I’ve been known to complain about the infestation of cats at my house. Most of the time it was meant as a joke. When I was a child, Mindy the cat and Mooch the dog arrived on the same Christmas morning, and I learned to appreciate both.
The cliché is dogs are friendly and cats are aloof, but there’s actually a spectrum. Mooch loved people as long as your last name was Morris, but even then, watch out.
William, the giant orange cat, was an easygoing gentleman who got along with everybody until the day he disappeared.
Another cliché is dogs are more interactive than cats. Portia, one of our svelte black cats, shot that down. She often woke me by dropping little balls on the bed for me to throw and her to retrieve.
She used all of her nine lives with one interaction with a vehicle on Blair Street years ago, but Portia was a fine four-legged friend.
I’ve enjoyed all the cats I’ve had in the past, but I’m not overly fond of the one we have now.
McDuff makes it hard.
This annoying black ball of fluff is every cat cliché brought to life. He’s loud, demanding, neurotic and capricious.
And, yet, I feel obligated to make him purr by getting down on the floor to scratch him the way he likes, though I know he’ll up and leave without so much as a “thank you, thank you very much.”
To be fair, other cats have done that, too, but McDuff brings his own special brand of obnoxiousness to the party.
Past cats have trained me to think of felines as first-rate companions. All of the others came when I called because, hey, I know what they want.
The fur beneath their chins needs scratching on both sides, and it should go without saying that the bases of both ears require the same attention.
Don’t rub their bellies unless your spoiling for a fight. I’ve had fun cat fights over the years, but not with McDuff, the little … well … I’d rather not say.
Why not kick him to the curb? It’s been suggested, but I’d never go that far.
He’s an animal and I’m a human being, so it’s on me to be the better man, if at all possible.
Besides, I don’t want to be a quitter. I’m a dog person and a cat person, and no ungrateful beast is going to change that.
(Before I continue, I know how stupid this next bit will sound, but you deserve complete honesty.)
What if there is a home planet for cats? What if they report back?
I’m not bragging, but I have a stellar record so far. I will not let McDuff drag me down during the eventual Catapocalypse.
Sure, but what did you expect? I already told you I was a cat person, didn’t I?
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.