Reruns and Leftovers

Part-Time Pet

My neighbor thinks I am trying to take over his cat. And it’s partly true. I’m not trying to take it over completely. It’s not like I want the responsibility of vet bills, flea collars and a litter box. I just want to have a fling with his cat. I just want some “no strings attached” pet affection. I just want an opportunity for my son to learn that cats do not normally kill little boys. That’s all. And if lovin’ this cat is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

Photo Temporarily Unavailable

The neighbor claims that the cat is named “Smokey Joe” but I gave him the unusual name of “Cat”. He responds equally well to either name as long as you are holding an open can of tuna.

The first time we saw Cat was early in the spring when we were out for a stroll in the neighborhood, a few months after we lost our dog of 13 years. In the interim, Sean had inexplicably developed an irrational fear of cats and dogs. If it were not for the thought of potty training a boy and a puppy at the same time, we would have another dog by now.

Anyway, Sean spotted the cat about a block away and started screaming like he’d seen a lion. With all that screaming, the cat figured surely a baby bird or mouse was being served up for appetizers, so he sprinted our way to check it out. And one thing I think we all know about cats is that they are most attracted to those who like them the least. Which reminds me of an episode from my teen years, but that’s another topic.

In Sean, the cat correctly figured he’d found someone who couldn’t stand the sight of him. So he followed us home to find out where he could terrorize him on a regular basis. Which he does. And even though I am a dog-person, I think I’ve fallen for Cat.

After he followed us home, Cat started coming around to the back door every afternoon for drinks (milk for him, martinis for me). Then he started staying around for dinner. And then one day I found myself in the grocery store stocking up on Fancy Feast and I realized that maybe it was getting out of control. So in a moment of clarity I emailed my neighbor to confess that I had a thing for his cat. I admitted that over the summer we had engaged in some heavy petting and that at this point, I couldn’t promise that with the temperatures dropping, that I wouldn’t ask him in to spend the night. I am not a home wrecker, just a woman caught up with a very charming and handsome cat, and I just thought he should know while there was still time to call Dr. Phil.

Photo: Although it appears that the fear is mutual, Cat is purposely terrorizing Sean by exisiting.

This post was originally published in November of 2005. Smokey Joe and I continue to this day with our illicit affair.

15 thoughts on “Part-Time Pet

  1. Congratulations on winning the Best Writing award! Hope your recuperation from surgery goes well and you’re soon feeling worlds better. All the best, Tara, Paris Parfait

  2. Yes, what you say about cats liking the people who despise them is true. That is due, in part to the fact that humans display displeasure by screwing up our faces and squinting our eyes. In the feline world, that expression is akin to deference and…dare I say it?…love. Looking directly into the eyes of a cat with a wide-open expression does just the opposite.

    Many years ago in our old neighborhood there was a woman named Shirley who HATED all cats. She cursed them from the confines of her yard and clapped her hands at them to shoo them away. And, of course, they infested her yard as though it contained a bumper crop of catnip. On any given day you could see two or three cats just strolling casually across her roofline or napping on her driveway. Just goes to show you.

  3. Oh, this is so funny-I just love your style of writing! Wish I had seen this when it first came out, but I only found your blog recently. Anyway, I am the proud owner of a cat. I had always had dogs up until Sam came along and moved in with us. Your story reminds me of another cat, a neighbor’s cat that used to come by and visit with my parents and me when I was a teenager. He spent more time at our house than at home and the neighbors didn’t mind. We”shared” Tigger.

  4. First time visiting and wishing you a speedy recovery. Congratulations on winning the Best Writing award; you certainly deserve it. I love your title and the meaning behind it; really cool I think.
    I share the same problems as you. I had my son at 32 and my daughter when I turned 36. In those days I thought I was getting on but these days it’s normal to have kids in your later years. I too had trouble with endometriosis and I never did want kids until I reached 27. By then I was having the most difficult time in getting pregnant and when I discovered I was it was by accident, I was sick with the flu. Anyhow, now I’ll be turning fifty in March and they have found that I have a large fibroid on my tube and two Nabothian cysts. I’ll be going in this March to have a specialist check it out but I have been already told to expect a total hysterectomy. I have high blood pressure as well so I’m trying to control it. A few years back I was all set to have the operation but they didn’t want to risk it; BP too high. I wish I had gotten the operation done ten years ago. This illness I have is creating so much havoc that I’m functioning only at half speed. I can’t wait to have this problem rectified as soon as possible and look forward to being totally pain free for a change.
    No operation is fun and you’ll definitely be happy once it’s done. I still have a long wait ahead of me. Best of luck and I’ll be back soon to visit.


  5. So funny…I hadn’t been blogging back then, so was glad you re-posted on Cat.

    It reminds me of why I, as a 44 yr old woman, still have a fear of cats…our very first (and only) pet was a cat who terrorized me on a daily basis when I was 2. And I still remember! I guess I was like Sean, and appeared to be some sort of giant mouse species to him…

    Fun post!

  6. I came here from “everyday mommy” when she requested prayer for you. Your writing is absolutely hilarious-I see you must get it from your mom-she’s funny too.
    I’ve added your blog to my favorites.
    I pray all goes well with your recovery.
    Blessings from northern Ca.

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