A lot of people will call themselves Dog People or Cat People. I like most animals except rodents. Rodents can die and go to hell – they are nasty! Sorry, Rodent People. I like snakes because they EAT rodents, so there. Anyhoo, I guess I am mostly a cat person. I like other people’s dogs but I do not want to live with one. I have one cat currently, Ivan and he is the best therapist ever!
Ivan was fostered and adopted out by Johnston County Animal Protection League. (https://jcapl.org/blog/ ) Is that not a cool name? I imagined they were all in masks and capes and . . .oh how I digress. He was six months old when he allowed us to bring him into our home. Our house had two parents and two kids so you would think we were complete. Little did we know we needed the love of a cat to make us whole.
He was a great fit from the beginning, but the COVID pandemic really showed his stripes. He is the BEST therapist. He seems to always know which one of us needs him the most. He will seek us out and sit on our laps or on our beds and give us kisses and rubs and head bumps. He loves to chase my eldest daughter and even though she screams like she hates it I know she enjoys it. He never hurts her but it is as if he knows she is the one that needs to let loose and get a little wild. He calms my younger one by sitting next to her while she is lying on her bed. He knows the ADHD queen needs some quiet time. He will sit with my husband while he works because he knows his company is soothing. I am the first to wake, and our morning ritual is: 1. He rolls over and invites me to rub him on his belly. 2. I sit on the recliner and turn on the massage pad. 3. He hops onto my lap and gives me kisses and head butts, then stretches out long onto my legs. 4. We meditate together. Once I hear the sound of the girls getting up for “school” we both pop up and do our thing.
I talk to my human therapist once a month but having Ivan around has really soothed all of us. He asks for very little – some kibble, clean water, a clean litter box and some wet food on Sunday as a treat. Once in awhile he will beg for treats or catnip. I am always the one that melts and bends to his will the most. So he knows to come to me for snacks and will actually utter “nyum nyum?” and when I ask when, he will say, “Meow! (right now)”. Adorbs!
Ivan is a gentle creature and he has never clawed or bitten us in anger. He will do a warning “bite” (mostly to Sabrina) but it never hurts. He lets us pick him up, hold him like a baby, bathe him, trim his nails and put him in his carrier when necessary. I’m not saying he LOVES all of it but he tolerates most of it and is not a complainer.
When I see all the Dog People on my walks, I will stop and ask the dogs if they are taking their humans for a walk. Most of the humans will play along and laugh and the dogs seem quite pleased that I noticed them first. When allowed I pet them or let them sniff me. If they bark at me I will compliment, “Good job protecting your human, I am frightened and I will stay away”. That comment always gets a chuckle from the tiny dog community LOL.
Once the dog poops and the owner picks it with up his/her HANDS (albeit covered in a very thin plastic bag) I realize I am truly NOT a Dog Person. It is hard enough to scoop the cat poop after it has solidified in the litter but to think about touching a freshly pushed out hot pile of fecal matter testifies how MUCH people love their dogs. I do not have that kind of love inside me. Hence, I will probably never have a dog or if I do, I would want acres of farm land so he can poop anywhere and I can let nature take care of it. But to all the Dog People who DO pick up the DOODOO – thank you for the DO that you DO- I know it is for our benefit and I really like not stepping in it. RESPECT!
Whether you are a Dog Person, a Cat Person, a Lizard Person, a Bird Person, or a (shudder) Rodent Person – if any pet has graced your life and is making it better you are a lucky duck! Be sure to give them an extra treat today and thank them for being a wonderful furry therapist and enhancing your days. Have a wonderful day!