Preface: I am a little fired up this morning so this might be a long one.
All you hear about these days when it comes to animals is, “Adopt a shelter animal”. Then the animal lovers will hit you will a stat like, “there are 6 trillion shelter animals out there”. Shortly after that, Sarah McLachlan comes on and sings a sappy song. It is enough to warm the coldest heart…
Except mine. Here is what I know about these animals. They come in 3 basic categories. Newborns or still very young. Although you have a good shot to train these animals, you also have a very high risk that they are already sick and diseased. Ever hear of Parvo? Terrible disease that kills young animals. We had a great little puppy that died quickly from Parvo.
The next group is true strays. Difficult to train but, if you find the right one, you will have a friend forever. A complete hit or miss process.
Then there is my favorite category. The animal that the owner doesn’t want anymore. Now, sometimes this is because they are moving or some change in their lives prevents them from keeping the animal. But mostly, they have really bad habits that the owner can no longer tolerate.
This is the type of animal my wife is attracted to. She called me last Saturday to tell me she had found a “beautiful” cat. It was already de-clawed and potty trained. (How does she know it is potty trained? The lady said so… Oh, ok).
Immediately, red warning signals are flashing all around me. The immediate question I asked was, “If the cat is so wonderful, why did someone get rid of it?” Of course, this was just a rhetorical question because my wife had already decided she was bringing the ball of fur home.
She brings the cat home and it is one of those long hair cats…the kind I don’t like. It is all fur with 2 eyeballs. Think Don Knotts with an afro. Anyway, the first test is whether the cat will use the litter box. However, even if they do, that isn’t necessarily the end of the story.
The last cat we had was also a furball and used the litter box. Of course, it was also pi**ing half of the time behind the downstairs toilet that no one uses. I had to rip up all of the carpet and treat the concrete for like 30 days to solve that crime. Obviously, that cat is no longer a member of our “family”.
Back to the latest furball. After a few days, all is going well and I think maybe we caught a break. Maybe the previous owner was killed in a car crash or shot in a bank robbery. How naive of me.
I get out of the shower this morning, lean over the sink to brush my teeth, and there it is. A load of cat poop. This is how the ensuing conversation went:
TL: Honey, come her and look at what your cat did.
Mrs TL (still in bed): I’m sleeping. I’ll look at it later.
TL: No…this is YOUR cat and YOU need to come clean the mess.
Mrs TL: (throwing bedspread back and mumbling something under her breath)
TL: I told you this cat is a defective retard.
Mrs TL: My God, couldn’t you just have cleaned it?
TL: I could have…but it’s not MY cat.
She then stomped off back to bed. So, just as I suspected, this “purr-fect” cat is a lemon. My wife is now on the clock to fix this behavior before it is returned to its rightful owner.
And before one of you animal lovers asks, let me answer. Yes, I would do the same thing if it was a person. There are 2 points to be made. First, an animal is not a human. You can convince yourself that it is but it is not. A cow is not a dog and a dog is not a human. See how simple that is?
Second, if a grown person, like this grown cat, pooped in my sink, you can bet that he or she would be in a convalescent home by the end of the day. Hell, at least with humans you can put a Depends on them. (Although I would not even do that). You have no control of your bowels, man or beast, and you can’t stay in my house.
By the way, we also have a Newfoundland dog and another cat. They both respect my rules, so they get to stay. I only have a problem with law breakers.