What started out as a dynamite bit of procrastination by my wife has grown legs, a tail and whiskers.
“I want a cat,” Tracey told me as a way of putting off folding.
I’m used to these tactics. The dropping of the ‘I want a cat’ bombshell has been deployed fairly regularly over the last 15 years to great success in avoiding all manner of housework for a few hours, as I then have to retaliate using my ‘I still don’t’ defensive maneuvers.
Things tend to escalate fairly quickly from there.
I’m actually a big animal lover. I find my life is greatly enriched because of beef and pork and all those other lovely animals.
And it’s not that I don’t like cats as pets – it’s just that they’re not dogs.
My biggest bone of contention is cats can’t be taught to do anything, whereas a dog can learn to fetch, rollover and tell you when a child has fallen down a mine shaft (Lassie was typical of canines the world over).
Not that our dog can do anything more than look cute, but that’s not the point. Jazz’s refusal to even sit properly is a failure on our part, not hers.
Plus, cats poo in something which needs to be periodically removed from the house, and kept away from any child under three, whereas a dog will considerately do its business on the grass so you can mow over it.
It’s the little things.
But today I thought I’d try something totally out of left field and save ourselves all that lost time.
“Okay,” I said. “Sounds good.”
“I said I want a cat.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “So get one. Just don’t expect me to love it.”
“Are you serious?”
“Sure am,” I assured her. “You’ve wanted a cat for over ten years-”
“-so I think you should get one.”
I left Tracey hovering open-mouthed over the folding pile, grabbed the keys and took off on a few errands.
I was rather pleased with myself. No more using the cat thing as a way of procrastinating. No more cat based arguments. And folded clothes to boot! Pure genius.
So I was surprised when, two hours later, I arrived back at our house and found the pile of folding unchanged in every respect except that Tracey was no longer even in the same room with it.
“I’m in here” Tracey called from the office.
She was sitting at her computer, riveted to the screen and tapping away at the keys. But she wasn’t working. She was looking up cats on the RSPCA website.
“I can’t tell what they’re like from photos,” she said, taking the keys out of my hands, “so I’m going out to meet them.” She pointed at the photos of kittens on the screen. “They’re all so cute. Maybe we should ask if they do a deal for two.”
I suspect, like the folding, we’re nowhere near done fighting over cats.
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