I love dogs. All dogs. Even dogs I’ve never seen. I have distant friends with dogs I’ve never met, and I love them. You, reading this? I love your dog too (let’s be honest, odds are that I know you, but on the off chance that I don’t, I love your dog). I’m a dog person. Except Chihuahuas. I merely tolerate them. I think this goes back to visiting a friend in high school who had a Chihuahua that got so excited when you came over he alternated jumping on you and running around in circles while peeing everywhere. I suppose you have to admire his coordination, I don’t think I could do that. On the other hand, he probably didn’t care if he peed on himself as much as I do.
But we don’t have a dog. We have two Siamese cats. I don’t like cats, but I love our cats. I don’t wish cats ill will, but I prefer dogs. Other people’s dogs. You see, for the first eight years of my marriage, I didn’t have children, and we often went out in the evening, straight from work, because we live out of the city. Dogs don’t like this sort of thing, they have to go outside for bodily functions, and they get lonely. Cats sort of hope that you come home, but if there is food in their bowl, they really don’t care if you spontaneously combust at your desk.
Growing up, my wife had outdoor cats. My father in law doesn’t believe in having animals live in the house, or taking them to the vet – except to get fixed – because he only wanted so many cats even outdoors. This isn’t quite as callous as it sounds, because he doesn’t believe in humans going to the doctor either. The problem with outdoor cats, is that they tend to meet with unfortunate ends. They get hit by cars, in fights with other animals, whatever. Sometimes you find them, sometimes they just never come home.
So when we got married, my wife wanted an indoor, chocolate point Siamese kitten. I didn’t want a kitten. I didn’t want a cat. I didn’t even want a dog. But I did want to continue to see her naked. So shortly before Christmas that year, I brought home a chocolate point Siamese kitten, whose name would be Ming. Ming and my wife formed an immediate bond that I have never seen between a person and an animal. They adored each other.
Ming and I… he liked to play, and we did that. But it took us some time to reach an understanding with one another, but we developed a strong bond over time. Not like he had with my wife, but we had our own thing.
Ming was smart. He knew his name – which up until that point I never believed cats did. I know what you’re thinking, “He knew his name? You’re right, what a genius.” There is more to the story. One time, his litter box was nearly empty. I poured the last bit of clean kitty litter into the litter box, and threw the kitty litter box into the trash. Then we left for work.
When we came home from work, the trash was tipped over (he did this occasionally because he was just nosy). We came to realize he had tipped the trash over, got the kitty litter box out of the trash, and dragged it next to his litter box, which was in another room. It should be mentioned that he never before or after this dragged anything to his litter box. It should also be mentioned that this was quite an undertaking, as he didn’t have opposable thumbs, or even hands. Finally, it should be mentioned that I have to pickup kitty litter on the way home tonight.
On a very sad Friday morning in 2013, we had to have Ming put down, about two weeks shy of his 19th birthday. I had said I didn’t want another cat. After all, I didn’t want the first one. And we had really good one, so the odds of getting another really good one seemed low. And in the end, I’m a dog person (although I am an other people’s dog person). I had stated this firmly in the years leading up to the end of Ming’s life. So naturally, being the man, I put my foot down, and we didn’t get another cat.
Except, that’s not what happened at all. What happened was we left the vet’s office, we came home and I worked for a little while, we went to lunch, and then went several places in town looking for kittens. When we didn’t find one, we went home and looked online, where we eventually found a couple that raised Siamese cats, and had a pair of blue point Siamese kittens for sale. But I was very firm, and stuck to my guns. Except that what really happened was that we drove straight there, and while trying to decide which one we would choose, I suggested we get both. Sticking with the previous Asian theme, their names are Zin (male) and Miko (female).
I’m sure a shrink, a type of doctor that treats mental disorders that I of course have never seen – except that I have – because the voices told me to go, could tell you all the reasons why what we did was wrong. That we didn’t grieve. But what they’re not taking into consideration is, screw them we wanted another cat (actually two more). We’re grown ups. I don’t wait until some magic day before I turn from heat to air conditioning either. I grew up and started going to work every day for a reason – and I’m pretty sure it’s so I can turn the air conditioning on whenever the hell I want. Or buy kittens. Who are brother and sister. Literally Siamese Twins. They are inseparable – except for the two times that something has happened that caused them to attack each other and we have to keep them separated so no real harm is done. And that’s what I really came to talk about, but I think I’ve put you through enough for right now. We’ll talk about feline redirected aggression, and whatever the hell happened the second time, in another article.