From Left to Write asks reviewers to connect the book of the month with their personal experiences. Accordingly, this is not a traditional book review, but rather, my response to this month’s selection. Find out more here. I received an advance copy of Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man for free, but I was not compensated in any way for this review. My comments are my own. This book is available for purchase here.
ANIMALS ARE THE BEST
McGrory describes his dog, Harry, as that once-in-a-lifetime perfect pet, who you connect with instantly and are irrationally (and sometimes unreasonably) devoted to.
Growing up, I thought I preferred dogs. But when they got too close, it turned out I liked them best when they were in another person's house. Or safely on TV. They were just kind of...messy. The little ones were yappy and insistent, while the big ones licked your knees and got hair all over your nice clothes. No thank you.
But, of all God's creatures, I reserved a special kind of loathing for cats. I wasn't raised around any cats, and neither of my parents were especially fond of them. So I parroted what I heard about cats being disgusting little poopy-pawed monsters who walked in their litter box, onto your kitchen table, and sometimes across your face when you were sleeping. They made your whole house smell like cat pee.
It wasn't until I wasn't 25 I began to reconsider my opinion on cats. My friend had a cat and maintained a lovely, wonderfully-smelling apartment. Her cat, Charlie, was a kind-hearted plump orange tabby who was extremely respectful of people's personal space and well-trained.
After my husband and I moved to Tacoma and I found myself working long hours alone in my home office, I started to think about a cat. My husband already had a dog, who was currently living with his dog-grandparents until we could get him back.
One afternoon, I confessed that I had been thinking about a cat. "Can we just go look," I asked. My husband agreed, confused where his cat-hating wife went.
Of course, we ended up at a Petsmart that was hosting the Pierce County Animal Welfare's cat rescue. So just looking turned into just holding one or two, and then I met this little Angel-Face:
We took George home and got him set up in the guest room. He was bold, hilarious, vocal when hungry, and excellent entertainment in the mornings. He had a personal vendetta against my husband's boots:
Of course, a month later they were BFF's.
I started researching cat behavior to find answers to the Mysteries of George: Why does he drink out of my water glass? Why does he love chasing lasers? Why does he chirp when he sees a bug or a bird he wants to kill? Why does he burrow under blankets?
(Turned out he was totally fine.)
George turned me from a cat-loathing, animal-snubbing, mess-intolerant person to an animal advocate, special friend of cats, and someone who will take a little (or lot) of fur on my clothes any day in exchange for the happiness my pets give me.
George was my gateway cat; now I want ALL THE CATS.
I compromised with my husband and we took in one more, Gloria, this past June, a year after bringing George home. George assumed the role of Gloria's mother instantly.
I'm fairly certain that most people would benefit from having a pet. I know it taught me a lot about my capacity to love something that depends so wholly on you. It's not draining or taxing or tiresome. It's actually kind of the best thing ever.