We got a cat a couple of weeks ago, sneaking him into our house while my husband was out-of-town. It was a clandestine operation fraught with peril as he had explicitly expressed his desire not to get a cat about a thousand times over. Mainly because we have two dogs that were put on this earth to hunt cats.
So once the cat came home, I started running with the dogs, hoping there is truth behind the adage, a tired dog is a good dog. I don’t know if it’s really all that common a saying, but it’s one I say a LOT.
And thus began my reintroduction to running. I’d avoided doing it with the dogs because of their propensity to lunge at things like ground hogs and imaginary foxes while I’m mid-stride and I don’t want to have to crawl a mile home because I’ve broken my ankle or thrown my back out again (there was an unfortunate bathing incident a few years ago with the brown pup that left me incapacitated in the kids’ bathroom). But a cat in the house suddenly seemed to them like I was the Best. Human. Mom. EVER, what with me giving them a live toy. So running with the dogs it was.
I’ve decided that I mostly like running with the dogs. They pull me up the hills and generally distract me from the utter boredom of running because I’m busy worrying that they’ll take off after something and I’ll be stuck trying to figure out how to get my mangled body back to the house where my kids are most likely completely not following the two-hour screen time limits I’ve tried to impose this summer.
The dogs also temper my paranoia about being abducted while I’m running. Sure, only one car even passed by us today during my 2.5 mile stretch (which sadly took me about half an hour, so really, I shouldn’t call it “running” at all). But my mind goes to all the madmen who could be hiding out in the cornfields just waiting to jump out and, um, I guess pull me into the corn where maybe they’ve hidden their get-away car. Because there’s probably been a run on abductions of sweaty, middle-aged women in the country that the police have asked the media NOT to report. The dogs must be a great deterrent, as no one has jumped out of the cornfields at us yet.
Yesterday a man did sort of jump out of his garden to stop me in my tracks and ask if I liked eggplant. Why yes, thank you for asking, stranger. Within a few minutes, I was continuing my run while carrying a plastic shopping bag with about 10 pounds of eggplant, adding significantly to my workout; if any cars had bothered to be on the road to see this, they would have worried about what I’d been feeding the dogs to produce such, um, dramatic results in that bag.
Anyway, I am happy to report that a tired dog is indeed a good dog. The cat can now pounce on ours and the pups are all, “Oh. YOU again.”
My kids will also happily report that in their eyes a tired mom is a good mom. They’ll ask if they can go play with a Swiss Army knife, old beer cans and the left-over Rustoleum spray to make a neat new product to pitch to Mr. Wonderful and the rest of the Shark Tank investors and I’m all, “Sure. Whatever. Just let me nap.”
Now I think I know why my husband didn’t want a cat.
The cat who inspired it all.