I have to be honest: I love animals more than people. In fact, I can’t say I love people; I love certain people, but as a species we’re basically a royal pain in the arse.
I love animals because they have no pretensions or hangups about who they are. They are instinctively Zen, living in the moment with a easy mindfulness that would put Thich Nhat Hanh to shame.
I don’t get people who don’t love animals. A few years ago, I was getting some work done in my house, and the contractor brought an additional painter to speed things up. First off, you have to understand that Buddy loves people. And I mean LOVES. When anyone knew comes in the house, he gets excited to the point of insanity. I usually warn people beforehand that I have an insanely happy dog, and it’s best that they pet him so they can continue their visit unaccosted. Should that new human ignore my advice, Buddy will clamp down on the person’s pant leg and tug until they pet him–and pet him and pet him. Yes, he’s spoiled. And I’ve tried to correct this behaviour, but, like I say, he’s nuts. And I’m sure Buddy is convinced that all humans are here specifically to worship him. He’s that cute, and that cocky.
Anyway, one particular day during the reno, Kevin (the contractor) brought some assistance in the form of one grouchy, animal-hating painter. Now, I know that not everyone loves animals, but they like them, even if it’s just a little. Not this guy, apparently: he was totally impervious to the little monster–and I’m telling you, Buddy is impossible to ignore. Buddy might as well been as pesky mosquito–although I venture to say that the mosquito would have gotten a swat or two. Buddy tormented this guy for the rest of the day. I loved every minute of it.
Buddy goes by various nicknames; Bugsy is my favourite. Sometimes it’s Bugs, for short. My father gave him that little moniker and it really fits. (Ape-Shit would fit better, but it’s not polite).
Buddy has certain fears that make no sense to humans, but apparently make perfect sense to Buddy. Buddy knows, for instance, that the return air vent on the first stair riser will suck him into the furnace, so he can only go upstairs when the furnace isn’t running. He also knows that objects that passed his security check at noon seemingly morph into something sinister at night. Fallen branches in the yard, the corner mailbox, a discarded delivery box, you name it: All will send Buddy into DEFCON 1. My neighbours must love me.
For all of Buddy’s bravado, however, he’s a big chicken, although if you were to ask him, he would say he’s just cautious. My family room and kitchen are open concept, and to enter the family room you take a step down. Unlike the kitchen flooring which is hardwood, the step was carpeted like the rest of the family room. When Clancy was a kitten, he tore the carpeting on that step to shreds. So, a few years ago I had it covered in hardwood to match the kitchen.
Buddy didn’t touch that step for over a year. Seriously. He would catapult off the kitchen floor to enter the family room. And his legs are like 3 inches long.
Things are looking up though. Just recently, I noticed that Buddy was actually using the step instead of relying upon his Olympic-style leap. See? Cautious.
I have tons of Buddy stories. I just thought a share a couple of them with you now. Hope you enjoyed them.