Friday, March 27, 2009

Electric Cat

What is it about animals that, seeing each other for the first time, causes them to get more excited than a grown man looking at a 1960 Thunderbird?

Between the raised hackles, drooling, and butt sniffing, I feel as though I’m watching college students groping each other at a bar as they stumble over each other for first dibs on the cutest co-ed. Pheromones.

Later when the conversation wanes and the sniffing has all been snuffed, the parties seem to ease into each other’s presence without much more ado. Lust begone! Unless, of course, the parties are a mountain lion and a deer or a 10-year-old and a bunny.

My daughter’s dad had been wanting a cat forever, so when he verbalized his wish to our daughter, she was thrilled. Ivy spent weeks browsing through a name book and made a list of forty possible names for the forthcoming pussy cat.

Finally, Ivy and Jonny drove to a lady’s house in Black Forest and came home with a female feline, which, out of the forty names she’d chosen, Ivy named something completely different: Aphrodite.

One day before driving Ivy to her dad’s, I invited Shiloh the Lab to join us for the ride. He leaped into the back of our Trooper with the verve of a teenager who’d just drunk three Red Bulls and away we went. Just to be annoying, the dog bounced back and forth in the back of the truck like an overgrown tennis ball, whimpering and whining all the way.

When we parked in Jonny’s garage, I said to Ivy, “Hey, how about if we introduce Shiloh to Aphrodite?”

“Yeah!” she replied expectantly.

So she traipsed in before me while I seized the hyper canine with his leash. He was less than two years old at the time and given to rambunctiousness and uncontrollability. Training him took quadruple the effort compared with my other dogs.

He quickly dragged me up the garage stairs into the family room as I held on to the reins. Then we flew up more stairs toward the living room where Little Miss Aphrodite spied the gigantic yellow mass of muscle invading her personal space. Freaked, she flew up more stairs toward Jonny’s room with Shiloh lunging at her and me holding on for dear life.


Finally, the cat stopped, turned around, and gave her best imitation of a growling saguaro. What a live wire.


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