Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Heart of A Pet

If there is one thing about animals that always truly amazes me, it's their capacity to love and forgive.  Unlike humans they really don't hold grudges.  My animals don't anyway, except maybe for Puckett.  It doesn't seem to matter how many times I yell at Percy for destroying a knickknack or taking a dump right when I'm in the middle of eating my lunch, he is always right back in my face, purring and begging for a scratch or a cuddle.  The same goes for Tess.  Minutes after she is disciplined for bad behavior, even if it doesn't happen very often anymore, she is right back at my side, tongue hanging out and ready to play or go for a walk.  Puckett might hold a grudge longer, mostly because she is the one who gets disciplined the least, but she too will forgive me almost any slight eventually.  There is the occasional poop in my shoe when I've really made her mad, but once we're even, we return to the status quo.  Willow is so neurotic she just begs for love and attention no matter what's happening.  Most of the time she doesn't know what's happening anyway because she spends her days in a fog.

 I remember one episode with Percy and Willow.  I still feel bad about this.  Percy was on the brink of bullying Willow.  I caught him in his stance, ready to pounce and ruin her day so I chucked a candle holder towards him, intending to throw it just to his side so that it would make a loud thunk and distract him.  It hit him square on the head.  It made a thunk all right.  I couldn't have hit better had I actually been aiming for him.  It did the trick and distracted him, but he was furious with me.  He went under the couch and sulked.

For five minutes.  Five minutes later out he came and crawled into my arms, purring and rubbing his head under my chin.

I doubt I would have been as forgiving had someone thunked me on the head with a candle holder.

My animals definitely have the capacity to be assholes, don't get me wrong.  Percy bullies Willow, annoys the dog, releases his anal sacs all over my bedspread, and makes really foul stinks when he goes to the bathroom.  Tess will still pick fights with other dogs if she thinks she can get away with it, and she still will knock me over in her rush to get to the Cowboy whenever he comes over since he is still part of the family even if we have broken up.  Puckett likes to bang the cabinet door with her paw to annoy Tess whenever she thinks Tess is too comfortable or I'm trying to take a nap.  And of course the pooping in my shoe if I have crossed some kind of line with her.  Willow pees on the floor, scratches the furniture, hisses and spits at the dog for no reason, aggravates Percy into bullying her, and rips me to shreds if I attempt to brush her or clip her claws.  Despite all of this the four of them have a bond unlike anything I've ever seen among three cats and a dog.  They behave like siblings.  They annoy and bully each other, yet at the end of the day they have true compassion and love for each other.  Percy, the only groomer of the three cats, grooms Puckett and Willow.  Tess will groom Percy.  I've caught Tess and Willow snuggled up together on the dog bed at bedtime.  Willow will curl up right between Tess' legs.  I've caught Puckett and Willow doing the same thing.  Percy and Willow play.  Percy and Puckett play.  All of them play with the dog.

On cold mornings all three cats are curled up on the bed, sharing each others' warmth, and no one chases anyone else off the bed in a territorial fit of pissyness.

And they all surround me when I'm sad and crying.  The cats purr and join me on the bed.  Tess licks my tears. 

I've been crying a lot lately.  I've been extremely unhappy.  Sometimes I know why, sometimes I don't.  My animals are constantly there.  They especially hate the loud sobbing and snotty crying.  That they put a stop to by getting right in my face, all three of them, and purring as loud as they can. 

It's hard to keep crying like that when three cats have their butts in one's face.  Although the snottiness gets worse as all that fur and dander aggravates the allergies.

Crying spooks Tess anyway.  It makes her think someone is breaking into the house as she keeps making trips to the door whenever I'm having a moment in tears.  Perhaps she is just waiting for the Funny Farm to come pick me up.

I'm definitely not as forgiving as my pets and I have trouble with compassion towards my fellow man.  I have my mother's road rage.  People on the road are frequently cursed as idiots for entering my orbit without permission.  I'm not proud of this, it's just a fact. I've had a rough year with friends and boyfriends and I always seem to wind up getting devastatingly hurt.  One in particular was a friend first, then a boyfriend, and treated me so poorly that I've had several fantasies on how to get back at him.  One was to quadruple knot the horrendous underwear he'd given me around one of the mirrors of his truck.  The second scenario involved me marching into the bar, underwear in hand, and dropping it on the pool table mid-shot before flipping him off.  The third required just wrapping the underwear around his neck and saving us both the trouble of his existence.  I can't forget the bad treatment (and the underwear is especially insulting as I would never wear such filth as what he gifted me) and I can't seem to forgive.

Another "friend" behaved similarly minus the ugly underwear.  At least he spared both of us that stupidity though I have now been using his name to describe what Percy does in his litter box, inspired by "Just Go With It" starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston.

I still can't forgive the love of my life, the one with the tarantula named Scary Alice, though honestly, I may be unwilling to forgive him because he divided me from Alice forever.

I still get angry with the Cowboy for no reason and I'm not very nice to him sometimes.  I'm probably lashing out because I'm still angry that he ended the relationship, yet insists on hanging around as a friend.  Like the pets he has an endless capacity to forgive and just let me rant.

How would my pets handle such slights?  Tess would forget a slight even happened and wrap herself around his body begging to be pet and loved (or maybe slyly tripping him into a pile of dog poop).  Puckett would poop in his shoe and then glare with those eyes that say "Take that, human!" and then everything would go back to normal.  Willow would be in his lap, purring and gazing into his face with mushy eyes.  Percy would do the same.  They just don't care when someone hurts their feelings.  They move on and get past it so quickly it amazes me.  I wish I could be like that.  I wish their capacity to love and forgive was as easy as just emulating them.  They forgive me, they forgive each other, and they care.  It's not rocket science that exercising compassion and loving each other makes life more bearable and us crabby, disgruntled humans happier.  If you don't believe me, just look at the way animals handle hurts and slights, and everyone loves them even when they are being assholes themselves.

And their lives are super happy.   

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