My dog wants a cat. Really badly, more than anything, "I-swear-I'll-take-care-of-it-and-feed-it-and-bathe-it-everyday, just-please-mama, can-I-have-a-kitty?" wants a cat.
It all started a few months ago when a stray cat started coming around my back porch every so often, just often enough to leave her smell so my dog's nose would go crazy when she was outside with Boyfriend and I. Then, every so often the cat would make an appearance at the window and my dog would go nuts. It was strange, though - she wouldn't bark protectively at the window in accordance with typical dog cat-sighting protocol. She would sit three feet away from the window and whine. She would whine for hours after the cat left the premises, crying for her potential playmate.
This happens once or twice a month and the Boyfriend and I are always entertained. "Puppy," Boyfriend would say, "if you promise Mom and I that you can go for six whole months without pooping on the floor, we'll talk about getting you a kitty." Puppy would always look at me, rolling her eyes, thinking "if I can't get him to give me one, surely I can play her." Unfortunately for Puppy, I like cats only a little more than I like babies... which means, no cats (or babies, for that matter).
A month or two ago, Boyfriend and I were eating dinner on the patio of the pizza place that backs up to my apartment. We noticed that Puppy's kitty was lounging in the corner of the patio, curled up in a warm spot by the fireplace. We asked our waitress about her and she explained that it was just a neighborhood cat and that the staff had named her Arugula. She came around pretty often because they fed her anchovies, even though they weren't allowed to encourage her presence in a restaurant. We were glad to know that someone was feeding her and that she had a cozy spot by a fireplace and went home to assure the puppy that her cat was living the good life at a pizza place and would never want to trade that life of luxury for a one-bedroom apartment. I also let puppy know that kitties like milk and that, although I currently had five cartons of milk in my refrigerator, none of my milk was fresh enough to still be in liquid form. Kitties like their milk pretty runny, I hear.
Yesterday, Arugula showed up again and puppy was thrilled. We heard her outside meowing around 2 p.m. and puppy immediately ran to the window and parted the vertical blinds with her nose. I told Boyfriend "well, this is new. She's never meowed before and Puppy has never gotten that close to the window. Do you think they do this when we're not home? Does Arugula just not realize that it's Sunday and the humans are a-foot?"
Arugula didn't leave. She actually meowed louder and, despite our calling and kissy-noises and scolding, Puppy continued to whine at the window for the next three hours. We finally just admitted defeat and turned up the volume on the TV. However, Puppy and Arugula were relentless. Boyfriend wanted a cigarette and we reasoned that if we were out on the back porch, Arugula would surely be spooked and would run off. Such a good plan, right?
So we opened the sliding door, holding Puppy in our arms, and Arugula scampered into the bushes. Puppy's cries got louder and more frantic, all the while wiggling to get out of my grip. I took her over to the bushes to show her that her kitty was gone and she seemed to be satisfied. Until she heard the very loud and plaintive "MEOW" from the bushes beneath us. I didn't want Puppy to catch ringworm or any other kitty diseases so I put her back in the apartment and shut the door. Puppy. Was. PISSED. She pitched a fit, she barked, then resorted to laying down and pouting until we came back in the house. During this episode, Arugula kept peeking around the corner and sticking her head through the gate asking "Meow?"
We meowed back that she was not allowed on the porch while we were out there. We don't want ringworm, either.
For the rest of the night, Arugula meowed at the window while Puppy whined on the other side. When we finally went to bed around 1 a.m. we had to convince Puppy to come to bed and leave her kitty alone. As soon as we left the living room, Arugula could no longer see movement from behind the vertical blinds and quit meowing. Until...
This morning we woke up and began to move about. Puppy lazed about in the bed until it was time to go outside, which is after I've showered and am presentable for public. She jumped out of bed and ran to the window to check for her kitty. We laughed because we thought there was no way that cat spent the night waiting for Puppy to return. We laughed until we heard a very excited "MEOW!"
Arugula was still there, waiting on Puppy. I took Puppy out to pee in the front and I've never seen a dog so fastidious in doing her business. She ran back to the front door and waited for me to let her back inside. Once the door opened, she ran back over to the sliding glass door and parted the blinds with her nose. "MEOW!"
I looked at Boyfriend and he simply said "Wow."
"I know! She couldn't wait to come back in and see her kitty."
"This is just getting ridiculous. I know how to KEEP a cat - you feed it. How do you get rid of a cat?"
"Who knows. My mom always used BB guns but I can't bring myself to shoot Puppy's kitty."
"Do you think they're planning something?"
I thought about this for a minute. "I do. OR, we're in a Disney animated movie and we don't know it. They should be together to serve some greater purpose and we're the stupid humans that just don't get it. The audience is so pissed at us right now."
"Good point. On some night, we're going to see Puppy and Arugula in the back alley under a full moon, sharing a meatball and eating the same strand of spaghetti."
The most embarrassing part of the story is that I double-checked the lock on the sliding glass door before I left for work this morning. I didn't want Puppy and Arugula going all Pinky and the Brain on our asses and me just handing them an unlocked door.