Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Conversion of a Dog Guy

Since I know that most people don’t perceive cats as particularly manly pets, I have this minor insecurity about being understood as a “cat guy.” I just have to defend myself here. And no, I’m not going to dodge the issue by trying to claim that “they’re really my wife’s cats.”

You see I can relate to the whole current perception about cats. I know all the dog vs. cat arguments. After all, I am a converted dog guy. As I’ve said before, I used to think that the only thing cats were good for was drop kick toys. (No, I never actually kicked a cat. At least not that I remember…)

But that was before our stupid little Frosty, the Fat-Boy, adopted me. And I say stupid in the most loving way, but I’ll have to get to that later.

We were looking at renting a condo and as the landlord was showing me the back yard by the screen porch, the one overlooking the lake. (I miss that place sometimes…) This cat came up and started rubbing on my legs. Now at the time my cat paradigm told me I should start swinging my feet around and have some “fun.” However, I knew the landlord was an animal person so I behaved myself.

Later we were helping paint the place before we moved in. Lisa and our landlord had gotten together a bunch of girls from their work to help out. So here we are taking a break from painting the inside of this condo. We had the door opened to let out the fumes. It’s just me and a bunch of women, all animal people, by the way. And this cat walks in, ignores all the ladies, walks up to me like he’s in charge (as a good cat would) and plops himself down in my lap.

He knew which member of the household he had to suck up to. That was about the time that the landlord told us that Frosty belonged to Faye, the widow two doors down. Apparently Frosty belonged to Faye’s husband, who had died about a year before. Faye, being a very busy lady didn’t have time for a pet and threw him outside. She kept feeding him. But she was looking to find him another home. Right.

The day we moved in I went over to introduce myself to the two ladies talking on the sidewalk next door. When I heard Faye’s name I asked her if she owned Frosty. Without missing a beat she said, ‘Yeah, do you want him?” I told her that I wasn’t much into cats, but my wife thought he was cute. Faye, gave a good sales pitch by saying something like, “Just take him in for a while. If it doesn’t work just put him back out and let me know. I’ll start putting food out for him again.” How could I say no to that?

You see, I had this plan. To my mind I thought it through pretty well. My Gorgeous wife and I had only been married about a year, and being relative newlyweds we weren’t even sure we were up to the responsibility of having a pet. But since we had managed to keep a house plant alive for nearly a whole year, we thought we could up the commitment level and get a cat. If we didn’t kill it then perhaps we could eventually raise the bar to a dog. If the dog survived, perhaps we might actually have a chance of being responsible enough to have child or two that could hope to live past the potty training years. That was my plan anyway. Somehow 7 years later we have only gotten so far as getting a second cat.

Does that say something about us?...

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