He Makes My Heart Sing

Somali Ollie
He was a rescue cat from Petco who, along with his siblings, was abandoned on the side of the Detroit Lakes highway, so his rescuers called him Detroit Tony. I wanted him from the start, but Peggy insisted that we check-out the cats at the Greenhill shelter first. When nothing there interested her, we set out on the long drive back across town to get Tony (we renamed him Ollie). I was in fear the whole way that he would be gone, and he would have been had another couple's application been accepted. My heart not only sings but dances every time I look at that cat. To me, he's the most beautiful thing in the universe (except for Peggy, of course), and you really must click on his photo.

Peggy and I agree that two cats are enough--we wouldn't even have two had I not begged and pleaded for years--but I can't look at cats "just for fun" without finding one I want. I found my most recent love last week in the form of a long-haired and happily playful black female who was the same age (ten months) and diminutive size as Ollie and even had his eyes. Without Peggy to restrain me, I would have gotten that cat, and this troubles Peggy more than a little. I know we don't need a third cat because the two we have couldn't be more in love, and a third cat might cause jealousy, but I still wish I had that black cat. When I see a cat I want, it's as if we were intended to be together since the first millisecond of the Big Bang.

At least, I'm satisfied with just having cats, while Peggy so misses the effusive adoration of dogs that our two-pet limit would go right down the toilet if she ever came across a miniature white rescue poodle. All that such a dog would need to do would be to stare into her face with its warm little eyes while shaking its ugly little tail, and she would do everything short of kneeling before me in tears as she pleaded, "I know we agreed that two pets is enough, but..." The sad truth is that it's much harder for me to say no to Peggy than for her to say no to me. While I know that a dog would, just by nature of being a dog, come between us and our cats, I also know that if Peggy wanted a dog and didn't get it because I said no, she would never get over thinking about how wonderful her life might have been had I said yes.

Our next to last dog was a pet shop blue heeler, which I didn't want because I believed it came from a puppy mill, but right after assuring me that she would graciously honor my wishes, she said under her breath, "I WANT THAT DOG." It was the first time that her heart had opened to any dog in the years since our schnauzer, Wendy, died, so the pressure was more than I could bear. She later told me that she didn't even know she said such a thing, and I believed her, but it was those barely audible four words that made it impossible for me to say no. I don't know why she's tougher than I about saying no to her spouse. I think it might have something to do with gender, but I don't see it as having anything to do with love. Still, I really and truly and deeply wanted that black cat, and she's the reason I don't have it.