I feel no inspiration at all, which is how I know that I need to just sit here and keep going. Writing is a muscle, and it will atrophy if you let it.

At first, I was all I can’t think of anything so here’s a picture of my cat (that I don’t even have anymore but still think is adorable).11080854_10153102162680272_481846125438751217_o He came from the Oregon Humane Society with the name “The Artful Dodger” (one of the characters in Oliver!), which worked great because I love musicals and Dana loves the Los Angeles Dodgers. I absolutely manhandled him as a kitten so that he is just the most chill non-human on the planet. Seriously, he could pull off jelly sandals and a bathrobe. Most of the time I actually called him “The Dude.” He also passed “the kitten test” at the shelter, which is that I made sure I got a cat that knew I was alive. I didn’t want a cat that wasn’t other aware. He was friendly from the moment I saw him, and it was my birthday. He was a present, and the conversation ran thusly:

My Mom: What do you want for your birthday?
Leslie: A cat.
My Mom (in a THICK Texas accent): How’my gunna GET YOU a cat?
Leslie: Mommmmmm….. I just want you to send me the money for the adoption fee.
My mom: Oh. I didn’t think of that.

He’s a Norwegian Forest Cat, a relative of the Maine Coon, so he is huge until you put him in the bathtub. Then it looks like you shrank him. I didn’t have to bathe him that often, but like all kittens, he had to be washed off every once in a while with Ivory dish soap to keep off fleas because he wasn’t old enough for repellents. It made him tolerant of baths as an adult, which was handy in case he threw up on himself. Getting vomit out of his fur would have been a ghastly adventure otherwise. OMG. So much hair. So much gathered in the drain that Dana and I could have made a facsimile.

With the hair exception, he was so incredibly low maintenance, I could use him as a pillow or an ottoman. You could hold him upside down and backwards and he’d still just be like, careful…. there’s a beverage here, man. He was the perfect cat for me, because I’m definitely into cats that don’t really give a shit about anything in a slacker-type way.

You wouldn’t say he was dumb, but you might want to stop by and water him three times a week, bless his heart.

-Molly Ivins

I am certain that one day, I will pick out an equal underachiever, but it is best I don’t have a pet right now. I get enough love from Lincoln and Daisy, Sam’s dogs. Lincoln is a pit bull and Dodger’s Jeff Lebowski equivalent (once he’s sniffed you out and made sure you’re cool). Daisy is your BBD (basic black dog), one of the most well-behaved and trustworthy dogs I’ve ever met.

In our house, there are also other dogs, I just see Lincoln and Daisy the most often. Hayat and Mike also have two dogs, Pixie and Sadie. We also have a rotating cast of relatives’ dogs. So I have no shortage of pet love in my life, and the best thing about it is having no responsibility. I need to be able to take care of myself before I add somepet else’s.

Although I will say that I would prefer having a cat to a dog, even though I am actually more of a dog person. It’s just that cats are so much less work. I’ve only had a puppy once in my life, and never again. I learned that I need to adopt dogs that already come fully housetrained. Besides, fewer people adopt older dogs, so I think they’re more grateful.

Additionally, not to condemn people who like purebreds, I would never buy one…….. even from a highly respected breeder. There are just too many homeless pets out there for me to consider it. Yes, they come with behavioral baggage. So does their owner. I’m in no place to judge. I pity the woman who eventually “adopts” me already. But at the very least, I will not micturate on the rug.


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