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September 25, 2016 / thackersam

The Fluffy Affair

fluffy2Before you go and ask why it is that the Ex and I are not together, let me remind you that people are exes for a reason, usually more than one. He’s a great guy and we are great friends, but he was not a great boyfriend. And I don’t think it was just me that has thought so. He is the kind of guy who stops on the highway to help a stranger, and he has been a good influence on me that way. He is a champion of children and animals, yet has neither of his own.

Without going into too much detail or complaining about what an ass he was, I will tell you a little about Bubba, a cat with both looks and personality – smart, sociable and loving, with attitude. He would have liked you to believe he was pure Russian Blue, except if you looked very close to the tip of his tail, you could see the telltale rings of a tabby. He had been left behind when his family moved and came to me demanding to be mine. When the Ex came into my life and became a fixture in my apartment, the two hit it off. Anyone who ever met Bubba couldn’t help but like him. He was that great. He was happiest when the Ex and I would sit on the floor with our backs to the couch, watching TV with Bubba snuggled between us purring and I swear, smiling. We were an exceedingly handsome trio, if I do say so myself. Bubba certainly would have. The Ex, in his early 30s at this time, had been living “at home” and we had been together for a few years, when I started suggesting strongly that he move in with me. He resisted until one day, citing his allergies, he agreed that we could live together, but Bubba would have to go.

I believed that he had allergies and didn’t want to live with a cat, and it hurt that I wasn’t a person he would make an exception for. But I knew that it was just an excuse because he didn’t want to live with me, and that he was using my cat, my pal and responsibility, to prove my love for him.

Bubba was not going anywhere. And you my friend, can hit the highway.

The Ex and I broke up so many times in our 12 year relationship (we’ve now been friends for way longer than that), I can’t remember if we did then, but I can tell you that my phone did not stop ringing for two days after he said it was either him or Bubba.

Answering machines had been around for years at this point, but I am always the last holdout on these newfangled technology things and didn’t purchase my first one until well after this incident. In fact, Vicki’s husband, who has some renown around these parts was the first voice on my answering machine, and he didn’t even need to write down what he was going to say or rehearse 37 times before recording it. Yes, it would have been interesting to hear any messages the Ex would have left, but I got much satisfaction out of the ringing phone.

So we may not have broken up that time, but we did many times after, our issues having nothing to do with cats. And I’ve always had cats.

Anyway, he has always been very adamant about not having a pet, though he’s rescued a number of them in his time. Then along came Fluffy. I never met Fluffy myself. Nor his owner. But I did meet the owner’s dog Rex, who’s real neat, and heard stories of the owner, who’s a real jerk, in my humble opinion, and a neighbor of the Ex’s. Due to the handiwork of a doctor and a misplaced cortisone shot, Fluffy and Rex’s owner had to move recently. The Ex predicted that Fluffy would be left behind. And he was right.

“Okay, just how fluffy is Fluffy,” I sighed, knowing that Max would love it if I got him a companion, but I’ve resisted as I really don’t want to live in one room apartment with a big Max and an outdoor cat that I neither of us know. Turns out Fluffy is not fluffy and the Ex would think of me only as a very last resort (whew). The weather was suitable and it turns out that Fluffy was used to getting locked out at night so he probably had his hidey holes, but something would have to be done about him before the weather turned, and the Ex did not want Fluffy to go back to his owner, if he should even come back for him. The Ex would call me periodically, first to ask what kind of food to get Fluffy, then to say that Fluffy didn’t like the dry food he got, but, he did like the rotisserie chicken the Ex had bought for himself, and didn’t mind sharing with Fluffy, who had been very skittish after being abandoned. The Ex was quite pleased with himself. They were becoming pals.

The next call had me worried. He was saying something about Fluffy that caused me eventually to say – “Is this where you’re going to ask me to take Fluffy?” He swore he would never do that and that was not the purpose of the call. So I was now less distracted as he told me that one of the other tenants on the property knew a woman who might take Fluffy and she has 14 cats… “No,” I shot. “Okay good. That’s what I thought,” he said and let me know he appreciated my immediate response. It’s not a kindness to the cat, and shouldn’t we at least try to start with the best options for Fluffy rather than at the bottom? And isn’t it also taking advantage of someone’s illness? Usually, those with 14 cats don’t live in a place large enough to accommodate a brood like that, and the conditions are not often pleasant for man or beast. Yes, let’s just give another cat to the crazy cat lady. She probably won’t notice anyway.

Then he called to tell me how Fluffy followed him into his cottage and hung out a bit and left. Big step for both of them. Uh-oh. It sounded like he just may break down. He and Fluffy were buds, and instead of me or the cat lady being the last resort, he now held that distinction. “Well, when the weather gets bad and we haven’t found anything. I really don’t want a cat…” But those buts were coming. Then this past week he called with some sad news. Because the other neighbor and the landlord had been giving him hell about the cat, the owner came and took Fluffy away. I felt sorry for the Ex, and very sorry for Fluffy. It sounded like he was happier hanging with the Ex, getting rotisserie chicken, not being yelled at for licking himself or being chased by Rex. At least he had this time. Like a vacation. And hopefully when he goes back to his old life with a guy that would abandon him and who yells at him for being clean, not to mention dealing with the exuberant Rex, he will have this fond memory.

BTW – Happy Birthday to The Ex this week. As he has not read my blog in a long time, I can pretty much say whatever I want.

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