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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Guest Post: Of Men and Cats

Guest Post: Of Men and Cats

Today I have my brother-in-law Larry O’Donnell here with a guest post. (No, that’s not him on the right.) I’m pretty sure I know what activity he was doing when he conceived and composed this little essay …

Of Men and Cats — Larry O’Donnell

I find cats to be curious critters. They have been worshipped in some cultures and vilified in others. Blofeld came off as a creepy Bond villain with a fancy cat in his lap. There are lots of references to cats in the Bond flicks, but I won’t go there.

I am medically diagnosed with an allergy to cats, their dander, saliva, and general presence. So, when I volunteer to clean the cats’ litter boxes for my wife, it is a real token of my affection. The cats know about my allergy, some sort of sensor they have. They swarm me and rub up against me. I usually pay the price of a stuffy nose and itchy eyes and throat.

Many folks assert that cats are lazy and lie around doing nothing all day. This is totally wrong. They do something all day and it goes in the litter box, or on the floor if their aim fails. They only eat and drink so they can continue to fill the litter boxes.

We have four cats, three of advanced age and one with just a few years on him. There are three pans full of kitty litter. They are full of other stuff too, and that’s where I come in with my opposable thumbs.

The cats use the pans even as I’m cleaning them. Of course, since I’m there, the cat doesn’t cover up his work; he just leaves it for me to deal with it. There is nothing quite like fresh cat scat. I saw a fly land on one. He jumped off, went a few hops and then threw up. Even my stuffy nose fails to protect me from the smell. I gag along with the fly.

Finally I carry the bag of sh…er waste up to the dumpster and dispose of it. Good job, unless the bag breaks. Even County HAZMAT refuses to respond to this type of mess. They jump all over nerve gas or anhydrous ammonia but draw the line at cat waste.

Sometimes I have to give two of the cats their insulin shots. (My wife asks me to “shoot the cats.” I grin and she says, “Not that way.” My smile fades and I get the syringes.) One cat comes out and says, “Shoot me up, I’m jonesin’ here.” The other one, who weighs in at about 20 pounds, flees under some furniture. There, he puts up a defense like the Russians at Stalingrad. I usually get scratched or bitten. Occasionally, I get the insulin. No problem, I just drink a quart of orange juice and eat four Milky Way bars.

Cats are strange creatures. They seem to always have a facial expression that says, “What’s in it for me?” Call one and he runs away. Shoo one and he comes to you. I don’t understand cats but they do provide me with a means to demonstrate my affection for my wife.

14 Responses to Guest Post: Of Men and Cats

  1. Sarah says:

    At least they’re good for something? I am most decidedly not a cat person, and fortunately, do not live with cat people, and therefore, do not have to endure the kinds of challenges you decribe, for which I am grateful. Best of luck to you in your feline travails, Larry!

  2. salarsenッ says:

    That’s so funny you think the cats know about your allergy. My son has a cat allergy and he says the same thing. “They swarm and rub up all over me.”

  3. Gina says:

    Now that’s love!

  4. I’m not a cat person either but I can see love for one’s wife in this essay. Bless you for being the good spouse.
    We do not have cats, and I’m thankful. Nor do we have dogs for which I am also thankful. I have only a husband left at home and that’s enough to take care of at my age.
    Thanks for this great essay.

  5. This is a funny post. I agree about cats, they do have that ‘what’s in it for me’ look. 🙂

  6. Cats are very smart. My Mum has a fear of them and whenever she goes somewhere where there’s a cat, it will always ignore everyone else and make a beeline for her.

  7. I love cats and they seem to love me, always jumping in my lap and curling around my legs. We don’t have one though because we do a lot of entertaining and I worry about the allergy issue.

  8. As the owner of a new Kitteh (and a poor sad Christmas tree and drapes), I now know of what you describe. Poor older doggy is overwhelmed by him!

  9. Angela Brown says:

    You are a darling for putting your allergy aside, or rather, dealing with your allergic reactions in the process of caring for the things triggering said reaction…all because you love your wife.

    Too cute.

  10. Linda G. says:

    LOL! Larry, you have cats figured out perfectly. You’re a good husband. 🙂

  11. They are such curious creatures. My sister-in-law’s cat just had to be put down, and I swear she’s haunting us. Knowing this cat, if she was given the choice, she would haunt jump at the chance to creep us out.

    Funny post! Thanks Larry.

  12. Fiona Claire says:

    Oh that’s so funny – love the post and the photo! Thanks for the laugh. I am very much a cat person and also allergic. You know, through homeopathy and dietary changes your brother can reduce the cats’ dander production and also reduce his allergic reactions. Just sayin’. Also, common cat psychology – they are attracted to, and less fearful of, people who ignore them. That’s usually why they are attracted to people who are allergic (and trying to avoid them).

  13. mshatch says:

    As a cat lover I approve of this post and laughed by butt off to boot. thanks Larry 🙂

  14. Lenny Lee* says:

    hi mr larry! you got me cracking up specially that part about the fly. ha ha. i love animals but cats get me sneezing and get my eyes all itchy so i gotta be careful. my one cousins got 6 and they know i love animals and for sure there all over me when we go at their house. aaaaaachooooo!! ha ha.
    …smiles from lenny