Technically, we don’t own any pets. I say technically because since last summer, Savvy (my understanding and adoring wife) and I have adopted, found, or bought a kitten every day. Sometimes the kitty is in a park on a rainy day, or in the post office where it escaped from a package, and occasionally we find the kitty in a hotel atrium, but most often it is in a comfy cage at a neighborhood pet store. Without fail, we buy the same kitty and listen to its meows and let it curl up in our laps before driving it home. Mind you, technically, we don’t own a car either.
This trend of rescuing kitties began last summer while Reina and I were on our annual pilgrimage to the USA without mama for what I like to think of as testing Baba’s capacity to remain sane for a month without backup. Shortly after arriving at my brother’s home in California, and needing something to do to entertain ourselves after picking up some cat food at the local pet store, I hit upon the idea of playing a game Reina aptly named “buy kitty from the pet store”. It seemed harmless enough and like a good way to keep her mind occupied with something other than how much she missed Savvy. And it worked really well – too well. It was the only thing that Reina wanted to play for days. Even after the initial fun of it wore off, and after Savvy joined us four weeks later in Oregon, Reina still liked to play the kitty game two or three times a day. Here we are, nearly a year later, and we’re still playing different variations of this same game, much to my wife’s dismay. She loves playing with Reina, but the kitty game is getting on her nerves.
As near as I can tell, the “kitty” trend is showing no sign of abating. As the creator of this game, I feel partially responsible and thus cannot really get too frustrated with being asked to take on the same role for the 959th time in a year (not that I’m counting). What really troubles me is that Reina has never once let me play the role of the cat-in-need, rather, I am pressed into playing all the human roles in our feline drama – the roles with actual speaking lines. Just once, I’d like to laze about in the cat’s cage until some kind-hearted child adopted me. Ah, to dare to dream.
And now, if you will excuse me, I hear a cat calling.
Photo: Christopher Lay