Do you every have one of those days when everything goes wrong? You get out of the wrong side of the bed in the middle of the night and step on to something wet and cold. Perhaps it’s a wet facecloth that escaped from the bathroom in a bid for freedom. It could happen. Couldn’t it? As you stand there trying desperately to ignore your expanding bladder you distinctly remember the retching noises your cat made that you chose to ignore as you were getting into bed. The midnight fairies won’t clean THAT up!
So you hobble into the bathroom trying desperately not to touch the floor, that beautiful hardwood that you spent thousands installing. (You see a hardwood refinisher in your future.) But you make it, curse Mother Nature for fitting your body with a function that no one wants to talk about in polite company. Noxious liquids dealt with, you envision a quick jaunt back to your oh, so comfortable bed. Unless . . . you have pets.
“Free to a good home!” “Unconditional love!” “The best companion anyone could ever want!” “Never be alone again!” Truth in advertising? Absolutely. But I’ll bet you never read the fine print. That’s a whole different truth.
When you have a small child (of the human variety) you expect to get little sleep. It can take months, even years for them to reach a point where they sleep through the night to allow you to sleep through yours. A few years of midnight bliss and then they’re teenagers and it starts all over again.
So instead of a human child you decide to get one of a feline or canine variety. Did you not read the fine print? When they are very young they often have trouble sleeping alone. Curled up in your armpit, hair or chest is often preferable. Which means you don’t sleep terribly well either. You’re midnight forays will now provide you with a traveling companion. You will never be alone again. Oh and that afternoon nap you love to take. They don’t. You are fair game. Fine print!
So finally you rethink this companion thing. You’re young, strong, intelligent. You don’t need to be cuddled by a non-sentient fleabag. You want to eat when you want to eat! You want to stay out as long as you want! You don’t need to be needed! And then it happens.
You come home from a rough day. You’re sad and you don’t know why. You sit down on the couch wondering why you ever took this job and your cat jumps onto your lap. You look down at this intrusion and a stray paw taps your hand, big brown eyes turn to look into yours with such . . .
And there my friend is why you will move mountains to accommodate your animal companion. They are gentle souls who need you. I think.