Dog or cat

Since our sweet old cat died, the family has been embroiled in a convivial battle of “dog or cat?”

We loved our cats, but we might be dog people.

We adore dogs, but we might be cat people. (Okay, let’s be honest. We’re not cat people. But Spouse misses our cat and I miss our cat and we’re willing to accept that there might be one or two more cats out there somewhere who would be just perfect.)

The kids seem to like both cats and dogs, though they’ve been pressing for a dog. Peanut, our eldest, is an animal whisperer. Living creatures trust him, and he has the right balance of sincere gentleness and authoritative confidence with critters who are not his brother. Dogs love him, cats love him, sheep flock to him. He’s the kind of guy who can convince spiders to walk out the front door (ours is a no-kill house and we usually ask spiders to climb onto a piece of paper for the ride outside). I’ve actually seen cats hiding under a car come out for Peanut only after the rest of us walk away.

Butter, the three-year-old, is unpredictable. (That was redundant, I know. But I’ve heard there are a handful of three-year-olds who don’t calmly pet pets and then shriek and take off chasing them. Or, say, gently carry a duck’s egg for five minutes before pitching it like a baseball. Sorry, farmer lady!) I pity any pet who is near Butter if the wrong mood strikes. And since he’s three, the wrong mood always shows up at least…what…once an hour.

So during the process of getting ready to visit a few animal shelters today, I stopped fight number 8,314 with the reminder that we can’t bring a pet home until we can prove we can be friendly to each other. That pets are helpless creatures and they need absolute, inviolable kindness.

So the boys shaped up and played nicely and talked nicely and touched each other nicely. We didn’t find our new pet, but we got more information during the search.

And by bedtime the boys were at it again. Disrespectful to each other, saying hurtful things, reacting to hurt with fists.

I stopped them and reminded them that we have to be kind.

But Butter put his foot down. “Nope,” he said. “I don’t want any dog or any cat or any pet.”

I asked him why.

“I don’t like to be gentle and nice,” he insisted.

Fair enough.

So now I’m looking for a shelter that will trade a sweet dog for a sometimes-sweet preschooler. Let me know if you know of one. I’m sure they can adopt Butter out if they put clear guidelines on his kennel. “Does well with people and children and pets. Sometimes. Sometimes he’s a raging a**hole, so he needs just the right home where everyone understands that he’s not a bad guy, he just needs some positive reinforcement training to get some freaking manners.”

Any chance you have a pup you’ll trade for that?

Do your bleeding heart a favor

Do not start searching online for rescue dogs. And especially don’t start looking to rescue a dog of one breed, then see a picture of a wounded dog and start contemplating a cross-country trip to rescue it. And especially don’t click on the links to dogs with special needs and decide to adopt every single deaf dog in the country.

Especially the ones whose “parents split up and they didn’t want him any more.” Are you kidding? I’m sorry, what? You split up and sent your dog to the shelter? There’s a special place in hell for a–holes like you. Dog can’t get adopted out of the shelter even though he knows ASL, because he needs to be the only dog at home (getsĀ  spooked when big dogs sneak up on him). Oh my god, it’s my kid! *He* also knows ASL and wants to be the only kid at homeĀ  because he’s spooked when big dogs sneak up on him. I am seriously considering taking a trip to Ohio and bringing home the last thing we need right now just because there’s a lonely soul out there who deserves love.

Someone please adopt these dogs before I wind up with all of them…

Rantlets: little rants of the day (iii)

Greetings, people within a few zip codes who are hoping to buy a house: I have a proposition for you. Buy my damned house. I’m tired of cleaning it, I’m tired of having bastards who aren’t you traipse through it, I’m tired of explaining to my son why we’re still here while Daddy is in San Francisco, I’m tired of lowering the price, and I’m tired of feeling rejected everytime someone who is not you says they’re going to write and offer then backs out when they find out all banks are people with DICKS who made a fortune at our expense and now won’t give anyone any more money, when they were practically cramming it down our throats before. They all suck. The other buyers suck. I like you. Please buy my house. Now.

Attention, ants: I freaking tired of this b*llsh*t. Get out of my house. Now. I’m tired of being all natural and organic with you. I know I carry out the spiders and the beetles and that one frog who got trapped between the slider and the screen, and I would willingly do the same for you if there weren’t eight hundred trillion of you. Plus, you freaking scurry any time I try to scoop you up. I’m tired of making little cinnamon and baking soda lines to discourage you, I’m tired of wiping down your trails with vinegar to confuse you, and I’m sick of telling my son that the new, last-ditch resort ant traps are “little houses” for you and your colony so you can “have your own house instead of using ours.” Eat the freaking poison, take it back to your stupid queen, and get the freak out of my house. You have the old oak stump, you have my cypress, you have the hose near the back patio, and you have the whole state of California to invade. Get the f*ck out. Now.

I decided today while we were out running that if you walk your dog by hanging onto its leash while you ride a bike, I hope someone pulls the skin off your big toes and makes you walk through lemonade for the rest of your life. How freaking dangerous can you be? Why not tie its leash to the bumper of your car and take it for a really slow drive? Are you so lazy you can’t walk with your freaking dog? Why did you adopt it, if you’re gonna be all borderline-abusey? Do you keep it cramped in a tiny apartment all day and then get pissed that the poor thing is full of energy? Why did you adopt it, if you’re gonna be all borderline-abusey? Are you convinced it needs to run but can’t be bothered to run with it or take it to a park where it can run with other dogs? Why did you adopt it, if you’re gonna be all borderline-abusey? Do you notice a theme, you borderline-abusey a**hole? Are you so out of shape you can’t even walk with a dog? Put down the Tw*nk*e, back away from the computer, and spend some time playing with your dog!

Hey, toddler. It’s a simple question. I’ve asked it four times. I know I could just pick one of the two choices and start doing it, and that you’d holler and choose the other and we could go about our business, but I’m tired of that game. Answer me. If I have to ask it again I’m going to lose it and you’re going to have to explain the ringing in your ears to your eventual parole officer, and I’m gonna have to answer to the other natural parents at our hippie granola meeting. So I’m gonna ask one more time, and you’re gonna answer. Got it?