By T. Daniel Lancaster
WASHINGTON — Simply put there comes a time a male cat’s life when he must go under the knife and have his reason for living removed.
The nice thing is by the time you know they are ready for the procedure; you are more than ready to do it yourself.
For the last six months, our cat, Mr. Butterscotch, has spent every waking moment letting us know, he doesn’t want to live indoors, he does want some lovin’ and quite frankly, he believes “if you build it...then you should pee on it.”
My wife and I have long felt that responsible pet owners do not allow their cats to act like every “baby daddy” who ever failed a paternity test on the Maury Povich show by alley cat-ing around. Instead, we have taken the bullet and endured the shame of having a cat with a crush on our pretty little blonde bath mat (after recently breaking up with several of my daughter’s stuffed animals).
I’m not saying the cat has never been outside; from time to time he has escaped his monastic lifestyle. He has learned that when the door chime goes off, he has exactly 1.3 seconds to make a run for freedom. Recently, he was lucky enough to slip out and spend a night on the town, before coming home smelling like gin and Turkish cigarettes. When he returned, I looked at him with disgust, but with just a returning glance, his look told me to “talk to the paw” and then spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch.
There was a time Mr. Butterscotch just wanted to chase a laser pointer into the wall, knock bowls of food off the table and sleep 22 hours a day. Those were salad days and that was a time when cat nip was just a little more important than nipping another cat (or raising his furry little hind end over a pile of clean laundry).
Now I am not new to the world of animals or bad habits, as I have both children and dogs, as well. However, the cat seems to have a disrespectful attitude, which leans much more toward the children than the dogs. A dog can’t wait for you to open the door and come in and see him. The cat can’t wait to get out so he doesn’t have to be bothered by you.
After surgery, Mr. B returned a different cat. The howling at birds at all hours of the morning has subsided, I haven’t had to Lysol his “essence” of the credenza, and most importantly he has broken off his toxic co-dependent relationship with our bath mat.
However, early in the week after Mr. Butterscotch was separated from his cat-hood, he walked into the kitchen and threw up everywhere. This is not necessarily unexpected behavior, but just before he did, I swear he SMILED at me. Now I know cats normally don’t smile but I think this was his little way of reminding us that he would get even with us if it was just one wet, smelly pile at a time.
Well played Mr. Butterscotch, well played.
Todd is an award-winning columnist who has many animals, children and debts.