Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cats and Dogs

Me and Ray--my loaf of bread.

I am a cat person. Period. I have four cats, and I love them all (even Sammo, who doesn't appear to love me back.) I have always had cats. I've nursed them to health, through cases of feline AIDS and leukemia, and through scrawny almost-kitten-hood. I love cats, and because I have the Midas touch when it comes to felines, they love me.

So, I am a cat person, but on top of that, I am a hair anti-dog, primarily because 1) my dad was a dog-hater, 2) dogs scare me, and I don't like that they know it, 3) dogs smell, 4) dogs lick, 5) dogs beg, and 6) dogs bark. There are other reasons, too--like their neediness and the travel-challenges they pose. Plus, they don't live as long as cats, and I hate dying. Oh, and once, a pack of dogs very viciously killed one of my cats. This I very unfortunately heard and was tragically unable to prevent. Given this, I think a little dog-hating on my part can be understood.

Nevertheless, I would like to like dogs. I mean, who wants to be a hater? No one. Loving is so much easier. I would really, really like to love dogs.

But when I am trying my damndest to tackle a pile of papers, and when the dogs who belong to our new next-door neighbors--the guys we call "The Mean Gays" because they don't return a hello, steal our parking spaces, and on top of that took it upon themselves to have our tree butchered in a precise line that met their property--when those dogs bark at every little f-ing noise, well, I just pile on the dog-hate. My dog-hate is, in fact, right now a steaming poop-pile of wretched dog-hatred.

What's worse than the mean-gays' dogs? A hanger-on of a feral cat.

Yes, there's this big-balled orange tomcat that has adopted our house as the site of his lurky-lurk and his horny, feed-me/do-me howl. I have wondered if he is Ray's long-lost brother, but then I have decided that it is impossible because a) his head is the size of a basketball, and b) his howl channels hell. Ray is a tidy loaf of bread in his entirety, and his meow is a darling coo.

The Mr. Big Balls problem began when we were at my parents' house for the holidays. We asked our cat-sitters to put a bowl outside for our cat, Sammo. Said bowl attracted Big Balls. And although we have not fed the dude since our return, he has doggedly (ha!--doggedly!) hung on to his old haunt. That dude is howling up a storm today, and so at nearly every paragraph, I have been yelling "shutup" through the floor-furnace... and, of course, at the window toward the mean-gays' dogs.

For the record: I like gays, and even an occasional mean one (case in point: Joe from across the street.) I do not support name-calling, but it is, in fact, easier to call the three men "The Mean Gays" than "our neighbors" (of which there are several,) or "our gay neighbors" (since they're nearly all gay.) Hence "The Mean Gays."

Also for the record: I have met some notably exceptional dogs in my lifetime. Good dogs: non-humping/smelling/licking/begging ones. Those dogs have left an favorable impression on me. They've made me WANT to be a dog person. In fact, since we are moving right next to the Mississippi River levee soon, I have imagined myself walking a winner-of-a-dog of our own on the gravel path, all tail-wags and sunset.

However, it is dog experiences like today's bark-fest that prevent me from crossing over.

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