Do you want your cat or do you want your husband?

I ran across a neighbor’s sign that was bemoaning a cat’s loss. She wrote, “I returned home last week from a family illness & funeral and found that the pet sitter and my husband had lost one of my cats.” Initially I assumed I was about to read about an illicit relationship between pet sitter and husband but then realized that they had simply been jointly irresponsible.

I was thinking that the husband and the pet sitter might be feeling a bit chagrined at this point to have their idiotic, thoughtless carelessness (in the face of the author’s/pet owner’s obvious distress, martyrdom and tragedy) advertised to the world.

And I was feeling smug and self-righteous about how I would never write such a thing. Until I realized that I have much more subtle ways of expressing my disappointment with other people. I couch it in terms of concern for them or empathy about their plight. It’s rather like how down south we used to say, “Bless her heart” before saying something particularly cutting.

I’m a lot more like the cat owner than I’d like to admit. Even so, I hope that cat showed up… or her husband might still be in the doghouse.

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~ by Cary on May 29, 2008.

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