“The problem with a kitten is that …
Eventually it becomes a cat.” Ogden Nash
“Pet friendly.” These are the hotels our friends David and Nora look for when they travel. Their itinerary is based entirely on three things: (1) Not driving through Atlanta during rush hour. Unfortunately, rush hour in Atlanta runs from 5 AM until midnight. (2) A hotel with a happy hour. (3) The hotel’s willingness to allow them to bring their cat. Not to happy hour, just to their room.
These are the two most honest people on earth. They would never — never — just sneak Spats into the hotel. And frankly, Spats is way too proud a feline to be treated like an escaped convict on the lam. So, pet friendly it is.
Here at Boone Manor, we are pet friendly, too. We have had a succession of Dobermans who lived better than 90 percent of the world’s population. In return, these dogs showered us with unconditional love, great companionship even when we didn’t want it, and mountains of shed hair. Seems like a fair trade.
Our love of dogs was tested (not very much) one year when some other friends wanted to go on a two-week vacation. “Could you keep Dude?” they wanted to know. Dude is a 120 pound Labradoodle (get it? Dude? LabraDOODle?), who thinks he is a lap dog. His owner has taught him the neatest trick. She says “Dude, would you rather be dead or a Republican?” at which point Dude flops over onto the floor. (His owner taught him this, not me. Send the hate mail to her. I am sure there are dogs flopping onto the floor all over Ohio at the thought of being a Democrat.) There is no kennel in existence that would accommodate Dude comfortably. We love Dude, so we said yes. Four days later they called back to say their son wanted to go with them, so could we keep Mazeroski (the son is an umpire), too? Maz is a 110 pound Labradoodle with firm ideas about his place in the pecking order. We love Maz, so we said yes again. Two days after that, the phone rang tentatively, if such a thing is possible. Our friends had somehow in the previous week acquired a third Labradoodle. “But a small one,” they claimed. Could we keep her as well?
While we were still pondering where we would sleep with three 100 pounds of canine in the house, our friend mentioned the third dog’s name is Marla Jean Louise. Now, I strongly suspect this dog’s first name isn’t really Marla. I think it conveniently became Marla to twist our emotions into importing another dog. It worked. MJL was coming to the party. And a party it was. We had a wonderful time, except when the pack ran through the mud. “This is exactly why we didn’t have kids,” we would mutter as we cleaned 12 dirty feet.
One thing we never had was a cat. Dogs are “I love you. I want to be next to you. I am your slave. You are my best friend in the whole universe and beyond.” Cats are “I’ll get back to you. P.S. Do not serve me anything but my favorite cat food or there will be a major gastrointestinal event on the new carpet.”
Now, though, we are occasionally visited by our neighbor’s cat. She is a beautiful thing and our main chipmunk/squirrel deterrent mechanism. I don’t know where all the hawks have gone lately. Maybe to a big hawk convention where they wear funny hawk hats and exchange secret hawk handshakes. Wingshakes? But they sure haven’t been around here contributing to the orderly food chain progression in our yard. So we don’t mind the cat at all.
Yesterday it was kittens. Two kittens, both with the same coloring as the neighbor’s cat. One had a pink flea collar, the other a blue flea collar. I think this is supposed to mean one is a girl and one is a boy. They took turns jumping up on the windowsills to look inside with their big wide adorable kitten eyes. Then they would slide off and do it again. It may be the cutest thing I have ever seen. But the problem with a kitten is that … (see above).
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.