Written in 1998

On Pets

When it comes to high crimes and misdemeanors, we have to bring into the topic the pets in our household. Don’t believe for once that pets belong to an owner, quite the opposite, the owner belongs to the pets!

We have three “animals” at the old homestead. One “dawg” and two cats. One of the cats we’ve had for several years. Now if you come to visit, don’t count on petting Milo, the older cat, or for that matter, don’t even plan on seeing Milo. Milo is antisocial. Don’t worry, even though you haven’t met him, he doesn’t like you.

Milo’s function in this family is to around his food dish when he is hungry and using his paw, flips his food dish and meows to be fed. This is the closest interaction you’re going to get from this strange creature. Even after feeding him I’ll have occasion to pass by while he’s eating and with ears back in disgust, he’ll dart away into the shadows.

The only person Milo gets close to is the Mrs. when he cuddles up to her in the wee hours of the morning. Of course he has to fight for territory because the other pets also are curled up around the Mrs. during hours of sleep. It’s just yours truly who has a significant area of the bed to himself.

Henry is a different story. Henry took all of fifteen seconds in the household to feel right at home and within fifteen seconds was delightfully engaged in play. Being young and full of energy, Henry tried to horseplay with Milo. Milo, the consummate loner, would give him a few well aimed punches to the head which Henry simply ignored as part of the game. Henry has learned the bowl flipping tactic from Milo except when Henry meows its only a squeak. I’ll lean over and say, “Are you trying to talk, Henry?”
Henry is a bundle of energy but truly a people person. Once on your lap he purrs loud and clear. That’s on the wife’s lap anyway. I have brought home every pet we have, fed them, and cared for them but they all go to the Mrs. and not me.

Rounding out our pet trio is our dog, and yes, just like both cats, black in color. Our Cocker Spaniel, “Presley”, has been with us the longest. He was donated by a salesman where I had worked who felt that apartment life was injustice to his pedigree. Presley is just a big Momma’s boy. He gets excited when I get home at night but he goes crazy when his “Mommie” gets home.

Presley performs two tasks in our household. He barks at something that is three miles away and brings fleas into the house. He likes to play ball, whereby I throw a rubber ball, he retrieves it but doesn’t give it back. He expects me, a guy nearly middle aged, to chase his butt around the house trying to get the ball away. When I finally tire, he drops the ball in the Wife’s lap, she tosses it to me, I let fly with a shot from the back of the house to the front door, he chases, retrieves and the whole bunch of crap starts all over again. He needs to get a job and stop bothering me at night!

Presley enjoys his own fenced yard in which he cavorts and performs typically doggy functions. This part of our yard is irreverently dubbed, “Poopland”, not a safe place for humans. When Presley gets ready to do his business he squats in preparation. Halfway through the act, if you can visualize what I mean, he starts moving around as if he can’t quite be sure where to drop this thing! So, there he is, doing his impression of the Cocker low crawl with this thing hanging out of his butt! I just go back in the house. I don’t want to watch.

Pets are supposed to comfort their owners and ours do. One owner, anyway, the Wife. I gave them all a place to live and they all cleave to the little woman. So she is comforted and I’m alone. The Pets certainly seem comfortable with the arrangement. They have a loving caring Mistress who happens to live with this big, ugly, pain in the rump who bears a striking resemblance to me. Well, if it works for the majority its okay. I think next time I’ll bring home a pet hippo and see who gets the space on the bed at night!