When we were young, (before kids-BK) the idea of pets was so appealing. Especially (as Katie would say) "teeny tiny" ones. They're just so fluffy and cuddly and precious and cute. (stop gagging Teresa)
As a child, I loved wee creatures as most kids do. I wanted to take home the lonely flea-infested strays, care for the broken-winged baby birds, humanely trap and keep a squirrel as a pet. (I mean c'mon, how can a wild animal be so gosh-darned cute and not be meant to be kept and brushed and napped with?)
I really loved my cats with all my heart and thoroughly believed that when they snuggled with me, they were expressing their undying thanks to me for being such a wonderful human. That they loved it when I drew on them with markers or dressed them in cute outfits.
This love of animals carried on through young adulthood and into the BK times. Tim and I adopted Maggie and Gracie soon after moving into our first place. It was a sign of our commitment. It meant that we were responsible adults. In retrospect, it was probably a mistake.
I like my cats, sort of. But somewhere in time, after children started to come, it became easy to really hate those obnoxious, smelly, prissy things.
What's happened to me? I used to spend hours petting and loving and telling my secrets to my feline friend. Now, I'm constantly kicking the stupid varmint out of my sacred lap and cursing as I wipe the drool off my hand. (Gracie leaks from her mouth when she's settling into position)
At promptly 6:30 am, EVERY morning, I am awakened not by my children, but by the stupid ding-a-ling cat who is literally in my face. Drooling and meowing and shoving her hungry self onto any exposed parts of my comatose body. (not Tim's of course, just me) Even the kids know not to bug me first thing in the morning. I'm positive the only reason why my cat is still with us and not dead in a bag in the river is because I'm too paralyzed at that hour of the morning to do anything about it.
I've become so selfish I don't even want a warm soft body in my lap after the kids go to bed. That's when they come out. And that's when I'm least in the mood to appease them. They're just another living thing trying to suck away my will to live.
Aren't they supposed to be therapeutic? Shouldn't I live longer because I own one? How bout twice as long because I own two?
There is still the occasional amusing moment keeping my deadly thoughts at bay. When Gracie enters a room very cautiously, stepping as if through a minefield, I like to wait till she is just at my feet and then twitch a toe ever so quickly and slightly. When successful, she'll lift her hind legs up and pivot around on her front paws or sometimes travel straight up off all fours as a startle reflex.
That's fun. Every cat owner does stuff like that right? Am I cruel?
I also enjoy making them chase the imaginary laser mouse around in circles till they are too dizzy to walk straight. Is the ASPCA going to come after me now? I'm pretty sure the cats like it. After all, we know they won't do anything they don't want to do.
I've tried to recapture my lost feelings for my pets, but all I come up with are resentful ideas of how to get rid of them because dammit, Grace peed on the carpet again. But the kids seem to like 'em, so I'll tolerate them. For now.