Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Zen 12

My cat hates me. She won't let me sleep. She's needy, lazy and selfish.

And this next part is going to surprise some of you: sometimes when I think about my cat, I think about love.
I think about love, not because I am in love my cat, don't get me wrong here. My feelings for my cat are far from what I would initially define as love. No, no. We have a disturbing coexistence based around Fatty's rather unique communication techniques...and these used mostly to let me know that she's unhappy with me....but there is extreme honesty between me and the cat:

Examples of ways that, in the past week, Fatty has let me know how she feels about me:
Sitting on my face
slapping me with her tail
batting at my door at 4:00 in the morning to let me know it's time to clean her litter box
meowing and batting at my door at 12:30 in the morning to let me know it's time for her to eat
pooping on the bathroom rug...three feet away from her litter box...just because she hates me
coughing up hairballs at the top of the stairs
caughing up hairballs at the bottom of the stairs
walking accross the keyboard of the computer in the living room while I'm typing
getting my attention, then turning away from me with her tail up in the air (a position known as "the Shun")

Fatty and I have a mutual dislike for one another and our need to bear each other's presence comes out of necessity. She bears with me because I feed her (sometimes) and I bear her because Deniece is going to come back from Africa someday and is going to wonder where Fatty went if I take her to the pound. However, there is a nugget of joy that I get from this relationship and it is this: there is no guessing involved with where I stand with Fatty. It's blissfully simple knowing for certain that I am loathed by her.

I feel like much of my misunderstanding about love comes from an evil corporation called Disney. I grew up thinking that even if I were a mute with a fish tail, there's still a possiblility a handsome prince might want to marry me. Disney is a magical place where strangers with nothing in common get all hot and bothered at first sight and then climb mountains (or, waste perfectly good genie wishes) to be with each other. That's not love, those are hormones and infatuation. You never see what the real relationship would be like. What happens when Prince Charming finds out Sleeping Beauty is just narcoleptic, or when Cinderella's husband finds her talking to the mice in the bedroom?

Maybe it's just as unrealistic to expect that everyone could represent themeselves truthfully without any fear of rejection. For example, a royal date could go like this:

Haughty Heroine/Princess: Well, Doofy Prince, I'm very beautiful with a great career ahead of me as princess of my parents' vast empire. However, I have chronic halitosis...and I also like to spend hours feeding insects to my pet venus fly trap...Herbert. Oh! And I hate to vacuum.

Doofy Prince: That's cool. I'm captain of the swim team and I've got a pretty nice vast empire of my own, but I think it's unlucky to trim my toenails, I've seen the movie Snakes on a Plane 687 times and I still believe in Santa.

H H/P: Yeah. I'm pretty sure we're not very compatible. But since we're at this nice restaurant, we should go ahead and order.

DP: Cool. Have you decided what you want yet from the menu?

H H/P: No, that's another thing, I'm pretty indecisive too.

DP: Ah. Thats alright, I can't read, so I'll just get whatever you get.

Ah, so refreshing. Let's all be as honest with one another as Fatty is with the world....

you know...I'm going to take that back. I don't want Jessie to start batting at my door in the middle of the night letting me know when she's hungry. Yeah, brutal honesty might not be the BEST idea. Let's just carry on as usual and we'll figure it out from there.

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