Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

“Old Guys Rule.”  My son gave me a t-shirt that boasted that saying. I like it.   However, we just got two little kitties – about 11 weeks old.  I don’t think they like the saying.   After living a week with my wife and me, they showed how much they don’t like that saying by ripping the shirt to shreds.

A little background first.  After our 20-year-old white cat died last December, we vowed to never again have another animal.  We like to travel and visit family and friends and just don’t have any space in our lives for animals.  “Never” lasted a smidgen over eight months.

My wife and I both work, and our boys and grandchildren don’t live in the same town as we do.  That means at night we have the time to worry our kittens to death.  Naming our sons didn’t require as much effort as naming the new cats.  Brenda said, “We’re naming our first son after you,” which I, of course, didn’t want to do but had no vote whatsoever.  I said, “If you get to name our first son, a second son will carry your maiden name, Parker.”  We compromised, nodded our heads, and the task was done.

Naming the cats took days. My wife said the girl cat was very prissy, which led to Prissy (Gone with the Wind) which led to Scarlet.  I said if “she” is Scarlet, “he” is Ashley, because “she” walks all over him.  Brenda didn’t like that direction and said she liked the name Atticus.  Well, literary friends, the “she” cat then needed to be Scout.  We didn’t like those names much either.

Parker e-mailed us (I could feel him roll his eyes at us) that it didn’t matter what we call cats since they don’t come when you call them anyway.  He might have reflected that we spent more time on the cats’ names than on his.  I forget.  The result is that we finally wore each other out.  “He” is Winston.  “She” is Pippi.

This story is to tell you that we’re spending entirely too much attention on these cats.

Where is this going?

Cats sleep all day, and when the lights go out at night, they want to play for a while.  We frequently check out early (I’m talking 9 or 9:30 p.m. here.)  The cats are playful and want our attention.  While I’m sleeping, they turn up their purring volume to “Mack truck without a muffler.”  Winston sticks his little face in one of my eye sockets and purrs, “Are you awake?”  I play possum.  Pippi bats my nose gently as a reminder that cats must not be ignored.  Winston sits on my side and kneads my body, with his claws out.

What these silly young felines failed to grasp is that “Old Guys” wake up during the night. A lot.  Wearing my “Old Guys Rule” shirt, I woke up at least three times that night and got our new family members up and said, “now let’s play.”  They hissed at me.

The next morning, I left my t-shirt on a chair.  Mistake.  It was confetti by Noon.

But, guess what?  The next night, when we went to sleep early, they went downstairs to play. 

Date of Blog Story: 
September 20, 2008

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