I've always considered myself a dog person (that's the answer I give when Brenna forces me to take some magazine personality quiz anyway), although it's been a while since I've actually had a dog. It's something you just are. When you dye your hair red, it doesn't really make you a red head, it makes you a person with red hair. Ask anyone in AA, and no matter if it's been twenty minutes or twenty years since they last had a drink, they'll most likely tell you that they are an alcoholic. So I just want to be clear; I am a dog person -- or so I thought.
We've rented for several years, so we haven't been able to get a pet. At some point a couple years ago Brenna and the kids put the full-court-press on to get a cat. A cat! I don't have anything against cats in particular, I've just never seen any point in pretending to own one. It's like saying you own the sun. Sure you can see the sun, there's no doubt it's there, but as soon as night comes it's going to disappear and when morning rolls back around it's going to be meowing wanting to be fed (I think I started talking about the cat in there somewhere.) On a scale of dogs (10) to fish (one on the pet scale -- they're no more pets than lamps or China sets -- they're ornaments) cats are somewhere above the fish. They get a couple points just for having fur.
Back to my family's scheme to get a cat. One day in September of 2007 our friend Paul called Brenna to tell her he'd, "found our cat." (I still don't remember losing one.) She was a skinny little black and white stray from his neighborhood that someone had found roaming a Home Depot parking lot and brought home with them. They said they didn't want to keep her so Paul took her in, and since he knew "we" (the we in quotes will refer to Brenna, Owen and Eleanor -- not Bob) were looking for a cat, would "we" like to meet her? I said no to Brenna who of course said yes to Paul and now "we" have a cat.
The kids thought long and hard about a name for her and decided on, Little Motorboat Redpath. This is the name we write on the paperwork for the frequent visits to the veterinarian. In the year-and-a-half since Little Motorboat has come to live with us, I've become a cat person -- or at least a Little Motorboat person. I'm still not a fan of other peoples cats and, I swear, I only watch the cat videos on YouTube because my kids make me. If I ever actually post one of my own, you'll know I've become the crazy cat guy.
So, what becomes of Little Motorboat when we leave? We've had lots of discussions in our family about this sad topic. We've thought about traveling with her -- maybe even smuggling her from country to country with us, but we know that's not going to happen. Luckily, Paul reminded us that he never really gave her to us -- she was just a loanout, so she'll of course be going back to live with him. Now we just need to make sure he's set up with Skype and webcam so we can video chat with her. Maybe I'll post our conversations with the cat on YouTube.