Trying to convey in writing how hilarious this exchange was is really not going to work. I get that. But, I am still dealing with pain around my lungs that limits my ability to laugh as I would like too (and yes, I expect I will need to Take Further Steps). I need to get this down here so that when I have forgotten the conversation and come back in a month to see what I have written, I will be able to remember and laugh properly.
As way of background, cats are intensely attracted to my husband. A friend, who believes in this sort of thing, says it is because he is a Leo. I don’t think so; but nevertheless, cats generally love him. When we visit friends who have indoor cats that are not automatically terrified of strangers, they are right there where he is. The veterinary clinic where we take the dog has a free-roaming office cat. When Richard went to retrieve the dog after her teeth were cleaned and sat down to wait, the office cat, which sees a steady stream of people all day long and totally ignored me when I dropped the dog off, immediately got in his lap.
We will have lived here 34 years in May, and we have had cats for about 32 of those years. Actually just 2 cats (both rather long-lived, obviously) Richard was the go-to person for the head and under-the-chin scratches for our first cat, and Richard again became the go-to person for head scratching when Squeaker came along--actually, there was another car who lived here briefly who hated both of us (even Richard) but loved our son, and he took her and gave us Squeaker. When Squeaker goes to Richard for her head scratches, he sends her into such fits of ecstasy that she slobbers on him.
On the very very rare occasions when she comes to me to be scratched, Richard will want to know:
Is this alienation of kitty affection?
Now the dog is my dog. My dog. Mine. She pays attention to Richard when she thinks he is going to give her one of her special treats (a chew stick to help keep her gums healthy), but otherwise she has eyes only for me. My dog.
Mine, I tell you.
Which brings us to yesterday. We came back from the surgery center, and I sat down on the couch to rest. It is a puzzlement how riding in car for 2 hours makes one so exhausted that one needs to sit on the couch to recuperate, but there we were. Molly came in and hopped up on the recliner, and then Richard wandered in and sat down on the recliner next to her. She promptly put her head on his knee and looked at him with adoring eyes while he stroked her head and scratched her behind the ears.
Is this alienation of doggy affection? I wanted to know.
YES! He says.
I will have the cat…”
“I will have the dog….”
“And you will have... nothing.”
The inflection in his voice when he said “nothing,” was so funny, I grinned at him, and then he burst into laughter. I would have liked to burst into laughter myself, but that wasn't quite possible, so I laughed along as best I could.