Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Secret Love

In case you missed my horribly depressing (yet ultimately brilliant) post last month, my Gigantic Dog passed away from doggy cancer (see also: bullshit of The Universe) and I'm now able to (sort of) talk about him without bursting into tears and shaking a fist at the sky.

This left our Obese House Cat as what he always thought he was: master of the house. He used to scuttle around, clinging to the wall in case our dog suddenly decided that cat was on the menu. Our dog was also awesome because he was raised around cats and thought that they were possibly just small and odd looking dogs he didn't care much about. Now though, our cat struts through the living room, making straight for anyone that he thinks might have food.

He's fat, our cat. Before you get all "oh that's soooo unhealthyyyyy" allow me to explain. When Princess was about four or so, I declared that she needed a cat. ALL LITTLE GIRLS NEED CATS. It's very important. So we headed off to Ye Olde Animal Shelter. The cat room was a small affair, since we were in a small town. In the center of the room there was a totally spherical tiger cat. The cat hopped up, rubbed against the cage, stuck his paw out to get our attention, and nearly fell off the tiny perch.

"OH! OH adorable-NESS! But it's a pregnant girl kitty...." I exclaimed.

"No, no he's a boy. He's just realllly chubby," replied the shelter worker.

His shelter name? Beach ball. You know, because he um, looks like a beach ball. ROUND, people, he's round.

Sure, we took a day or so to consider it, but I was determined we'd get Mr. Beach Ball. He had worked it, put on a show, and he WANTED us, dammit. I always go for personality in my felines and this guy had it. Plus? No tail. Fat and round with no tail. The cute factor was high.

I returned with the kids to adopt Beach Ball. He broke the cardboard carrier. We had to to trundle off to WalMart to get a plastic one. He barely fit. Homebound!

We discussed names, as the cat and Apollo got used to each other. Apollo sniffed and wandered off. The cat lived behind the washer for a week. Shrek? Maybe....Moose. Guess which one won!

Moose it was.

Moose also seemed to know that Princess *needed* him as much as he'd needed us to take him away from all that. Every night, he would slink up to her room, curl up on her bed and stay there all night. They're best friends. When Moose became gravely ill, there. was. no. choice. I didn't care if it cost a million dollars, Moose had to be okay! In fact, my mom has declared that Moose has to live forever. Luckily, the vet took care of him and he recovered. Unluckily, we lost Apollo a month later.

And Moose has come through again.

The Man, understandably, has been very hard hit by Apollo's loss. Because he is a man though, he doesn't (weird) want to talk about it. In fact, he ACTIVELY *doesn't* talk about it. I'll occasionally tear up or talk about how much I miss the damn dumb dog. He'll nod. That's about it.

Something has started to happen in the last few weeks though. I've caught The Man sneaking food to Moose. Scraps of bacon, or turkey, cheese or ham. I'll see Moose sneak off to the basement doorway with something in his mouth, The Man looking away as if he hadn't just tossed him a chuck of lunch meat.

Formerly, The Man would just call him "the cat." As in, "Princess wants The Cat in her room." Or, "Move Cat, I can't use the remote."

But now, I hear him saying things like "Moose likes turkey a lot!" or talking TO him, "Moose, you only come in here to get food!"

I've accused him of secretly liking Moose, which he, a life long Dog Person, will deny. Just as I denied Apollo, but always gave him my cut hot dog ends, or ice cubes that fell out of the fridge.

In the end, I loved that dog and I suspect that The Man loves Moose in his own way. And maybe, just having that chubby turkey-fan nearby will help him feel a little better about losing his best animal friend. I know it's helped me.

And I smile a little each time I see a tiny piece of bacon in Moose's food dish.

Who wouldn't be comforted by this:

Comments, questions, animal buddies?