Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Anniversary Dance with Dyson
A personality test I took a few years ago said I'm a "Task Structure" person. The results were right. I'm not really a people person. Beyond my family, I prefer someone with four legs. My family would argue that I'm even an animal person since I've been known to do a few major purgings of pets. My worst record, we started the day with 9 and ended with 2. In spite of those few knee-jerk reactions, I really am an animal lover.

Soon after Don and I married, I climbed up into the rafters of a nasty musty old barn to bring home Chubby, an already old, tiger-striped cat so fat her stomach laid spread all around her while she ate yet more. My husband's comment, coming home late that night, with the house all dark, seeing a very large something splayed out on the kitchen floor, was "Good God, Bev, What Is That?" He thought I'd adopted a badger. Don would prefer I spend time at the mall rather than the humane society where the "damage" is shorter-lived, say one stretched budget, versus years of caring for yet another pitiful animal.

Many of our pets have been rejects. Many but not all. We've had our share of pure-breds too. Even there, I manage to bring home those with the highest shedding capability. We've invested a good chunk of cash in those roller things that de-hair you. Anyone who knows us, knows - don't wear black at our place. For the past twenty plus years, all the four-leggeds we've brought home seem to be every man's dream - a four-legged Farrah Fawcett with long, silky blonde hair and when you stroke them just right, they tilt their head up at you, batt their eyes, and let out a nice deep purr.

You know that 'inner-person', the one we all could easily fall into? I could easily be The Cat Lady. The scary little old lady, down the street, with too many cats climbing in and out of her windows all hours of the day, and when she dies they go in and find her hunched over in her rocker, dishes of days old wet cat food sitting out, and cats. Lots of cats. They'd start taking them out the front door. Count Dracula, counting 1 2 3 4 and on and on. She'd make the front page of the newspaper the morning after her demise. How many is too many? I want every unclaimed one I see. Especially if they have anything wrong with them, like a missing leg (I'd name it Tripod), or only one seeping eye, or they're too old for anyone else to adopt and I'd be good to them in their last years, or they aren't really nice so who on earth else will adopt them, except Scary Cat Lady. I'd do the same with the dogs, as long as they have hair and are bigger than a cat. I'm not real partial to little bald dogs. I've come to accept I can't adopt them all. But there's something in me that wants to, rationalizes why it would be okay to have say, 5 or 6 or 10 animals living with us.

My upbringing may have set me up for this. We grew up with a few pooches living in our backyard over the years. Only one lived inside with us, a miniature poodle named Pauletta Sue June. Even she was pretty-much rescued. No way did my parents ever put out hard earned cash for something as frivilous as a pet. Being adopted by our family didn't necessarily bless the animal, as it certainly didn't ensure longevity. Some died of mysterious diseases, some probably ran away after realizing they'd chosen a house with six hooligans and didn't want to be tormented by BB guns or dressed up in doll clothes, complete with bonnets tied under their whiskery little chins. Some met their fate under the school bus wheels or other similarly glorious tragedies that made us the talk of the neighborhood for a day or two. I still remember a few dog funerals on our block, grand events they were. It was like a bidding frenzy, who had the best mom, whose mom was willing to give up one of her sheets to give Tippy a proper send-off? All the kids in the neighborhood would spend time there, days afterward, gazing on The Spot where he'd met his end, reliving every detail.

In case you would label me a fanatic, I do not belong to PETA. Being honest, I care more if my shampoo fades my expensive highlights than if it's been animal tested. And it's not that I don't care about the bigger causes of the world out there. I do. Over the years, our family has supported children in other countries, given to other causes. I see my role as bringing balance into the world, making up for those who would happily let Petco go out of business. I can even be friends with you, probably. I am proud to say I have one, O.N.E. friend who has admitted to me she does not have the spiritual gift of animal-love.

I'm just doomed by my dumb heart. I feel more complete with a few of the four-leggeds roaming our house. No pet of ours has ever slept outdoors, no siree. Each has his own little padded bed, labeled dishes, and jar of treats. Between my husband's admission that there's something charming about an animal that licks your face, lavishes you with love when you walk in the door, versus the wife of many years who gives you the perfunctory peck on the lips, and my need to rescue every pitiful creature out there, we're likely going to stay pet people. Even into retirement when we should be smart enough to take the break. You'd think once the kids move out, we'd leave the nest empty, click our heels in delight over the newly found freedom and go somewhere. Instead we hire housesitters so the tender psyche of our pets doesn't get damaged by spending time at the dreaded kennel.

Some girls like diamonds. For others, it's a dozen roses, or being wined and dined. Me? I'm swept off my feet by anything that makes life easier. Over the years I've asked for, and received, numerous appliances, a Hoover Floormate, a drill, and even my own toolbox. Generally speaking, you can find anything on my Christmas list, with a quick walk through the aisles of Lowes. Don knows me very well. For our 26th anniversary, this is what he bought me.

I spent two solid hours yesterday, dancing all over the house with this contraption, appropriately named The Dyson Animal. Such joy in seeing all the awfulness sucked up into it, then flipping the little door and watching all the yuck fall into the trash. Taking each attachment for a trial run. We live with pet hair at a different level. That's not going to change. I want pets. I need pets. What I don't want is to be walking around town, people staring at my backside, covered with long silky blonde hairs. I told Don a few years ago, if I die and he's still young enough to care, I hope he marrys again, some nice lady who's a good cook, and is nice to our kids. If he leaves this earth too much ahead of me, I won't bother to remarry. Good grief, no. But I will get another cat. Or three.


  posted at 9:00 AM

Subscribe in a reader
Past Chats
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008

  • Filed Away Neatly
    Busy Buzz
    Creative License
    Dusty Stuff
    Family Affair
    Girl Talk
    Glimpse of the Heart
    Photo Album
    Slavin' Over the Stove
    The Price is Right

    Search This Blog


    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

    Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

    About Me

    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

    My Complete Profile

    Family is Everything
  • A Chelsea Morning - Barb
  • And Baby Makes Three - Leslie
  • Creative Worship - Chris
  • Flight Song - Mom
  • In The Midst of It - Sarah
  • At A glance - Krissy
  • In A Moment - Mandy

  • Recent Comments

    Fruit of the Spirit

    Family Friendly

    Family Friendly Blogroll []

    Family Friendly Blogroll [-]

    Blog Design by:

    Powered by:
    Powered By Blogger

    Meter by: