Who Is Running the Show Around Here?
‘“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.’” – Unknown
I have a child.
Not many people know about this child. He’s two. He’s slightly overweight for his age. But in height and standard abilities he’s up to par.
He has a few issues, one of them being his hyperactive tail that is always in motion. My baby is actually a cat named Marley.
I used to make fun of people that called their pets ‘children’. Now I’m one of them. I buy the high-end food. I go to PetSmart and by ‘educational’ toys. I draw the line at the pet clothes. I just can’t do the pet clothes. Besides, I doubt Marley would be too into it either.
I now understand why people without children think of their pets as kids because the two are a lot alike. One way is that your own child is great, but when they are someone else’s, they’re irritating. If your two-year-old is throwing an unholy fit, it’s ‘“she does this a lot.’” To anyone else it’s really annoying. When Marley hides behind a corner in our apartment and then pounces on my ankles as I walk by, I’m used to it. To any one else, it might be painful.
When a pet or child pushes you to the limit and you’re on the brink of packing their stuff and sending them off for adoption, then they do something totally cute and you just have to laugh.
One bad thing about cats is that they can climb, jump or take a nap on just about any surface. Right now as I’m trying to type, he’s laying on the notebook in front of me. He’s already chased the mouse pointer on the screen, and tried to bite the escape button off the keyboard.
I like to think that raising Marley is practice for a real child one day. I think we’re doing okay: Marley has made it two years and counting.
Although he has had a number of setbacks.
Once I thought he swallowed a thumbtack. I dropped a tack on the floor. I looked down and he was batting it around, then seconds later it was nowhere to be found. A few minutes after, he was throwing up on my new rug. This incident ended with a trip to the vet and some expensive kitty x-rays only to find out that Marley is most likely lactose intolerant. Go figure. Apparently, Marley had been drinking some of the leftover milk in my cereal bowl prior to the tack drama.
At our old apartment we lived on the third floor with a balcony. Marley was out there by himself and jumped down about a foot to a 3-inch wide brick ledge, on which he got stuck because he couldn’t get turned around. My husband ended up lying stomach-down on the balcony, reaching down, grabbing Marley by the scruff of the neck and then carefully pulling him back through the balcony bars. There’s two of his nine lives down, seven more to go.
Marley is a true scaredy-cat. He’s scared of everything. Even himself. If he catches sight of himself in a window, he’ll run away, and then sneak along the wall and peek around to look in the window to see if he’s still there.
His funniest trait has to be his hyperactive tail (I mentioned this earlier). I think I’ll name it the ‘tell- tale tail.’” Sometimes the rest of his body will look asleep, but the very tip of his tail will be twitching and I’ll know he’s faking it. Other times, he’ll be hiding from me and I’ll go looking for him. I’ll walk into a room and I’ll see an inch of orange tail sticking out from under a piece of furniture.
I think it was Hemingway who said something like: ‘“I don’t know who is more entertained, the cat or me.’” As long as Marley’s remaining seven lives can last, I’ll be around entertaining him. Maybe we’ll get him a companion someday and they can entertain each other. I will draw the line at more than two cats’… I don’t want to be called the ‘weird cat lady’ by the neighborhood kids.