Friday, July 13, 2007

#14 and 15--After the Diamond Comes the REAL Best Friend

When my senior citizen cat went to the vet for the 8th time in three months (at least $50 a pop), the vet knew I loved animals. He told me my cat was not ready to go yet, but they did have a group of feral kittens that had just arrived. He brought them in and I was a goner. Melvin's ears were bigger than the rest of his body, thus earning him the dorky name and my undying love and devotion.

He is a perfect cat, friendly, sweet and loving, albeit starved for both attention and food. Yes, he has an eating disorder that causes him to eat anything (and everything). Yes, he sheds like 5 extra cats a day. And yes, he is the laziest most corpulent beast to ever lumber through the Ville. But he is my baby. He was there for me through two break-ups and he has quickly ingratiated himself into R's heart. In fact, he beat a hives-inducing allergy to love my little fatty.

For a while, we were content in our little threesome. R taught the cat to sit and shake. We doted upon him daily. But we wanted to add to our family and after returning a devil-spawn kitten named Doolittle, we decided to move up the food chain to a new kind of species. Enter my canine pal. Yes, we "agreed" to the next best thing to a baby (when I say, "agreed" I mean R said no and I found one anyway).

At the time we were living in a smallish one-bedroom that we loved. The landlord said maybe and we went off to see a man about a chihuahua. One look at the scrappy, barking mess that is Rocky and we were sold. He is just like us: high strung, narcissistic, insane and loveable in his own damaged way. Our landlord said no. So we moved. To a more expensive place in far worse condition. But once I met that needy little pup, there was no living without him.

Over the years he has become doggie non-grata at all but the most canine-friendly of places. He has made our lives unimaginably more difficult, but also unimaginably richer. There is no one that cuddles like him or kisses like him or is more fiercely protective. His abusive early childhood on the mean streets of Hartford have made him scrappy, but we would trade limbs to keep him in our lives (and we almost have).

The dog, the myth, the barker. He is the love of our lives and one of the best things to come of my 20's.

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