After my parents separated and Mom moved into her apartment, she decided she needed some feline companionship. Previous to this, she had been on "pet probation" after she adopted a greyhound on a whim, made us fall in love with the darling dog, and then gave her back when she decided to go back to working full-time. Granted, Tessa the greyhound had some emotional problems which led to high anxiety behavior that was, shall we say, visually unappealing. Still, Allie and I were sad to see her go.
Mom does nothing halfheartedly, so she did her research and decided to purchase a British Shorthair cat from a breeder out west. Allie and I went with Mom to the airport to pick up the pampered kitten and fell in love with him at first sight. He was named Bailey after George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life." Things were going swimmingly until the day that Bailey decided he didn't want to clean himself. In a particular area. The one area no one else would ever want to clean. So, the devious creature learned to meow until Mom would come and wipe him. Yes, like that five year old girl I babysat one summer, Mom had to wipe Bailey's bottom. And I'm here to declare to the Internet, I don't care how much I love my pets or my children, they will both learn to wipe their own butts.
Tiring of this chore, Mom somehow managed to pawn off Bailey to Sarah Jo's parents, my Aunt Melba and Uncle Randall. They promptly put Bailey on generic cat food and the problem cleared right up. When SJ and I decided to live together, she asked if Bailey could come too. I said yes and the house has never been the same. Oh, don't worry, he cleans himself. That's not what we have to worry about. But you can't leave drinks anywhere near a surface he can jump on, because if he's ticked at you or you haven't paid him enough attention, he'll knock them over. Sometimes he does it just for fun. Bailey, like SJ and I, loves to chat and you can have what seems like actual conversations. He snores like an old man and SJ is afraid he's developing sleep apnea. The cat is FAT and his belly sways side to side when he walks and splays out to each side when he sits. Sometimes, when you walk by him and haven't pet him recently, he bats at your leg as if to say, "Hello? Remember me? The cat you haven't paid attention to in the last five minutes?
Bailey has been on a "sabbatical" at my Mom's house for the last week and a half. I could tell you I don't miss him but it would be a lie. I don't miss him pawing at my door at 6 a.m. and meowing at the top of his lungs to be fed. I don't miss finding cat hair all over my clothes. And SJ informs me that once he returns he will have a hayday with the Christmas tree. Over my dead, tradition-bound body. If that cat messes with my ornaments...
But I do miss his snuggles and purrs and the fact that he greets me at the front door when I come home. Yes, someone to greet you at the end of a work day is very nice indeed. So, until that someone is a someone who can wrap their arms around me, peer into my eyes and tell me, "I'm so glad you're home," I'll settle for Bailey's loud meow and his grateful purr.