I Now Know How My Parents Felt…

March 3, 2010

When my brother was born.

I was an insanely contented only child for five years, at which point they asked me how I’d feel about having a little brother or sister. “No thanks,” I said, promptly returning to my pile of Barbies and stuffed bears. When I was told that it was in fact a done deal, I burst into tears and wailed, “Wasn’t I enough?” I did eventually come around (though it took a few years), and I can now say that a) I am thrilled to have Dan as my brother and b) I would have turned into a complete monster had he never been born.

My cat, Tasha, lacks this level of self-awareness. Eric’s cat, Brodie, was at the vet’s for a few days this past week, and Tasha slipped into a haze of bliss the likes of which I’ve never seen before. She purred, she preened, she strutted around the house chirping happily and rubbing her head against everything she encountered. She was clearly thinking something along the lines of Thank God you two finally had the sense to get rid of that annoying little alley cat.

Then Brodie returned, still sickly and in need of both TLC and intensive hand-feeding. (Brodie loses her appetite during times of stress. This is never a problem for Tasha, who would unhesitatingly scrabble over the ravaged bodies of both me and Eric for anyone holding a scrap of roast chicken – including the person who’d just ended our lives. What’s a little brutal carnage between friends, especially when one of those friends has chicken?) Plus, the stinky, calorically dense food we’re trying to entice Brodie to eat is precisely the type of food that Tasha, who tips the scales at nearly 15 lbs., is routinely denied. She’s attuned to the sound of a metal pop top being ripped off a can of Fancy Feast at 300 yards.

So now Tasha has turned into a hissing, snarling brat. Not only is Brodie getting all of the good food, she’s getting the bulk of the attention as well. We’ve been trying to even things out, but a grumpy Tasha is not a pretty sight. And she has very sharp teeth.

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