The cat's meow

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

If you've met me, you have probably seen a picture of my cat, BJ. Even some people who haven't met me know what my cat looks like. He's super cute, if you were wondering. He's a short-haired, yellow-orange tabby cat with a pretty killer personality. You can see his personality in his cute little green eyes, especially when he's feeling mischievous.

He likes to think he's sly, but Gideon and I know when he's up to no good because he meows really loudly and sprints at whatever piece of furniture he's trying to knock over. Even though he's kind of fat, BJ almost never succeeds at vandalizing our property. He usually runs into a chair or a wall, slinks back and retreats to the rug for a nap. Like most cats, sleeping is one of his favorite things to do.

We have that in common. Most nights, BJ will cuddle up next to me in bed and drool on my pillow. Well, it's technically his pillow. Basically everything he claims is his. We don't even move him from the couch when we have people over, even though that's the largest piece of furniture in our apartment. I usually tell visitors that BJ was there first. It's more his couch than theirs, if you really think about it.

Sometimes, I have to remind BJ how lucky he is. I'll tell him that I could have had any other kitten in the humane society that day in 2004, but I picked him over all of them. This tends to inflate his ego more, so maybe it's not as successful as I had hoped.

It is true, though. I've been covering the Good Shepherd Humane Society's board meetings this year, and it has opened my eyes to how many animals are mistreated or neglected. At every meeting, the animal care manager reads statistics on how many animals were adopted that month. There's usually at least one animal that was adopted and returned to the shelter. When I first heard that, I was livid. How dare somebody bring a sweet animal into their home and then decide the arrangement isn't going to work out? That's as close to taking candy from a baby as you can get. Animals are defenseless. All they want is love. I will never understand why a person would mistreat, ignore or return an animal.

If it were up to me, Gideon and I would have at least three cats and probably a couple of dogs. I'll add in a goldfish and a hamster for good measure. Unfortunately, our apartment rules prevent us from running the zoo I desire. Gideon doesn't know it, but we're going to have a farm when we can afford to buy a house with a back yard.

I grew up around animals. My mom always had at least three cats, and my nana has consistently kept dogs. Nana is partial to pit bulls. She has had three since 2000. Mom has two dogs right now, which is unusual for her. You could have filed her under "crazy cat lady" seven years ago, but now she prefers canines.

I'd call myself a crazy cat lady, but that's only half true. Gideon is just as crazy about the cat as I am. Let's just say we're a crazy cat family.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com