Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bossy Betty Tells a Story to Warm Your Hearts and Soothe Your Souls And Drags It Out Over the Course of Four Days


Part One: In 1981 Dan and Bossy Get A Cat

When I married Dan, I promised to love and honor him, but that bit about "obey" didn't make it into the wedding vows and it's a good thing too, since just after our wedding and move from Kansas to California, he declared that we would not be getting a cat. He was a logical, sensible man who listed the reasons for his decision: 1) We could not afford the additional deposit our landlord required for pets. 2) We were probably going to move soon and 3) He was allergic to cats. His cat-loathing mother had told him so.

It took about two weeks of homesickness and a feminist neighbor who looked at me with disbelief when I explained "My husband says we can't have a cat," and said, "Are you kidding me? Forget him! Let's go get you a cat" and I found myself in front of the cages at the animal shelter. I knew immediately the languid grey kitten stretching in his cage was not for me, nor was the orange and white kitten playing with his little ball. No, I wanted the black and white ball o' frenzy reaching his paws out of the cage with his claws extended, his little pink mouth completely open, yowling to be released. Soon he was curled up, contented in my arms in our apartment.

Alone with the kitten, I planned. When Dan got home from work, I'd be there, looking adorable, holding the little kitten up next to my smiling face. How could he resist? So, when I did this just as he opened the door, I was stunned when he took one look at me and turned around and left. I nearly dropped the kitten. My mind went into overdrive. He would surely leave me now, go back to Kansas, send the divorce papers Fed-Ex, marry some obedient woman, have obedient children and never even think about me, left in California, working low-level secretarial job, my old sweaters covered in cat hair as I ate my lunch from a plastic grocery store bag every day before going home to live in my urine-soaked, ammonia-reeking trainer I shared with twenty cats, my only companions.

Thirty minutes later, Dan walked in again and in his hands were three thick books on cat care. "If we are going to do this, we are going to do it right," he said. I ran and hugged him first, then gently placed the kitten in his hands.

To be continued tomorrow....

2 comments:

Karen Llata said...

TOMORROW? Betty, please don't leave us in suspense! We need to know NOW!!!

Cyn said...

Awesome, Betty! Gosh, I am LOVING your blog! I even read portions out loud to my husband, and he enjoys it too. Thank you.

(Maybe we can run one of these in the spring edition of PostSCWriP? Like the one about Santa Ana winds, your imaginary community of cans and bottles, and chicken claws both real and metaphorical...brilliant!)