Friday, February 18, 2011


I'm constantly surprised by my cat's resilience. He'll be an annoying jerk when I walk in the door because Mommy's arrival = dinnertime. He'll be insolent, insistent, and incessant in his desperate cries for food as if I had been purposely starving him. As soon as I feed him, he melts into a ball of purring joy, all sin forgotten.

He will run around like a crazed lunatic at 3:30 in the morning, and I will grumble and chase him around until I catch him, both our hearts pounding, and put him in kitty time out in the office, where he--thankfully--waits patiently and QUIETLY until John wakes up, which means breakfast. He will scarf his food, clean himself, and then come running into the bedroom the second he hears my alarm go off. He'll hop onto the bed, nuzzle my face, and curl up against my side, purring and looking at me like I'm the love of his life. I accept this as his apology.

Most of all, I admire how much John and I mean to him, and how we equal home. When he came home after 3 days in the hospital last winter, as soon as he got inside, I could see him relax. He ate, drank, went to the bathroom, and curled up on the couch with us as if to say, "I'm so happy to be back." No one could have been happier than us, though.

We recently had an ordeal that realized one of my biggest fears as a pet owner: getting him into his crate and out of the house in an emergency situation. Super Bowl Sunday started calmly enough. John and I prepared the turkey to roast in the oven, I got sides and appetizers ready, and finished up my cleaning. Then, after about 2.5 hours, I opened the oven door to check the bird, and our carbon monoxide detector went off, blinking, "Move to fresh air!" We called the police, who transferred us to the fire department, who told us to wait for them outside. Hammy had run under the bed as soon as the detector started to beep, and was firmly planted in the center where the noisy monster--and we--couldn't get him. We eventually got him out in a panic, put him in his carrier and headed outside. He cried because it was cold, he was scared, and was in a weird place. After a while, our neighbors and good friends invited me, Hammy, and my parents (who had since arrived) inside to keep warm. They let us let Hammy out of his carrier to hopefully calm him down a bit and feel less like he was being punished. He came out and was immediately looked familiar like home, but everything was backward, smelled different, and looked different. He saw me and my parents, and friends he knew, but was just plain curious.

He did a quick lap, then he stood up taller, his tail periscoped into the air, and he was off and exploring. We eventually got back inside, the problem having been an old pilot in the stove that had to be fixed (we got a whole new oven the next day!). They repaired it to last us the rest of the day (so we could finish cooking the turkey), and Hammy was heartily rewarded with a piece of turkey once it was done.