Love in quarantine (life on my patio cont.)
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
There is an unrequited love blossoming in my house during this safer at home period. Obi, my cat and baby for the last 14 years, went to the vet recently for his yearly check up. It was a big deal for me because I had to find a new vet and I'm incredibly particular about where I go. Some seem extraordinarily expensive, which makes me feel guilty for not wanting to spend the money, others feel too much like a hospital (which is ironically what I actually wanted, in case anything major goes wrong. Having a vet is great, but having to take a pet somewhere else in an emergency can be daunting. Still, the place doesn't have to feel overly sterile).
I had my heart set on one near my house that got amazing reviews simply due to the drive time it would take to get there. My cat hates car rides, and while he will put up with me taking him short distances, he gets progressively crankier the longer he rides shotgun. Going into my first appointment I had no idea the level of service that would be provided. Obi came out of a check up with all his lab work done in under 40 minutes, and I walked out with a bottle of wine (nothing like two fisting some alcohol and a cat carrier at 7 in the morning) and a bag of cat goodies to go through when I got home.
One of which would become the love of Obi's life... the laser pointer.
When he was a kitten I would use a laser pointer to play with him until I felt he became too obsessed. A natural hunter (I never have a moth, spider, or fly in my house very long), he'd chase the dot under couches and into cushions. Even if I turned it off he'd wait patiently where he last saw it for it too reappear.
The dot might be good at hiding, but it would have to come out sometime, right?
I felt it became unhealthy and during one of my moves in my early 20s the laser pointer magically didn't make the journey with us. To find one again in this goody bag I was uncertain whether I'd try it out, but at 14 I figured Obi would get bored easier when the magic light went away.
Boy did I give this kitten a present when I decided we were going to play with it. We all need a treat right now, don't we?
His love for the bright red light never wanes, and on early mornings when the air is still crisp I treat him even further by bringing him out on the patio to burn off some energy.
That's where the love triangle begins.
When we moved back to the city and became reacquainted with my fabulous neighbors, Obi was introduced to Esther the dog. For Esther it was love at first sight, Obi was everything she wanted in her life and more... for him... not so much.
Just like cats, puppies love to be outdoors, especially early morning and though we are on our patio, we aren't often alone for very long. I've tried to let Esther and Obi figure it out, he is after all super good with other animals of all kinds, but her boundless energy seems to freak him out further damaging the love that could be. On many a morning when we hear her coming I quickly rush to Obi's side.
You see so many images of cats on the internet in harness being walked on leashes. Strolling my own parks I even see cats in backpacks enjoying the view. Or hanging out with their owners calmly on a picnic blanket. Sadly my baby is a bit to curious to just chill next to me, like his mom he longs to explore and in the city I simply can't let him alone too long. He also hates restraints so though I've tried to hook him to a long chord with a harness to allow him to play outside out of reach of the street, he just lays down and questions what torchere device I've put him in.
In moments like this picking him up and putting him inside is always the best answer for everyone involved. Esther can watch him through the window longingly the way Obi watches the inactive laser pointer sitting on my desk. He naps near my bike tire oblivious to her whines at the door, a love story never realized.