Thursday, March 4, 2010

the house cat...

Of course, we have animals. Three to be exact: Briefs and Tori (a father/daughter Boxer dynamic duo) and Gabrielle a.k.a. Gabby (the black panther). Gabby was mine from my single days. I actually got her from this cute guy's vet practice as a way to get to know him a little better. I did want a cat. I was living alone and there is just something comforting about having another being that requires oxygen living with you. And, it was a safe way to get to know that great guy I mentioned before.

Let it be known that she is from a litter of nine kittens that was literally left on the doorstep of the vet clinic. People really do that kind of thing. Tacky. Let it also be known that she is the only kitten from that litter that is still living. All her littermates have either met tragic ends through random situations, or Dr. Eric has had to put them down because they were insane. Seriously.

No one likes our cat, not even us. We love her, but we do not like her. She follows Emory around to hiss at her and swat at her butt. Wierd. When I get up to feed Ethan at night she immediately claims my spot in bed and then growls at me when I return. Every night. Of course, she doesn't bother me, I just pick her up and chunk her down the hallway. One day she'll decide to stop trying to claim my spot as Alpha Female, but for now, I can't sleep well at night unless I've tossed the cat.

Ethan loves the cat. Emory never really paid her much mind, but the boy can't wait to get his hands on her. Gabby is in for a world of torture, I'm afraid, whenever he gets mobile. He gets so excited when she comes into his line of sight that he literally goes rigid (not sure why, that's just his physiological response when he's excited) and emits an ear piercing squeal. His breathing gets very fast and he starts to swing his arms in an attempt to grab the furry black thing. She's so in for it.

Of course, the dogs LOVE her. Although they could swallow her whole without trying, she constantly taunts them by walking in front of the laundry room door. She knows that they are not allowed out of that room. However, every now and then the dogs throw all caution to the wind, adopt a come what may attitude, brace themselves for the beating that will inevitably follow the disobedience, and chase the cat for a lick. There is always, always much commotion and noise leading us to believe the house is indeed following down around our shoulders.

Briefs is a mite nuerotic and if anything in his world changes, he will refuse to come inside. When we got married he didn't eat for a week, because he wouldn't come inside to get his food. The new presence in the house was too much for him. Or maybe it was the fact that he'd not been invited on the honeymoon. It was the time Eric went on a trip without him. About a year after we had married, added a baby to the mix, and I had quit working to stay home. Briefs went through another period where he refused to come inside. Heck, as a new mom I sometimes envied him. I wouldn't have minded a night or two in the doghouse.

One night, driven to desperate measures by a new baby who wouldn't sleep, a post-partum wife who couldn't stop crying, and a dog who wouldn't come in for the night, Eric had a stroke of genius. He nabbed the cat, whistled for Briefs, and then held Gabby high up in the air to tempt the dumb dog to return inside. It worked. And ever since, Briefs has never refused to come inside again.

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