Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm Married to Jenn: The Creepy Cat Lady

Well, it's finally happened. And to be honest, I always knew it would happen. I just figured it would take a lot longer. And quite frankly, I figured it would happen after I was long in my grave.

Jenn has become a Creepy Cat Woman.

That's right. The Happily Ever After Horse Ranch is now the home to not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR kitties.

So now, if you've spent any time on this blog, you're asking yourself: "Self, how could Greg have let this happen. He's not a cat person and he certainly isn't creepy. Why in the world does he have four cats?"

To which I have to say, I really don't know.

I grew up in a house in the country. We had a bunch of animals, including dogs, horses, a sheep, chickens, geese, ducks, and yes, even cats. But our cats were barn cats. They served a purpose. They kept the barn and garage mice-free environments. They didn't live inside the house. We rarely saw them and never thought of them as pets.

Jenn on the other hand grew up with only cats. They were indoor-outdoor cats and were a source of and outlet for love and caring. They had names like "Fluffy" and were dressed in doll clothes and taken around in strollers. They were a part of the family and a big piece of Jenn's life.

When Jenn first moved in with me, I had two rules:

- Love me, love my dogs.
- No CATS!

I didn't want them stinking up the house and ruining stuff. And for three years I stuck to my guns, buying Jenn cat calendars and books rather then the real thing. But finally, after constant trips to the Pets Mart cat cage and a tearful discussion in the truck, I finally acquiesced and let Jenn get a cat we named Squeeks.

Now Squeeks is a great cat. He's black and white. Lean and athletic. Friendly and self assured. There's just one problem: He loves me but hates Jenn.

This quandry led us to our second cat - J'oui.

Now J'oui is a lot of things Squeeks isn't. First and foremost, he LOVES Jenn. He's got a purr that's two sizes too big and he's just clumsy enough to be adorable. And he's got giant blue eyes. In other words, a purrfect '10' in Jenn's world.

So at that point, I figure we're all set. Jenn finally has a cat that loves her and I've got a cat that loves me.
They get along great and keep each other entertained when we're not around.

Done and done.

But then, on the first really cold day we had last winter Jenn says, "I think I hear a cat outside."

Sure enough, Jenn steps onto the porch, yells, "Here kitty, kitty!" and as if on cue, an emaciated, shivering cat comes out from under the porch and starts rubbing on Jenn's legs. Cat number three - Big Kitty-Kitty arrives (not the most original of names, I know).

So now we're certainly set for cats. In fact, now the cats out number the people and dogs and are tied with the horses in number.

Big Kitty-Kitty recovers nicely from her apparent long-term homeless problem and settles right in, loving both of us and the dogs. There's just one problem: Her inability to get along with the other cats. But that's okay. She stays in one part of the house while Squeeks and J'oui have the rest of the house.

So what's the last thing we need?

Something we need as much as another horse or a hole in the head?
That's right.
Another cat.
But does that stop Jenn from looking?
Not really.
Does it stop Jenn from falling in love with a tiny black kitty?
And does it stop us from bringing home said tiny black kitty?
Nope, again.

You see, I now see how much pure love and joy those kitties bring to Jenn. She absolutely adores them. She takes countless pictures of them, calls and emails me with updates on them, and takes great pleasure in having them around.

Who am I to deny her these simple pleasures?

Having cats in the house makes Jenn a happier person. Her days get broken up by cats playing at her feet or striking adorable poses in the sun. She finds great joy in snuggling with the cats and sharing her love with them.

So, to answer the question above, I have four cats, not because Jenn is indeed a Creepy Cat Lady (although she does show some tendencies towards becoming one) but because it's a small way I can make her happier and feel more loved.

But I swear, four is where I draw the line!

Welcome to the family Little P!

Readers: Where have you given in your normal "rules" so that your partner could have more joy! Please share!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love as Sweet as a Big, Fat Summer Blueberry

I’m spooning big, fat blueberries into my mouth when Greg asks, “How are your blueberries?”

Thinking that’s a slightly odd question, I reply, “Good, thanks.”

“I’m glad you like them. I gave you all the biggest blueberries because I know how much you hate those tiny, sour ones!,” Greg says, looking at me with his own spoon filled with smaller, tarter berries.

My heart totally melts.

“You did that just for me?!,” I say with a big smile, as I feel my love for him grow 3 sizes bigger in my heart.

“Why, yes, I can’t have you sitting there with that puckered up face that makes wrinkles in the back of your head!,” Greg laughs.

Indeed, it’s true. I HATE sour berries. Sour anything really. And that Bitter Berry Face definitely doesn't make me look any prettier.

But seriously, what kind of man takes the time to lovingly select only berries that will make his partner happy!?

How thoughtful, sweet, and amazingly loving is that?!

My god, I am so lucky to have a man who loves me that much.

His simple act touches me way deep down in my soul.

I continue to learn that true love is expressed in the little things we consciously choose to do for each other simply because we know it will make our partner’s day a little brighter, their dinner a little sweeter.

And I settle into the knowing that Greg has been given to me as a gift- to teach me exactly what unconditional love looks like, day in and day out.

To prove that I am learning, I save the biggest, fattest blueberry for last, reaching over to pop it into his mouth. We both savor the sweetness of our love, in action.

Readers: What tiny, thoughtful act has touched your relationship lately- making your bond immeasurably sweeter? Please share.