I hate cats, or so these are the words I speak every time someone asks me about my preferences to the classic fight: Dogs or Cats. Truth is I prefer dogs, maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe it’s because I grew up around dogs. The problem is 6 ½ years ago I married into a cat…no not just married into a cat but also married into a crazy cat lady. Her family is one of the country, they are farmers and have farm cats running around outside and against my mother in laws better wishes, one of those cats occasionally infiltrates their house. I should have seen it coming, I should have realized that my short time with my wife would not be enough to do what my mother in law couldn’t, keep cats out of my house. Not long into our marriage my wife (the crazy cat lady) threatened to bring home another cat, another black cat. As are most things in our marriage, my wife and I are ying and yangs, sit on opposite side of the teeter-totter fighting towards who gets to sit the highest. I like animals with a white coat; she likes her animals with a black coat (I joke around with her that it’s because she wants it to match her black heart). I made the mistake of saying something to the effect of, if another cat is coming home, it’s going to be that white one. Well that white kitten soon became a part of our family. As a part of the agreement, the cat would be named after a Yankee to fit my family tradition of naming animals after those that wear Pinstripes. Damon (D for short) was now a mainstay with us. An outside cat that would be treated to a warm house, food at his whim, and all the cuddling he could get.
|D was part dog...|
I would often get frustrated with D as I’d wake up in the middle of the night and he’d be on my neck curled in a ball mistaking me for a place to sleep. He drooled like Hooch from the classic Tom Hanks movie “Turner and Hooch”. In fact my relationship with D was much like that of Turner and Hooch. As much as I wanted to not like him he grew on me. How could he not, he was great with my kids, he let them mess around with him, pulling on his ears, and hair and then coming back for more. He was a friend to me, my wife, and most importantly my kids, and he was full of love.
So what does this have to do with a sports blog? Well yesterday while watching Jeter’s lastgame in the Bronx D taught me one last lesson in life. My wife called and told me we’d have to put the critter down, that he had cancer. F***king Cancer! I was pissed, but why? It’s a cat…I hate cats. Unbeknownst to my mother that I had already spoke with my wife in regards to this, and was ignoring the situation like a man does (because it’s easier than dealing with it, seriously what could I do) she told me to call my wife. It was the bottom of the 9th inning…Jeter was up third…it was a tie game…AARRRGGGGHHHH. Knowing this isn’t one of those situation to ignore I made the phone call. Nothing had changed, my wife and I were still on the same page, a few tears were shed, and I missed Jeter’s walk off single. I was SO mad at my mother, why are you butting into this situation, it was being handled and not only am I losing a friend, now I missed it, probably Jeter’s last big moment, something I can tell my grandkids about. Truth is I wasn’t mad at my mom, I was hurt that I was losing a friend that I didn’t even like…it’s a CAT! I will still get to tell my grandkids about Jeter’s last big hit but I’ll also get to use it as a teaching moment, one that my mother and a cat named Damon reminded me of.
Family comes first, and by family I don’t just mean those that have the same blood in their veins.
It’s ok to swallow your pride and even shed a tear.
And most importantly, make your choices in life based on love.
Thank you old friend…