Over the last thirty years I have owned many pets. When I was born my parents already owned an English sheepdog named Suzy, who didn’t take kindly to the arrival of another screaming baby – I was the second of two sons. Throughout my childhood we also had goldfish, gerbils, hamsters, even terrapins at one point. However, Suzy was the one that we always held the most dear, the one we had the longest, and I can still remember the day she died. It was my first day at secondary school and having had a relatively carefree opening day, I returned home to find out our dog had been put to sleep, an act of mercy from the vet given that she had sadly been diagnosed with cancer. That was 1993. I didn’t own another pet until 2010.
I often think of my wife, Donna, as a criminal genius. We first got together in 2009 and if she’d have said to me at the start of our relationship that one day six cats would come to live with us I would have laughed so hard my eyes might have popped out of my nose. Well, in 2010 two cats – Razz and Kain – came to live with us. I had no experience of cats, so having the feline world thrust upon me was quite a shock.
Razz and Kain were rescue cats, having spent eight months unwanted in a shelter, and we were only too happy (gullible sounds better but only when Mrs B isn’t around to correct me!) to take them in and share our home. We managed the take them in part but the sharing of the house hasn’t quite worked out the way I imagined, certainly not to the ratios I assumed. Since Razz and Kain joined, the numbers have increased dramatically from the feline equivalent of Starsky and Hutch to the Dirty Half Dozen.
Owning cats coincided with me starting a blog and a part of me wonders if I was subconsciously trying to share my pain and suffering with the world. These six cats are undoubtedly naughty on a daily basis though I’m the only one that seems to realise this. To Mrs B they are six celestial beings that brings warmth and affection to all that come near them. I reached out to my readers through numerous posts about the cats and those endeavours have culminated in my latest book – Man vs Cat – due later this year.
The book is intended as an honest (some of it might be made up!) account of my experiences of living with these six cats. While my wife dotes on the Dirty Half Dozen, I spend each day in fear of them and what they may do to the house when left to their own devices. Our cats leave a path of destruction and devastation wherever they wander. I’d get more peace having the Incredible Hulk as a tenant. I have spent the last two or so years locking horns with the cats and trying to gain the upper hand. It hasn’t worked.
Cats are fascinating pets and it is hardly surprising that they have replaced dogs as the most popular choice. Among the feline’s greatest hits are the ability to look at you with utter contempt and malevolence, claim the best seat in the house leaving the owner to find an alternative spot and wreak domestic havoc in the form of assaults against the curtains, wallpaper and furniture. Nothing is sacred when it comes to cats and I don’t just mean the six that I live with.
Though I am constantly at war with our cats I do see the benefit of them. My wife, Donna, is much happier when they are around and though they put us through worse ordeals than a victim of the Jigsaw Killer in those Saw movies, I won’t deny the house wouldn’t be the same without them. When one of our cats, Kain, was seriously ill Donna and I sold our games consoles but most importantly our engagement and weddings rings to pay the vet bills. Kain is still here so it’s the best bit of business we’ve ever done.
Here’s to the arrogant, superior and condescending cats that we share our humble abodes with. Why we do this though will always be a mystery to me.
The World Animal Day Hop is being sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long and David M. Brown. Terri is the author of best-selling novel In Leah’s Wake, while David is the author of The Elencheran Chronicles.
The rest of the hop