A cat. A dog. Time to paws for thought.

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“Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” ― Mary Bly

“Dogs will give you unconditional love until the day they die. Cats will make you pay for every mistake you’ve ever made since the day you were born.”
― Oliver Gaspirtz, A Treasury of Pet

“If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would have a cat and a dog and love them so much, I’d have laughed at them” – me!!!

And the last quote is where the latest blog starts. A cat. A dog. You couldn’t make it up.

I’ve always had a leaning towards animals. But, equally, I was always a bit nervous around them; perhaps a little scared. I certainly had no intention of allowing an animal (Ben and Liv excluded 😀) to set foot in the house. All that hair and dirt and puke and pooh. No way.

And then that fateful day just over 2 years ago, when It was mentioned to Liv that a rescue centre had taken in some cats that were looking for a home. And, clearly, I’d had a glass of wine when the question was asked ……. could she? Could we? And, I said ‘maybe’. Never, ever say ‘maybe’. That always means YES!

You see, I was always the blocker but, in that moment of ‘maybe’ that block was mysteriously removed. I had said ‘yes’. I should have known but, before I knew it, a trip was arranged to said cat rescue centre and before I could say ‘Me? (H)ow?’, a 6 month old Zeekee was yelling ‘meow’ through the vent holes of her travel case as we brought her home. Purrfect!

Clearly, Liv was delighted with this addition to the family, whilst Ben and I looked at this timid 4 legged creature wondering what had happened. To paraphrase a song by 70s legends Hot Chocolate, ‘it started with a maybe’.

But, a beautiful addition to the family Zeekee is. She’s a house cat, rather than marauding outdoors and bringing dead mice and birds as gifts. Her presents tend to be either another stinker being deposited in her Shit Box or a trail of 3 or 4 lumps of puke as she rids herself of the fur that she has swallowed whilst cleaning. If cats are that intelligent why haven’t they realised swallowing fur is not good. Then again, it’s not her that has to clean up. I’m just trying to train her to do this when Aud is at the house. Zeekee is such a key part #TeamDurky. Peaceful, serene, beautiful. Anyway, enough about me. Zeekee’s very special as well.

A beautiful thing with Zeekee is the way she pads her paws when she wants a stroke or just attention. And then, when she is laying, being stroked she stretches her paws in and out in bliss. It’s very therapeutic, stroking her and watching her paws. In that moment, everything else in the world just falls away. I’ve got to say, I just love the #cat.

And then, we move on, just short of a year from Zeekee’s arrival – Liv raised the question of a dog. She’d wanted a dog from a very young age but, again, I was the blocker. Too much like hard work. How would we look after a dog? But, again Mr Maybe struck. And then, Mr Maybe became Mr Let’s Have A Look.

We agreed, maybe for Liv’s birthday. My cunning plan was that Liv would lose interest. We did a couple Dog Trust visits and then things went quiet. However, Tenacious Liv then discovered what turn out to be a beautiful small rescue centre near Hull. Originally, she identified a lovely dog for us to visit. However, to cut a long story short, our visit turned into 3 visits – having being introduced to Ringo on the first, making sure Ben was comfortable with him on the second, and then Liv, Audrey and I bringing him to his new home on the third.

I know I’ve talked a lot about Ringo in previous blogs, but him joining the family was one of the best things we have done.

He’s a handsome, kind, funny, playful boy. Anyway, enough about me. I wish!

His love for #TeamDurky is clear. But our love for him could never be overstated.

He’s often described by a Liv as her therapy dog. Buts he’s that for us all. When you wake up, he shuffles up the bed to remind you how good it is to be alive. When I’m working from home and I get wound up about something and nothing, he plonks his head on my leg with those ‘what’s up Jon’ eyes. When Ben swears at his FIFA 2018 PS4 game, Ringo plonks his head on Ben’s leg with those ‘FFS, it’s just a game’ eyes.

He uses his paws with power – when playing with a ball or trying to make it difficult for Audrey to get his harness on. He uses them gently to give you a little tap of affection or to ask for a treat.

And then, the two of them together. An interesting bond. In the early days, Zeekee would cuff at Ringo with her paw as he walked passed. He would look at us with the look of ‘what did I do?’ She would have that look of ‘I just bossed you big boy!’. Whereas now, best of friends. It’s a joy to see them.

I have to wonder what took me so long. The unconditional love they both bring to the family home could never be measured. Both bring, almost, healing therapy, but bring fun, relaxation, and escapism from all of the madness we see in the world. They both, bizarrely, watch TV, but obviously they don’t see what we do – thankfully.

It’s a wonderful existence that Zeekee and Ringo live in. And for that, I’m grateful, because they’ve made our world bloody marvellous, beautiful, and happy.

A cat. A dog. It’s good to take time to paws (sic) for thought.

 

Jon

 

 

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