Benjamin can hypnotize people into giving him — or letting him steal — food. Before he came to live with me I never cooked for Myrah. Making her Chicken and Cheddar cat treats reminded me why — she hates them. Even though she waited for an opportunity to steal a bite while I cut out each one and drunk up all the canned chicken water I let her, she tried it once (as pictured) and has refused them since. Benjamin, however, has greedily eaten every one — even the overbaked batch.
I pretend to understand what my pets think or vocalize. Different species are going to have trouble expressing themselves at some point. I can’t get it right every time speaking to humans. Then there are the times when the simplest, even daily, occurrences confuse them.
Leaving Benny sends him into a panic.
“She left me! Alone! Why? Why would she leave? I must get her back! She must come back! I will now destroy everything I can find! WAAHAHAHHA!”
This terror takes place without fail despite the fact that I always come back. Always. Sure, sometimes I’m gone lots of hours and sometimes it’s lots of minutes, but the same sequence happens nearly every day. I would think this is a really clear path. I leave. I come home.
As long as we’re talking about fears — let’s get into the really irrational ones. Benny likes the dog in the mirror, but not the one in the bookcase doors. He will not go outside in the rain or when it might rain or when it was raining 12 hours ago and a couple puddles are still drying under a clear blue sky. He has barked viciously at bushes, furniture, a photo of a cat, a gnome, a store’s blow up tube man, and that shadow 30 feet away. People who stand still or wear hoodies are bad. Cars are scary, but not all cars.
Myrah lives with a wide-eyed fear of people. She has a remarkable ability to get stuck odd places including the shower curtain rod and the ceiling. She has spent years trying to climb the walls and walk on the ceiling. And, of course, there are those times she caught on fire.
Yet, they are still smarter than me. (Smarter than I?) It’s not because they don’t spend time worrying about grammatical mistakes.
“Bark, bark, gurble, whine, bark tail wag.” Translates into “Me happy! Do you want to play, Friend?” The excitement of the moment led him to transpose the gurble and bark into an ungrammatical sentence, but the meaning is still very clear.
It’s not just because they have each learned how to open various doors. Or that Myrah — who really does adore attention — has learned how to separate an individual from the pack. She stands in the hallway to flirt with a guest in order to separate them from the group. Weakened, she leads them farther away — into the bedroom or bathroom — and there finally lets the person scratch her cheeks. Alone with a single person she latches on to their ankles, lays across their arms, demanding her deserved attention.
It’s because they both live in my home. That’s it. They don’t have a job, pay rent, worry about veterinary bills, think of the future…Yes, they have had to make certain sacrifices regarding their freedom. Yes, they have to live in a human’s world. But, no matter how many times Myrah claws the couch or how much Benny breaks they can curl up beside me or rest a paw over my hand and I (eventually) forgive them everything. I bake for them, share my bacon, and give them little tastes of ice cream. I will try to make their lives even easier and happier if they will just continue to be my adorable, loving pets. Yup, for that they are both freakin’ geniuses.