I’ve had a cat residing with me for approximately three years. I love my cat. We sometimes resemble each other…depending on the week. I don’t know if her overall independent neediness rubs off on me, or if she picks up on my laziness and follows suit…or possibly it is vice versa. Either way, in the past three years I have learned that I am a true cat person. There was a reason my favorite DC character was always Catwoman. I don’t know why I ever doubted this about myself. I was clearly supposed to be a cat.

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I said if I ever had a house I would have a dog. I am not sure why I thought this was my story, although I do like dogs. I thought I wanted a big dog, a retriever maybe. “Dogs are loyal. Dogs have personality. ”

They are and they do…Boy do they ever.

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photcred: elwood023 (instagram)

I have a great friend who is a dog person. She also lives right across the hall from me. She recently brought into our lives a large husky baby. This white ton of fur is only a little over a year old. He loves to moan and talk and run. I opted to help my dear girl with her dog needs. Which means that most of the time I’m sitting and watching her deal. I might play with a chew toy with Hendrix, but I’m not like …running him in the park. When he jumps on me I’m not helping her “teach him discipline”. I’m not assisting with the teaching of tricks (why?). I hold  the leash once while we walk him and train my core muscles while keeping him from jerking my life around.

Friend: “You have to talk it out of him, otherwise he is never gonna poop…omg are you listening, are you like in your own world??”

Me “WHAT??”

Friend “You have to talk to him …like I do”

Me “Omg are you serious?? I exclaim. Then, after watching the dog smell every leaf of grass for signs of ” other puppy” bathrooms, I began to imitate all dog owners I know: “HENDRIX! ARE YOU GONNA POOP?? DO YOU NEED TO POOP! COME ON BOY LETS POOP!!” I turn back to her with my resting bitch face..”how was that?”

I mean really? We don’t have to coach him to pee. I don’t get it.

I do love Hendrix. I don’t like it when he wants to lick lotion off my legs, but he is good as a pillow. He gives good full body hugs…whether we  think we want them or not. He is soft and as big as he is he CAN prance like a deer when he wants. I like he talks in his dog voice with different inflections. It’s quite interesting. He loves me, I’ve named myself his crazy aunt.

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photocred: Elwood023 (Instagram)

 

I dont like it when he begs for food every single time it is in our hands, as if he has been banished to a foreign country where they hunt dogs. I’m supposed to discourage him from doing this in the same way I am supposed to encourage him to poo. But I don’t. I just put on my grumpy cat face and ignore him. I don’t like to try to make him not jump and scratch on us. I thought that it was because I empathized with Hendrix and the fact that he doesn’t understand but now I think it is because maybe in the back of my cat brain I just assume he should know and if he doesn’t know then my nonchalance about the issue will make him figure this out. When I ignore the cat she’ll go away ( unless there is someone new she is curious about or she has NOT YET had her food. If she has NOT eaten then she will get vengeful, which is understandable and so this is something we have in common 😎)

“You have to help me with this, he has got to stop doing that! He wont learn unless you tell him no, smack him on the nose. Be more aggressive!!!”       The only time I have laid hands on the dog is that one time when I was making an important phone call (to a man no less) and Hendrix wouldn’t stop howling and jumping on me. I slapped the ever loving moan out of him and immediately he silenced himself.

Me: “Yeah here is my territory border, dude… hissssscratchh.”

The reality of my cat persondom (as opposed to dog life )struck me this morning before eight o clock. I’m a bartender and so naturally nocturnal (another similarity) I was awoken to my dear friend knocking at my door. I contemplated pretending to be gone but she knows me too well. So at her second plea, I opened the door. In my sweat shorts and a Mickey shirt from Old Navy, with no under clothes on, hair awry and sleep in my eyes. Her big blue pleading eyes that could only otherwise be on a small orphan child holding my attention, her hands clasping Hendrix’ leash as he strained forward trying to get to my escaping cat. “Can you please take him for his morning walk? I have to get to work or I’m gonna be late”

I have to focus. Nope not a dream . “Ok sure, just give me a min-”

“Thank you, I’m sorry..” handing me the leash..

“lemme get dressed”

“No you have to take him now, he is gonna do it in the floor if you don’t! you look cute! You are ok, just please”

“Then let me get my shoes!”

She hands me the dog..

“I cant hold the dog in the apartment, he is going after the cat-just hold him one more second”

One minute later she is in her car on her way and I am outside in the morningness walking the dog who pees rivers as soon he steps out the door. Right on the pavilion post out front. Then he walked three steps and did it again. Then he did his ritual marking. ( what’s the real difference?) I knew he had to do number two so…I had to prance down the sidewalk for ten minutes waiting on this to happen. Yes…I finally “talked to him”
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photcred: Danielle Bethune (me)

After loud morning negotiations he finally gave up the shit, which smelled to high heaven and was the same color as the pine needles under a tree that is planted across the sidewalk in front of the Lutheran Church. The three piles he walked out of himself was under a tree a quarter of a mile from our building. I looked at the mess…then at the poo bag tied to his collar. “Oh I ain’t picking that up” I thought and proceeded back to apartment. ( picture of Hendrix prancing after his relief). Then I realized that this was right in front of the church and this is Easter week.

“Sigh”… I can’t let little kids walk in crap that I knew was there. I went back and filled the little bag with pine needled crap and chucked it in the garbage can.  Hendrix was happy and I got him back to his food bowl safe. I thought to myself that maybe I should rotate this morning duty with my friend. It is probably good for me. Nice oxygen to the brain. I’m ready for the day. I mean it’s kind of human bonding thing.

This is dog owner in the city life. Going outside in near nakedness without shame, screaming at your dog to poop, and feeling completely balanced in life because every other dog owner is doing and thinking the same. I know they do because I’ve sat outside at night with my wine and smokes watching and judging them.

Then I went back to my apartment, put on a pot of coffee and snuggled back down and took a small nap…just as my cat was doing.
Because that is how we roll.

photocred (me)

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