Every time I looked at Migo, my dog, I couldn’t help but feel sorry. For a while, he had been walking around looking so lonely and sad all the time. He would slump his head on the floor and sigh this really loud, cute dog sigh that really gnawed at the guilt I felt inside. Feeling more optimistic about the situation one day, I ended up telling Eric, my husband, to go out and get a cat for Migo. I wasn’t trying to get my dog a cat that he would eat if that’s what you are thinking. I was trying to get him something more like a friend, that he can hang out with… I guess?
See, the weird thing about my dog is that he isn’t really a dog. He is like a cat trapped in a dog’s body. While I spend a lot of time laughing about this, most people think it to be rather odd. It’s why we love him though. So we got the cat.
Not even a week had passed when we gave the cat away. Leo. That was his name. So that night, we were laying in bed and I turned to look at Eric. His eyes were closed and they seemed to be shut unnaturally tight. I knew he was only pretending to sleep. “Do you think we made a mistake by giving Leo away?” I whispered over the whimpering cries of Migo, who hid under the bed.
Leo was given to us by a friend of a friend. He was white with black spots all over his back and had fur that was so soft it made silk feel like sand paper. He was only a baby, 6 weeks at most, and Eric and I argued a lot about his gender. I complained that Leo was a girl while he and his friend of a friend argued that Leo was a boy. I gave him the name Lea but that was cut short once I realized it was an argument I could not win against two men. So Leo it was instead. When it was just us though I secretly called him Lea. He was a crazy cat though. So crazy my dog could not handle it.
So one night, Eric was away from home and I was alone with both pets. In a total of 5 minutes, Leo had taken down the whole apartment it seemed like. He climbed up the curtains and brought them crashing down, scratched at the carpet and tore it apart, bit into the couch and made the fluff pop out, scratched at the brown dining room table and left it with scars, ate the dog’s food, climbed on the brand new Playstation we had bought and broke the eject button and scratched the sides of my favorite Ibanez guitar. Migo sat next to me on the couch and sighed once again. Our heads moved in sync as we watched Leo destroy the apartment.
Later that night, laying in bed I felt something yanking at my hair. No. Way. I feel that crazy cat crawl onto my face and dig his claws deep into my cheek before he jumped off to grab Migo’s tail on the floor. I hear Migo screech like a girl (literally) and feel him jump on the bed to hide his face under my leg. Leo climbs his way onto the bed and begins clawing at my face. I screamed. “I JUST CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. You destroy my house, you destroy my dog’s life, and you destroy my face,” I said to the cat. “Meow,” he blinks at me and tilts his head to the side. Ugh. I lay my head back and then I hear Leo playing with my charger under the bed. My phone suddenly vibrated, and guess what broke now? My charger. Great. At around 2 in the morning, I decided to take Leo out of my room and leave him in the living room. So, I slowly lay him on the couch, scratched his head until he purred himself to sleep, and slowly backed away without making any noise into the room. Shutting the door behind me, I throw myself in bed and feel a rush of happiness as it’s finally quiet. Crrrrrkkkk. crrrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkk. My eyes shoot open and a tear falls from one of my eyes. The cat is clawing at the door.
The next day, I hear Eric opening the door to come in and I rush over to where he is. The cat is running around the apartment and everything is either scratched at or broken. He takes a look around and then laughs when he looks at my red, angry face. “I can’t do this anymore. I won’t. I don’t want the cat. GIVE HIM AWAY NOOOOOW,” I yell at Eric. I turn around because I hear something fall on the floor and shatter. Migo is racing away from the kitchen with the cat right behind him. I see him making a leap for the couch but his calculations on the distance from the couch and his speed are way off and he hits the wall behind the couch falling to the floor. Eric bursts into a fit of laughs and giggles. This was when I realized that I made a mistake in getting a friend for my dog. I was over it and it was time to give him away. I realized I made the wrong decision in getting a cat. I am not a cat person. My hopes in dreams in having a nice, fat, friendly cat who sits at the window every now and then were gone.
A few days went by, I had called a friend that I carpool to work with and asked her if she wanted a cat. Her kids were thrilled to get a new family friend. She would be picking him up that weekend. After I hung up the phone I walked over to the living room where I saw Migo playing with Leo. They were jumping around and chasing each other around the room. I think I saw him smile. I know you don’t believe me, but it was this adorable, toothy grin that I couldn’t help but smile back at. Migo was so happy. He had stopped sighing and was actively running around and barking again. My heart sank a little and every day after that it sank a little more.
That weekend my friend showed up with her kids to pick up the cat. They stood by the front door as I got them the litter box and Leo’s toys. “He’s a crazy cat, but he cuddles with you and he will definitely make you laugh. He’s litter box trained and by the end of the week he’ll destroy everything in his path,” I said to them. Her kids laughed and rubbed at his head. As I told them everything about Migo and Leo their eyes got wide and they laughed loudly. They thought the pet’s relationship was amazing. I closed the door after saying good bye and my heart broke. What had I just done?
Migo cried loudly every day. The sighing got louder and he never wanted to do anything. He just slept or cried. He refused to eat anything and he wouldn’t even go out to use the bathroom. He just blinked when you said his name and sighed his loud dog sigh. When it was especially late into the night, his whimpers would get so loud and he would hide under the bed where you couldn’t reach him. I knew he was mad at us. He wouldn’t even eat his treats. I realized that day that I made a mistake yet again. I did not think about the way Migo was feeling before I made decisions that would affect him. Why do owners do that? We make decisions for our pets never really stopping to think of how happy they are or how unhappy they are. We move their beds, we let them stay at flea infested friend’s houses and we change their dog food when something is on sale. Have we ever stopped to think how we would feel if someone moved our home around for us and we couldn’t find it? Or if someone changed the way our vegetables tasted every month? We now have a pretty grumpy dog in our house. He plays, he’s a bit happier, but he is sad sometimes. On the way to work that Monday, my friend turned around in the car and said, “By the way, Leo is actually a girl. We named her Zoe.”