And taking in our new cat reminded me of a time, long ago, when I may or may not have made a child explode into tears because of the latter.
Once upon a time (6 years ago) I was in line at the grocery store, and the woman in front of me was buying kitten stuff with her son - litter box, tiny collar, kitten food, etc. So the cashier said...
And without flinching, the little boy said...
The boy, who couldn't have been more than 6-7, said this like it was just the most normal thing in the world; the cat turns 2 years old, and you get rid of it. And even though the cashier looked like this...
And behind them, I looked like this...
...Mom just kept rattling on and on about how exciting it was to get rid of their "old" cat and replace it with a new kitten that would invariably grow up to receive the same treatment.
I don't know which made me angrier, the woman's indifference to throwing away a perfectly healthy young cat, or the way her kid had just come to accept this as a regular part of life, but either way, I saw red. And without thinking twice, I said something equally fucked up to the little boy.
And then, I made sure to stare the mom in the eyes as I said...
The kid... went absolutely ballistic. I mean, we're talking about that ugly cry that involves a river of snot.
He started bawling, and asking his mother a slew of questions like where she was going to take him and if he'd ever see her again, and she stared daggers at me while she dragged him and her new purchases away.
I have no idea what happened after that, but I'd like to think that what I said still comes up in mom's therapy sessions to this day.
And while it probably wasn't the best way to handle the situation, I don't regret it, either. I can only hope that those two felt, even just for that one moment, the same pain their cats feel when they're ripped out of their home and dumped off at the pound like yesterday's garbage.
So ultimately, even if I'm destined to be a damn cat lady, I look forward to giving my new cat the happy life she deserves. One where she will always be loved, and will always be treated with patience, and will never be cast aside once she gets too big and too old to be considered 'cute.'
|Her name is Gemma, because she's a badass bitch like Katey Sagal on Sons of Anarchy|
|She looks like this right before she does her impersonation of an Alien facehugger|
|Even my cat facepalms my stupid decisions|
|Gemma's dad (20 lbs), captured here in between eating Labradors|
|I look forward to never accomplishing anything at my computer ever again|
Cheers and stay classy, fellow cat ladies,
Bryan (and Brandon)
Beer: Lagunitas Pils
Music: Porcupine Tree