I've Been Thinking: Cats inspires jealousy of affection

Husband pays too much attention to household pet

I haven’t been my husband’s first love for years. With the arrival of a large, fluffy ball of fur we named Tigger, I simply became just his wife.

Entering our house, my husband would speak in a high-pitched, ridiculous baby-talk voice. “Where’s my kitty-cat? Where’s my Tigger?” If he was by the door, Tigger would sit stoically, seemingly unaware of being called. In spite of this lack of interest, he’d be picked up, petted and hugged.

If Tigger wasn’t by the door, my husband would look for him. Once found, Tigger would receive the same huge amount of loving affection he’d missed at the door. I’d be lucky to get a peck on the cheek before my husband asked what we were having for supper. When I’d tell him, he’d say, “Not that again,” and turn on the television. How’s that for love?

My husband used to buy Tigger’s cat food. He believed the adage that the way to a man’s (or cat’s) heart is through his stomach, I guess.  He knew I bought the cheapest store brands. Tigger naturally got the most expensive canned cat food in the store. Once it was in our house, my smitten hubby arranged it in a “special order” in the kitchen cabinet. He didn’t want Tigger to have to eat the same thing two days in a row. Heaven help me if I messed up the way the cat food was organized!

A special time at our house was 5 p.m. It wasn’t happy hour, at least not for me. It was Tigger treat time. His royal highness would be invited to his food dish with the words, “Come here, Tigger, it’s time for your Tigger treat,” again in that high pitched, baby-talk voice. Tigger usually condescended to come, but if he didn’t, his loyal subject would, of course, go and find him. Is that love or what? My husband used to surprise me with flowers or my favorite ice cream once in a while. (Notice I said used to.) There’s more I could tell you, but I think you get the idea.

The fact that Tigger is no longer with us hasn’t changed anything. Enter my husband’s latest feline love, Shadow. Things haven’t changed.

I know I’m not the only one with this problem, so I’m starting a support group. I’ve even thought of an acronym for our group – G.R.O.U.P, standing for Get Rid of Undesirable Pets. I don’t mean all pets. I love our goldfish. I just mean the pets who have become the other woman or man in our marriages.

Don’t worry, these affection thieves will be dealt with in a humane way, but something must be done. I’m planning the G.R.O.U.P.s first meeting for Monday night. My husband will be watching some sporting event on television at the neighbor’s house and King Shadow will be dethroned from his favorite lounge chair in the living room and relocated to the basement laundry room while we G.R.O.U.P. members, taking over the living room, begin to make plans to solve our problem.

The only other thing I can think of to do is take some kind of fur-growing hormone and start meowing. I really don’t want to do that.

Carol Kloskowski is a resident of Elburn. Feedback on this column can be sent to editorial@kcchronicle.com.